Artist: Michele Mildenberg

If you’re a toddler parent, you know the only thing that compares to their larger-than-life personalities is their always-on-the-go schedule. From the first minutes of the day to the moment they finally fall asleep, these tots keep us running. Although we’ll never really know what goes on in their sweet, little heads, we can certainly imagine all the big thoughts they have in a typical day.

6:12 a.m. I wake up in my crib. It’s really quiet, and no one’s around, but it’s light outside. Better let my parents know. I yell for them and wait. I’ll bet they didn’t hear me. Maybe I should yell again? Or sing really loud? Or cry? Better try them all.

6:18 a.m. There’s mom!

6:20 a.m. Mom tries to get me to snuggle in bed with her, but I’m over it. Time to nope on out of there and head downstairs for breakfast instead.

6:30 a.m. Mom mutters something about a cup of coffee and a diaper change, but I’ve got other things on my mind—namely breakfast. Oh wait, is it time to play already? I love this game. I giggle and run while mom tries to catch me. Look how fast I am!

6:38 a.m. After she catches me, it’s time to change my diaper. Mom pulls out a Big Bird diaper, but I want an Elmo one. I politely remind her I can do it myself by throwing the Elmo diaper in the diaper pail and pulling the rest of the diapers out of the caddy until I find just the right one. Here it is!

6:50 a.m. Finally, it’s time for breakfast. Hey, Dad's up, too! I let them both know—as loudly and clearly as I can—that I would like chicken apple sausage, please. They’re all about good manners.

6:52 a.m. I quizzically look down at the scrambled eggs on my plate. Clearly, there’s been a mistake. I signal my parents with a frustrated scream and a simple fist clench, followed by my breakfast order. Again. I think they got it this time.

7:35 a.m. Dad takes me upstairs to get dressed. I love picking out outfits. Green stripes look amazing with yellow polka dots, and even though it’s cold outside, I can’t resist these shorts.

8:20 a.m. Dad heads off to work, and Mom and I head out to run errands. It takes me a while to pick out just the right car cart at the grocery store. They've got red, blue or pink.

8:21 a.m. I decide I want a green one.

8:25 a.m. Mom finally convinces me to go with the red cart. It matches the lollipop she gave me to stop crying. Off to get the groceries!

8:45 a.m. In the snack aisle, I see a Paw Patrol box. What’s in there? Who cares! I MUST have it.

9:30 a.m. When we get home, I help mom unload the groceries and then the dishwasher. She says I’m a big helper because she can always count on me to find the sharp knives and hand them right to her. Safety first!

10:10 a.m. All this hard work has made me hungry. Time to break out the new Paw Patrol box. Mom opens the package and hands it to me. Yuck! This doesn’t taste like Paw Patrol.

10:13 a.m. Mom reminds me that “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” I follow the lead of my favorite heroine, Pinkalicious, and get very upset. Mom counters with Daniel Tiger. Man, she’s good. Better take a deep breath and count to four.

10:30 a.m.  After snack, Mom sets out Play-Doh and crayons at the craft table. Then she pulls out her computer. I have no idea what she does on that thing, but she gets really focused.

10:40 a.m. When I’m sure Mom’s not looking, I use my crayons to color the table and the chair and the wall behind me. What an improvement! I bet they’d look great on that cabinet, too. There’s only one way to find out…

11:15 a.m. Today I get to play at a friend’s house. Mom loads me in the stroller, and we walk over.

11:25 a.m. I don’t know why, but my friend’s toys are so much cooler than mine—even when they’re the same toys I have. I sit down to play with the trains. That’s when I notice the most amazing toy I have ever seen... in my friend’s hand. I MUST have it.

11:28 a.m. I’ve been waiting for hours when my friend lets me have a turn with the amazing toy. That’s when I notice the most spectacular toy I have ever seen… in my friend’s hand. I MUST have it.

11:31 a.m. It's been a long wait, but my friend lets me have a turn with the spectacular toy. That’s when I notice the penultimate toy… in my friend’s hand. I MUST have it. What is this sorcery?

12:15 p.m. For lunch, we eat quesadillas, apple slices and cucumbers.

12:45 p.m. Mom says we’re heading home for nap time, but I don’t want to stop playing. Commence operation boneless!

12:50 p.m.  I sulk in my stroller momentarily before I notice the soothing sound of the pavement on the wheels. I can feel my eyelids getting heavy…

3:15 p.m.  I wake up in my crib. How’d I get here? And who's got a snack?

3:30 p.m.  Mom pulls out her computer again, so I know it’s a good time to ask if I can watch my favorite show on the tablet. She hands it to me and I eagerly push the button that plays CoComelon. That J.J. He's so my people.

5:00 p.m.  I’m busy playing with my school bus when Dad gets home. Boy, have I missed him.

5:05 p.m.  Mom and Dad are busy making dinner. I’m feeling hangry so I put on the pressure. I jump on the couch, even though my trampoline is closer. I bang on my piano. I scooter through the kitchen. I pull out all the stops. Mom hands me a snack as a peace offering.

5:30 p.m.  We finally sit down for dinner, and I'm so hungry I could eat... well, it turns out I can only eat about three bites of this particular meal.

6:05 p.m.  After dinner, it's bath time. Baths are the worst.

6:07 p.m.  Baths are the best! I’ve got bath paints and cups for pouring and letters that stick to the wall. I don’t ever want to leave this water paradise.

6:23 p.m.  Dad looks at my pruny fingers and tells me it’s time to get out of the tub. That’s a hard pass. He insists. I masterfully negotiate 2 more minutes of play.

6:45 p.m.  I pick out my favorite pair of PJs and decide I'm skipping the toothbrushing part tonight. Dad has other ideas, but he's got to catch me first.

6:48 p.m.  Toothbrushing it is.

7:00 p.m.  Dad lets me pick out my bedtime stories. It’s so hard to choose just four, but I try to stick to the limit. I count them just to make sure. 1, 2, 5, 8, 7, 10, 4. Nailed it!

7:30 p.m.  Dad tucks me in. The only thing is... I’m 100% not tired.

7:32 p.m.  I’m feeling parched. Better yell for someone to me bring a glass of water.

7:35 p.m.  It’s too dark in here. Better yell for someone to turn on a light.

7:38 p.m.  My tummy sure is hungry. Better yell for a snack.

7:40 p.m.  I'm still wide awake. Better yell for Mom to rub my back.

7:41 p.m.  Nope. Back rub definitely not wor...k..i...

—Allison Sutcliffe

Allison Sutcliffe is a writer, educator, and mom of three. When she’s not wrangling kids, you’ll find her hiking, baking or (dreaming about) enjoying a quiet cup of coffee. She is the Seattle City Editor at Red Tricycle. Read more by Allison here.

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