2014-THANKSgiving

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

How to Take a Toddler Grocery Shopping in 100 Easy Steps

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grocery-shopping-with-toddler Image via Shutterstock

1. Have a well written list complete with store layout map and coupons.

2. Pack snacks, books, child seat cart liner, and sanitizer.

3. Tell toddler it’s time to stop playing.

4. Explain to toddler why it’s time to stop playing.

5. Bargain with toddler and agree to let two toys accompany toddler in the car if they will just stop playing.

6. Wrestle toddler into car seat.

7. Start driving to store.

8. Pull over and retrieve toy from floor of the car.

9. Resume driving.

10. Tell toddler “no,” you aren’t pulling over again to retrieve the toy that is once again on the floor.

11. Listen to toddler cry.

12. Turn the radio up.

13. Arrive at store.

14. Debate with toddler about leaving the toys in the car.

15. Win debate and feel quite proud as you enter the store.

16. Sanitize entire shopping cart and place child seat liner inside child seat.

17. Put toddler in shopping cart.

18. Realize this particular cart has a broken safety belt.

19. Remove toddler.

20. Sanitize entire second shopping cart.

21. Place liner inside.

22. Place toddler inside liner and buckle toddler in.

23. Hand toddler snacks while looking for shopping list in purse.

24. Realize you left shopping list at home.

25. Look up to notice toddler licking the cart handle.

26. Thank God for sanitizer.

27. Silently curse yourself for forgetting shopping list and head off on an uncharted expedition.

28. Head to the deli first.

29. Silently curse the woman in front of you for taste testing every potato salad the world has ever made.

30. Turn around to find toddler dumping snacks on the floor.

31. Explain to toddler why we can’t eat off the floor.

32. Attempt to calm toddler’s tantrum.

33. Watch taste testing woman move on to taste testing salads and decide you don’t really need deli meat.

34. Head to produce and get bananas.

35. Explain to toddler why we can’t eat the bananas right now.

36. Attempt to calm toddler’s tantrum.

37. Give toddler a book.

38. Head to dairy aisle.

39. Check expiration dates on 9 gallons of milk while looking for the freshest one.

40. Overhear toddler calling a man with grey hair “grandpa.”

41. Apologize to man with grey hair.

42. Head to cracker aisle.

43. Explain to toddler why we can’t eat the crackers right now.

44. Attempt to calm toddler’s tantrum.

45. Wonder where toddler’s book went.

46. Realize you now no longer own the book.

47. Try and remember what was on your list.

48. Tell toddler to stop licking the cart handle.

49. Head to baking aisle.

50. Look for cake mix.

51. Turn around to see toddler has managed to rotate backwards in the seat despite the safety belt.

52. Unbuckle toddler, rotate facing forward, pull legs through leg hole, buckle tighter.

53. Resume looking at cake mixes.

54. Notice toddler has gotten both arms under safety belt and slid belt up to their neck.

55. Scold toddler and replace buckle to it’s appropriate location.

56. Resume looking at cake mixes.

57. Hear toddler loudly asking why someone has a big nose.

58. Hastily apologize, make no eye contact, and abandon the cake mixes.

59. Head to cereal aisle.

60. Explain to toddler why we can’t buy twelve kinds of marshmallow cereal.

61. Attempt to calm tantrum.

62. Wonder how and when toddler became in possession of a jar of mayonnaise.

63. Attempt to remove mayonnaise from toddler’s hands and replace with a cart item.

64. Watch toddler throw cart item in a fit of toddler rage.

65. Give toddler back mayonnaise and explain they can hold it, but it won’t be coming home with us.

66. Head back to produce to get forgotten apples.

67. Stop to look at the lobster tank.

68. Attempt to calm tantrum upon departure from lobster tank.

69. Get to the apples and look for the least bruised ones.

70. Look up to see toddler eating an apple.

71. Quickly remove apple from toddler and toss into produce bag.

72. Attempt to calm tantrum.

73. Fail at calming tantrum.

74. Feel eyes beating down upon you from every direction.

75. Become aware of how much a scream can echo off a commercial grade ceiling.

76. Abandon ideals of firm parenting, open, and thrust unpurchased box of crackers into your toddler’s lap.

77. Quickly start grabbing items you believe were on your grocery list, time is of the essence.

78. Turn around just in time to see toddler dump contents of cracker box on floor.

79. Explain why we don’t eat off the floor. Again

80. Fail at calming tantrum.

81. Make a beeline for the nearest checkout lane.

82. Silently curse the store for having 30 checkout lanes and only two open.

83. Get in line behind 5 people, one with two full carts.

84. Silently curse the person with two full carts.

85. Watch toddler pull Houdini moves to escape safety belt.

86. Attempt to distract toddler with keys, lip gloss, wallet, mirrored compact, and other purse contents.

87. Fail.

88. Explain to toddler why we can’t buy candy.

89. Be amazed at toddler’s lung power.

90. Apologize to everyone around you.

91. Avoid eye contact.

92. Watch toddler escape from safety belt again and wonder if it is safer to set toddler free or hold on to “now standing in the child seat” toddler’s arm.

93. Decide both are terrible plans and wrestle toddler back into seat while whispering life long time-out threats into toddler’s ear.

94. Apologetically throw all your purchases, including empty cracker box and half eaten apple at the cashier.

95. Forget to use your coupons.

96. Exit store feeling like you have run a marathon.

97. Drive home contemplating what you will make for dinner with bananas, milk, a half eaten apple, three boxes of marshmallow cereal, and mayonnaise.

98. Realize you forget child seat liner in shopping cart.

99. Silently curse grocery shopping and vow never to go again with toddler.

100. Turn around to see peacefully sleeping toddler in the car seat and realize how much you love motherhood. Most of the time. 

Related post: How To Get Your Toddler Into A Car In 40 Steps

20 Reasons My Two Year Old Had a Hard Day

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two-year-old-pouting Image via Shutterstock

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

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