10 Regular Errands That Become Impossible Torture With Toddlers

I’ve attempted to bring my tot along with me to as much as I can on the weekends, because I never want to miss one second with that sweet little cherub. But now that he’s into toddler-mode and outside of that sweet, quiet newborn phase, reality has set in that there are SOME errands and tasks better served child-free.

I am always amazed at the moms who literally do everything with their children. Some don’t have the option to leave them with a spouse or babysitter. Other people can balance a whole lot better than I can.

Here are what I believe to be the most impossible things to do with toddlers:

• Going to the bathroom in a public place. Now that Shep knows how to open doors, I have a constant panic that he will quickly undo the lock and expose my bits to everyone around. And this is not out of the realm of possibilities. We have come close.

• Antique shopping: I have been wanting to check out a few antique/furniture stores in the area, but there is no way I’d ever set foot with my curious toddler in tow. Just the idea of priceless antiques and my toddler’s firm grip puts me in a cold sweat.

• Chalk painting anything: If you pull out a new ANYTHING, Shep immediately says ME or Please. So that means if I pulled out that pricey gray paint, his little paws would be in it faster than I could blink. I’ll have to wait until someone can harness him back. It’d be a whole lot harder scrubbing that from our outdoor rug than his Crayola washable finger paint.

• Dry cleaners: Any errand that takes less time to do than it does to get him out of a car seat makes me agitated. It’s also not quite long enough to harness him in a stroller before walking in and grabbing 20 of Clint’s work shirts. That said, I’m more than paranoid and would never feel OK but running in to the dry cleaner while I grab something. He’s coming with me, whether it’s efficient or not.

• Any restaurant after 7 pm on the weekend: The horror of getting told it will be 45 minutes before you get to SIT DOWN with your toddler. Not to mention you’ll be 15 minutes past his bedtime (if you are lucky) before you even order your sodas. We tend to eat with the early birds to avoid this possibility entirely.

• Clothes shopping: If you were lucky enough to have 30 minutes to peruse the racks of clothes to find something that interests you, now you get to bring your toddler into the dressing room to watch as you maneuver the small room to get it on your body. No time to sit and ask yourself if it makes your butt look good or not. Is it clean? Is it relatively the right size? I’ve opted for a whole lot more online shopping these days for these exact reasons. Malls are great for children to run around at the play area, but it’s no longer a shopping hub for me.

• Car wash/detailed: My car is disgusting, there’s no way around that. I desperately need it detailed and cleaned, but the last time I went to get it done, they told me it could take 1 to 3 hours. Do they have any clue what could happen between 1 and 3 hours if we chose to stay at the car shop with the toddler in the waiting area? No thanks. Cheerios everywhere, for everyone!

• Hair appointment: I would never by choice bring my son to a hair appointment (chemicals, the fact it’s supposed to be a relaxing place, etc.) but there have been times lately where my roots are scarily long and my husband has had weekend work travel or dinners. It’s crossed my mind as a possibility. But nothing – nothing has caused me to actually consider this. My toddler would end up eating hair and drinking bleach.

• Your doctor appointment: Since most of my doctor appointments with Baby Borm #2 have been during the day while Shep is home with his nanny, this hasn’t happened yet. But i can’t even imagine. Why do they have so many wires and hazards everywhere, knowing so many moms do have to bring their children to appointments? Bring on the iPad, people!

• Strolling on the beach. This is one of those imaginary things to do with your family that looks perfect in a picture but in reality, is really messy and frustrating. First of all, we tried this with a jogging stroller because our toddler likes to walk in zig zags. That was a feat especially in the soft sand. Second, every time Shep saw a new shell, or stick, or leaf, he stopped and inspected it. Adorable, yes, but conducive to a stroll on the beach? Not so much.

If you could add another impossible task with a toddler, what would it be?


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Julie Borm
While Julie grew up in northern Ohio, she loves all the south has to offer including BBQ, sweet tea and the beautiful Florida beaches. She is a mom to a hilarious know-it-all toddler boy named Shepard, and has another little boy on the way. She works full-time as a marketing director and loves running, listening to country music and going on date nights with her husband. She blogs over at Everyday Happiness, which has a collection of stories about work/life balance, recipes and family life in Florida.