20 Reasons My Two Year Old Had a Hard Day

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My two year old said, with a mischievous look in his eye, “Mommy. I had a hard day.”

I turned to his older brother and said, “Did he just say what I think he did?” He shrugged. Five year old brothers tend to not care what two year old brothers are saying.

So, I asked, “Did you just say you’ve had a hard day!?” He smiled, his coy little smile and replied, “Yeah” as he continued to twirl in circles for some unknown reason that was making me slightly queasy just watching him.

I didn’t know whether to be horrified that he’s obviously heard this sentence one too many times, laugh at his cuteness in saying something so grown up, or be worried that I’m coddling him too much and therefore, he already thinks his life is rough. At the ripe old age of two years old.

Instead, I gave it a little thought, because having three kids makes me pensive when it’s not making me yell-y, and thought to myself, “Hmm. Maybe life was hard for this kid today.”

After all, I could think of several reasons that, in his mind, life was extra tough that day:

1. He had to get out of bed at 9 am after sleeping for a short 14 hours straight.

2. I wouldn’t let him eat potato chips for breakfast.

3. I dared to tell him his pacifier was just for bed time and took it away so he could eat a real breakfast which he changed his mind about ten times. Nothing must have sounded good to him since the potato chips were off limits.

4. I dressed him, so of course that always makes my day a little tougher.

5. He was forced to drink out of the yellow cup at lunch instead of the blue one.

6. I wouldn’t let him squirt his brother in the eye with a water bottle.

7. I wouldn’t let him jump on the picnic table in the backyard.

8. I wouldn’t let him wrap the cord to the blinds around his neck.

9. I wouldn’t let him play with a knife.

10. Basically, I prevented him from his various attempts at taking his own life.

11. I changed his diaper when he was stinky.

12. I made him wear shoes to go play outside when it was a whopping, scald-your-bare-feet-on-the-pavement, degrees outside.

13. I buckled him into his car seat.

14. I mistakenly put his blanket on him the wrong way at nap time.

15. I didn’t hold him for 25 minutes after his nap giving him time to wake up and be happy again. After all, he only napped for two hours after his short 14 hours of sleep the night before.

16. I made him eat pasta for dinner that had tiny flecks of something green in it, therefore making it so obviously inedible.

17. I told him hitting his brother in the head with whatever object was in his hand at the time was not OK. (Repeat 10 times)

18. I held his hand while going down some stairs.

19. I attempted to actually brush his teeth instead of letting him suck on the toothbrush for 10 minutes.

20. I told him to be quiet and go to sleep.

After looking back, I realized that life was so very hard for him that day. Hopefully I can live up to his expectations tomorrow. But, I seriously have my doubts.

Related post: 5 Perfectly Understandable Reasons For Toddler Tantrums

Dear Toddler, Screw Your Tantrums

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toddler-tantrum

Dear Toddler,

I woke up this morning with every intention of having a great day. Outside the window, playful little birds bounced through the trees. Mother Nature gleefully peeked her yellow face from behind the clouds. The new coffee I purchased tasted like paradise in a cup. I was so in love, I tried finding the number for the grower in Antigua so I could properly thank him. A day like this … how could anything go wrong?

And then you woke up.

Immediately dissatisfied that a dancing cat graced the television screen instead of a goofy sponge, your lips quivered and your eyes swelled. A tsunami of noise poured from your pie hole. I’m pretty sure the neighbor’s alarm system kicked in when that first temper tantrum of the day erupted.

But it didn’t end there. Your screaming quickly escalated to frantic pacing and pointing of rigid fingers, “MAMA! NO! MAMA! NO! NO, CAT!” You reminded me so much of a crazed zombie, I considered giving AMC a shout. Suddenly your legs stiffened. A one-man army was now marching through the living room. In an alternative universe, this might be considered great entertainment! Here … you ruined my Folgers’ moment, kid.

As any mother knows, when the day starts with a temper tantrum it usually goes south from there. And it did. You had no intention of being a well-behaved toddler. You know … like those seen peppered throughout Facebook … those perfectly poised kids sitting on bales of hay and chilling in old iron washtubs? Oh no. You had other plans. You’d make me earn the title “World’s Most Psychotic Mother.”

For a moment, peace returned. You transformed into a perfect Disney Princess when the words “Whooooo lives in a pineapple … ” finally blasted from the soap box. “Soap box?” you ask. You’re too young to understand this reference. It was used in a time when kids didn’t dare strike angry militia poses or complain about ANYTHING. We woke up happy to have the AM radio blasting Elvis tunes and walked complaint-free through miles of heavy snow … off to one-room schoolhouses where every teacher was packing a ruler. How hard things have become.

When lunch time rolled around, against my better judgment, I allowed you to saunter through the pantry. Surely there was something in there that would strike your fancy. RIGHT?!? Wrong. Among the one hundred and one cans of chicken noodle soup, endless boxes of macaroni and cheese, and enough peanut butter to feed the occupants of a Carnival cruise liner, there was no Beefaroni. No flipping Beefaroni! This meant the end of the world.

Before I could call Chef Boyardee and tell him to shove it, you were on the floor doing your best possessed snow angel impersonation. The ear-piercing screams nearly cracked the windows. Even the dog ran for cover. Whatever was flailing like a wounded flounder in the middle of the kitchen floor couldn’t possibly be human. But it was. It was you dear toddler. A little being who couldn’t quite count to five, yet somehow knew the difference between broth and sauce.

There was no consoling you. You battled through bites of grilled cheese. Slapped my hand when I tried to feed you tomato soup. In the end, I resembled a walking contemporary painting. Some might call you artistic—a free soul with a strong spirit. I had other words in mind.

The clock ticked and the cuckoo bird reminded me that nap time was only minutes away. Most days you were so tired by mid-afternoon, you’d practically fall asleep standing up. Today … today you’d prove that sleep was for sissies. Your little body had every inclination of going and going and going … like a loud electronic toy that seemed to operate in lieu of batteries; the ones that belt out obnoxious kiddie tunes at midnight and make animals sound like they’re dying. (A cow does not say “mauuuuuuu.”)

Two hours and no nap later, things went from “Well this effing sucks” to “Where’s the wine?”

You were no longer a screeching, mad zombie. Or a flailing fish. You, dearest toddler, had turned into an a-hole. After pitching the fifth hard, plastic toy in my direction and abruptly firing “NO!” for the millionth time, THAT. WAS. IT. It was nap time or else … I was about ready to pack my bandana on a stick and head for the nearest exit.

You fell asleep like an exorcism was being performed. I won’t lie. Some little part of me wanted to cave in, to pick you up and soothe you. My mommy heart desperately wanted to rock you in my arms until you drifted off to sleep. That was until your foot made its way to my jaw, Jet Li style.

Oh, hell, no. Enjoy your nap, dear toddler.

You woke just in time for daddy to return home from work. The sight of a red lollipop in his hand instead of a green one … well let’s just say, another tsunami hit that day.

Dear toddler, screw your tantrums. Daddy’s home and this momma’s taking a shower.

Related post: 25 Ways To Annoy A Toddler

The Rules of Toddler Club

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toddler-in-bath-tub

It’s a Toddler Club folks, and we are not invited.

1st rule of  Toddler Club – You do not talk about toddler club.

2nd rule of Toddler Club – You do not talk about toddler club.

3rd rule of Toddler Club – Protest getting into the bath. Once in, protest getting out.

4th rule of  Toddler Club – If asked a question, the answer is no. Always no. The only exception is when the question is: “Do you want a treat?”

5th rule of Toddler ClubNever go to bed. Ask a question. Ask ten questions. Request water. You have to go potty. You need a tissue. You need a story. You need a new pillow. New Pajamas. A back-rub. Just Never. Go. To. Bed.

6th rule of Toddler Club – If younger brother or sister is crying, cry louder to ensure total panic in household.

7th rule of Toddler Club – If pasta is served, ask for pizza. If pizza wish is granted, ask for pasta.

8th rule of Toddler Club – Never, under any circumstances, put any article of clothing on when asked only once.

9th rule of Toddler Club – Dinner is breakfast. Breakfast is dinner. Do not be fooled.

10th rule of Toddler Club – If mommy says no, try daddy. If daddy says no, tell mommy he said yes.

11th rule of Toddler Club – Do not attempt to get all of your food in your mouth. Your clothes are hungry too.

12th rule of Toddler ClubDon’t trust anything with a crust. Rinds are not our friends.

In each other we trust,

Toddler Management

Related post: 10 Ways Pregnancy is Like Toddlerhood

23 Rules of Eating, According to a Toddler

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toddler-baby-eating

1. Refuse anything but Cheerios for breakfast. Have them without milk on Mondays, Thursdays and every other Friday.

2. Hyperventilate if they get this wrong.

3. Don’t try anything new, EVER.

4. Just because you liked something yesterday does not mean you have to like it again today. It is perfectly acceptable to change your mind and you do not have to explain yourself.

5. Be suspicious of anything that was recently alive. Orange, dead-looking stuff is safer.

6. Request a wide variety of food at the supermarket and then A. Deny all knowledge of it upon your return home or B. Allow it to be cooked first and then say you don’t like it.

7. Spend some time revising brand names so that you can legitimately refuse cheaper derivatives.

8. Any amount of cooking or food preparation time above 30 seconds is wholly unacceptable.

9. Ask for updates of when things will be ready every 10 seconds. Protest with your fists on the floor if things are taking too long.

10. This may result in the meal being served half frozen but it doesn’t matter as you are not going to eat it anyway.

11. No eating on Wednesday afternoons, just because.

12. Make sure you have a spoon, knife and two forks with all meals and then eat with your hands.

13. Only ever use one specific plate. Flip out if it is dirty.

14. Deposit as much of your meal off the side of the table as possible. They say they “spend their whole life cleaning the kitchen floor.” Help make it a reality.

15. Sweet potato chips are insulting.

16. Avoid anything with sauce as there is a risk it contains blended vegetables.

17. Never drink water. They say “You will drink it when you’re thirsty.” Don’t. Get admitted to hospital with dehydration. That’ll teach ‘em.

18. Always say you are hungry when you are in the bath.

19. Train your body clock to wake up for midnight bananas.

20. Casseroles, stews and pies are not to be trusted.

21. Sweet potato chips are insulting.

22. Kick people who describe broccoli as “little trees” in the shins. It’s condescending and its disgusting.

23. Avocado – WTF? – NO.

Related post: Bedtime Stalling 101

5 Perfectly Understandable Reasons For Toddler Tantrums

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Toddlers. They’re sticky. They drip. They mess up our stuff. And they throw temper tantrums for no particular reason. Actually, that last one isn’t true. A lot of their tantrums make perfect sense. Why? Here are five reasons:

1. Rules. Infants get to do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want. The same cannot be said for toddlers. Toddlers are expected to follow the rules. But there’s just one problem: They don’t know what most of the rules are. Most rules are discovered only AFTER they’ve been broken. You can’t draw on the sofa. Not even in a pretty color?! You shouldn’t throw sand. But it’s so lightweight?! You’re not supposed to bathe your doll in it the toilet. Ok. Got it. Next time, you’ll bathe the cat instead.

2. Time. Last month I went to the DMV to renew my driver’s license and, a few hours later, was told that I wouldn’t be seen. I was instructed to go home and come back another day. I wanted to throw a temper tantrum. I almost threw a temper tantrum. Okay. I sort of threw a temper tantrum. Toddlers don’t have to go to the DMV to have no control over their own schedules. And it must be maddening. Really enjoying playing with your train? Well, it’s time to stop. Having fun at the park? We’re leaving in five minutes. (Whatever five minutes is.)

3. Food. Mealtime for toddlers is a lot like eating in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and can’t read the menu. Most food is new and, therefore, strange. And some food – new or not – is downright scary. But with toddlers there’s an added twist, you get strapped into your chair when you eat. It’s not surprising that toddlers are picky eaters. It would only be surprising if they weren’t.

4. Wisdom. Adults know they can’t get sucked down the bathtub drain, but toddlers do not. If you did think it was a possibility, you would probably hate baths. If you believed a Golden Retriever wanted to eat you, you would probably be scared of dogs. And if you were worried that the dinosaurs on your pillowcase might come to life while you slept, you might be terrified of linens. True. Only some toddlers are scared of baths. Only some toddlers are scared of dogs. And very few are scared of pillows. But most toddlers have some fears. And, to them, they’re not irrational ones.

It’s only life experience – and an understanding of the most basic scientific concepts – that turns the world into a place that makes some sense. Okay. That’s not true. No matter how old you get, the world doesn’t make sense. But, at least most of us aren’t afraid of baths.

5. Language. If you knew so few words that they could easily be recorded within a few lines of a baby book, you’d probably resort to crying every now and then too. Every day must feel like an endless, torturous game of“The $100,000 Pyramid” if you’re a toddler. Your shirt is bothering you but you can’t figure out how to say, “Oh my God! The tag in this shirt is so scratchy! I’d like to change into something more comfortable! Preferably in organic cotton!” But you can’t. So you get upset. And what’s the reaction from mom or dad? They tell you to use your words. Use your words! If you could, you would!