A new year brings new possibilities. While 2015 was full of plenty of Instagram-worthy smiles, hilarious stories, and magical moments for anyone raising toddlers, none of us got out without some bumps and bruises. Kids are growing up faster and faster these days, so maybe it’s time some self-improvement techniques were introduced. If they can use an iPad, they can figure out what makes them the occasional possessed-monster-pain-in-the-
If we could ever get our toddlers to sit down and form a complete sentence, let alone self-reflect, let’s hope their New Year’s resolutions list would look a little something like this:
1. Sleep more. Wipe my nose on the couch less.
2. Keep my toys organized. May my old acquaintance, Bins of Chaos, be forgotten and never brought to mind!
3. Make peace with the fact that knives, ballpoint pens, and loose change can’t be in my life the way I need them to be right now.
4. Work on my relationship with others. Be a little nicer to the people I know, and maybe a little less nice to people I don’t know.
5. While the stats are impressive, I’m going to work on decreasing the amount of surface area I can touch in five minutes in a public restroom.
6. Finally break up with the remote control. It’s been a toxic relationship. We don’t communicate well, and it has caused my family so much drama. I’m leaving it in 2015.
7. Stop sweating the small stuff. Broccoli touching mashed potatoes? Delicious! Stuffed animals rearranged wrong on my bed? Love the new look! My jacket needs to be zipped all the way because it’s 3 degrees out? So comfortable!
8. Be more conscious of my carbon footprint. I’m going to start by leaving the toilet paper alone, as thrilling as it is to see a whole roll torn into tiny pieces sprinkled all over the house.
9. Work on my productivity. First goal of 2016: Decrease the time it takes to put on pants from 28 minutes to 14 minutes. It may be ambitious, but 2016 is going to be all about pushing my limits.
10. Find a new hobby. The criteria will be: I can do it on my own for hours with no interruption, it’s inexpensive, there aren’t endless additional pieces to collect, a new version isn’t released every two years, it doesn’t involve a travel team, and my mother won’t be scraping anything off the back of the TV stand.
11. Develop a new skill. It’s called aiming—puke in the bucket, pee in the toilet, food in my mouth.
12. Stop comparing myself to others. No more mimicking kids twice my age at the park, no more fits when my parents won’t carry me into the house in my car seat like they do my infant sibling.
13. Accept the season of life I’m in—literally. In the winter, I have to wear a coat; in the summer, I have to wear sunscreen.
14. Work on my appearance. Less maple syrup in my hair, more socks that match.
15. Try to quiet the sixth sense that gets me up at 5 a.m. when Mom and Dad are a tiny bit hungover.
16. I’m going to conquer some fears—of the doctor, of owls, of noises at night, of what happens if I brush my teeth for more than 30 seconds.
17. Accept that all mail is not for me.
18. Try to be a better sharer. Goodbye “playing with all the toy food in the bathroom alone is better than giving up a couple plastic hot dogs to the kid my mom invited over for a playdate” mentality!
19. I’m going to tackle some of the bigger questions, like where does all the trash I leave around the house really go?
20. Clean up my diet. I’m still not sure why I can’t run 100 percent on macaroni and cheese, but I’m to see if eating pasta with red sauce is as earth-shattering as my parents make it out to be.
21. Learn how to appreciate the nice things we own while resisting the urge to touch them—with a crayon in my hand.
22. Develop some patience. If 2016 isn’t about achieving the impossible, then I don’t know what it’s about at all.
23. Rethink my reaction to the word no. Pretending I can’t breathe got me nowhere in 2015.
24. Quite a bad habit. I will stop changing the dishwasher setting to rinse only, thrilling as it is to turn that little knob.
25. Cut out the excess in my life. First up? The excessive amount of times I ask “why?” in a day.
26. Work on my trust issues. When my parents tell me a spontaneous game of tag in the Target parking lot is not a good idea, I’m going to take their word for it. When my cousin says “jump from the top bunk, I’ll catch you,” maybe I’ll second guess.
As for me, I’ll be doing a juice cleanse, seeing as my current body composition is 99 percent almond croissant. I’m sure it will become my toddler’s resolution, too. Drinking juice for days on end without a need to eat anything I cook for her sounds right up her alley.