Victoria Farmer’s 2-year-old daughter, Anistyn, is visual proof you can’t leave your toddler out of your sight for even a minute. (Photo: Fox31Denver/Victoria Farmer)
Anyone who has spent 30 seconds with a toddler knows that kids this age are wired to explore the world around them. That means they require 24-7 supervision to keep them safe, or at least to keep them from making a huge mess all over the house.
One Colorado mom found this out the hard way. While nursing her infant son, Madox, Victoria Farmer momentarily took her eyes off her 2-year-old daughter, Anistyn. And suddenly, she realized the entire house was “scary quiet.”
Putting her son down, Farmer went into the next room and found Anistyn completely drenched in white paint from her hair to her toes, thanks to her curious nature and an open paint container nearby. When her mother found her, Anistyn was standing still “like a statue,” Farmer wrote on Facebook, according to Fox 31 Denver. “It looks like she just climbed right in and went for a swim.”
“Now that it’s been a few hours I can laugh, but at the time I was about to have a meltdown haha it took nearly two hours to clean,” Farmer wrote. “Cleaning her was the easy part. Cleaning it off the fireplace before it set in was the scary part.”
Good thing Farmer had a sense of humor about her daughter’s paint bath. And no doubt, the experience is an adorable reminder that toddlers can’t help but climb, pull, taste, grab, and otherwise get into pretty much everything. “This could happen to any parent, and it’s what kids do, especially 2-year-olds,” Sharon Silver, founder of Proactive Parenting, tells Yahoo Parenting.
There are some easy tricks that can make it easier to handle kid supervision when you’re juggling more than one child at a time. For moms who are dealing with an infant and a toddler, “put toys or books at your feet, so your toddler has parallel playtime while you attend to the younger child while keeping a close eye on [the toddler],” Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child and family psychotherapist, tells Yahoo Parenting. Choose special items that you only take out occasionally, so the toddler is more interested in them.
A nursing mom might consider using a sling to nurse and carry the newborn. “A sling allows mom to get up if she has to check on the 2-year-old and leaves her hands free to do what she needs to do,” says Silver. Saving TV time for nursing time is also a good strategy. “This gives the older child a short amount of time to watch an educational program like Sesame Street and gives mom some bonding time on the sofa with the newborn.”
By about age 5 or 6, most children are mature enough to not need constant close supervision, says Walfish. But until then, it’s a good idea not to turn your back for more than a minute—or you might be in for more than paint splatter.