How To Cook Dinner With A Toddler In 100 Steps

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1. Tell your toddler you need to cook dinner.

2. Suggest to your toddler that he/she go play with his/her toy kitchen.

3. Say to your toddler “Mommy/Daddy is going to make something yummy. Would you also like to make something yummy in your kitchen?”

4. Silently thank God that your toddler is actually taking you up on this idea.

5. Start making dinner.

6. Scrub the potatoes.

7. Fill a pot with water.

8. Crush some garlic.

9. Boil some water.

10. Ask your toddler if he/she also wants to boil some water in his/her play kitchen.

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11. Remind your toddler that he/she doesn’t need real water and explain that he/she can just use the pretend water from his/her pretend faucet.

12. Ask your toddler to calm down.

13. Since your toddler is not calming down, tell your toddler to go ahead and get a BPA free plastic cup and get some real water.

14. Stress to your toddler that he/she should only get a little bit of water.

15. Realize that it may have been a big mistake to tell your toddler to pretend to boil water.

16. Take the fish/poultry/meat out of the fridge.

17. Notice your toddler at the fridge ready to fill his/her BPA free plastic cup from the water dispenser.

18. Offer to help your toddler.

19. Explain to your toddler that we don’t swat one another in this house.

20. Stand back while your toddler loudly yells “I. SAID. DON’T. HELP. ME!”

21. Watch helplessly as your toddler fills up his/her BPA free plastic cup until water overflows all over the kitchen floor.

22. Resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

23. Try to comfort your toddler.

24. Run upstairs for a towel.

25.Run upstairs again for a really large towel.

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26. Clean up the water, carefully sliding your toddler out of the way, since he/she is still lying in a heap on the floor.

27. Ask your toddler if there is anything you can do to help him/her feel better.

28. Tell your toddler that he/she can’t have a lollipop because dinner is going to be served soon.

29. Remind your toddler that it’s not nice to scratch people.

30. Notice that you are bleeding slightly and lay a hearty dose of guilt on your toddler by saying “See, you hurt Mommy/Daddy.”

31. Let your toddler gently cup your face as he/she says “Sowee Mommy/Daddy. Now can I please have a wollipop?”

32. Give your toddler the bag of lollipops and ask him/her to select one.

33. Explain that there aren’t any more blue lollipops.

34. Your toddler will want to know why.

35. Remind your toddler that he/she already ate all the blue lollipops. In one day.

36. Explain that “No, Mommy/Daddy can’t go get more blue lollipops right now because I am cooking dinner.”

37. Remind your toddler that we don’t throw lollipops in this house … and we certainly don’t throw an entire bag of lollipops.

38. Try to comfort your toddler.

39. Try to change the subject and distract your toddler.

40. Ask your toddler if he/she would like to help set the table.

41. Your toddler will immediately b-line it for the cutlery drawer.

42. Quickly season the fish/poultry/meat while your toddler is getting the forks.

43. Preheat the oven.

44. Praise your toddler for doing such a good job putting the forks on the table.

45. Ask your toddler to please go get the napkins.

46. Quickly fix the forks while your toddler isn’t watching.

47. Turn around to discover that your toddler has noticed you messing with his/her forks.

48. Hold your breath as your angry toddler comes storming towards you.

49. Remind your toddler that we don’t throw silverware.

50. Duck.

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51. Try to comfort your toddler.

52. Ask your toddler if he/she will please help pick up the forks.

53. Thank your toddler for helping.

54. Ask your toddler if he/she would like a tissue.

55. When your toddler goes to get his/herself a tissue, quickly fold the napkins which were dropped on the floor during his/her tirade.

56. Add the potatoes to the boiling water.

57. Ask your toddler if he/she wants to watch Doc McStuffins.

58. Explain that you can’t go outside and play right now because you are still cooking.

59. Ask your toddler if he/she wants to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse instead.

60. Wonder why you can’t just have a toddler that likes to watch TV.

61. Invite the toddler to help you dry the lettuce in the salad spinner.

62. Explain to your toddler, after five full minutes of spinning, that the salad spinner needs a nap.

63. Allow your toddler to taste the lettuce.

64. Remind your toddler that we don’t spit in this house.

65. Ask your toddler to please go get a napkin and clean up the spit up lettuce.

66. Immediately realize what an idiot you are for bringing back up the topic of napkins.

67. Watch your toddler march over to the table.

68. Watch as your toddler notices that someone else has already put out the napkins.

69. Watch your toddler snatch each and every napkin off the table and crumple it into a ball.

70. Watch your toddler throw all of the crumpled napkin balls onto the floor.

71. Ask your toddler if he/she feels better now.

72. Try to comfort your toddler.

73. Apologize to your toddler for putting the napkins out and say “Mommy/Daddy made a silly mistake and forgot it was your turn to put out the napkins”.

74. Gently pat your toddlers back.

75. Suggest that your toddler might want to put the napkins back on the table.

76. Watch your toddler carefully place each crumpled napkin back on the table.

77. Rinse the cucumbers and tomatoes.

78. Slice the cucumbers and tomatoes.

79. Ask your toddler if he/she wants to help make the mashed potatoes.

80. Pray that he/she says no.

81. Put on a fake smile when he/she says yes.

82. Help your toddler drag a chair over to the kitchen counter.

83. Remind your toddler that the potatoes are very hot.

84. Get out the milk and butter.

85. Get out the potato masher.

86. Strain the potatoes and then dump them into a large mixing bowl.

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87. Let your toddler help mash the really hot potatoes.

88. Ask your toddler if you can have a turn now.

89. Warn your toddler that he/she has one more minute until it’s your turn.

90. Let your toddler know that his/her minute is up.

91. Warn your toddler that you are going to count to three if he/she doesn’t give you the potato masher.

92. Count to three.

93. Try to comfort your toddler while you finish mashing the warm potatoes.

94. Add milk and butter to the potatoes.

95. Continue trying to comfort your toddler while you season the luke warm mashed potatoes.

96. Let your toddler add some extra salt to the almost cold mashed potatoes. Okay – a lot of extra salt.

97. Toss the salad.

98. Call the other kids down for dinner.

99. Give your family the death stare when they ask why the napkins are crumpled up and the mashed potatoes are ice cold.

100. Suddenly realize you forgot to cook the fish/poultry/meat.

Related post: How to Take a Toddler Grocery Shopping in 100 Easy Steps

The 10 Dumbest Things I’ve Said to My Toddlers

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Since having kids, I tend to say things I’ve never said and do things I’ve never done. Being a mom has made me rattle off the dumbest questions and most pointless sentences of my life. Some so ridiculous that after I say it, I think to myself: “What does that even mean?” Here’s a few examples of things I’ve said recently:

1. “If you don’t get your shoes on I’m leaving without you.” Seriously, where am I going to go without her? Legally, I can only go in the back yard. Or the garage.

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2. “Do you want me to spank you?” How many children actually answer, “yes” to this question?

3. “If you don’t clean up that mess, you’re going straight to bed.” Also, it’s two in the afternoon.

4. “If you don’t stop, I’m turning this car around and we’re going home.” This only ever happens on days when we have to be someplace like the doctor, the bank, or preschool.

5. “You have 30 seconds to get those toys cleaned up or I’m throwing them all away.” Throwing away “all those toys” is an awful lot of work. I have no desire to partake in an activity of this nature.

6. “If you don’t eat, I’m not going to give you any more dinner.” This pretty much makes no sense.

7. “I’m going to count to three and you better stop, or else.” Even I don’t know what else.

8. “Are you trying to make me mad?” Silly. My toddlers don’t deliberately try to make me mad. They just ignore me until my eyes cross, and my head spins.

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9. “If you don’t start listening, I’m going to stop talking.” Said the mom to the toddlers who aren’t listening.

10. “If you don’t stop playing with your food, I’m going to take it away.” Chances are if they aren’t eating; they aren’t hungry or don’t want it. Duh.

I’m going to have to step it up and change my game for when they get older and start to realize that the upper hand has pretty much always been theirs. Until then, they have 30 seconds or else…

Related post: 5 Tips For Surviving The Toddler Tantrum

Dear Toddler, Screw Your Tantrums



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.

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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?”

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

You Know You Have A Toddler When…

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1. You know you have a toddler when you hate your spouse a little. Toddlers can destroy your marriage if you let them. The stress of living in an insane asylum with a child who makes you want to fall on your own sword will take a toll on your personal relationship. People without a toddler of their own will not understand how someone so cute will make you want to be single and living in a studio apartment with only a bottle of Jose Cuervo to keep you company, but this is the truth. Do your best to not let your little cockblock tear your love life apart. You don’t actually hate your spouse, it just feels like it because you hate life. Remember: You’re in a warzone. You need back up.

2. You’ve no longer fantasize about being rich, famous, beautiful, talented, or any of the above. Your fantasies center around sleep. You dream about being rested and floating away on a California King bed that you can lay on in a starfish formation. Most people of think of sleep deprivation in terms of infants, but toddlers have the potential to steal just as many Zs as their infant brethren. It’s a hard truth to swallow, but with a toddler you will be more physically and emotionally tired than you have ever been, while also dealing with levels of twilight shenanigans that will astonish you on a nightly basis. Infants don’t scream in your face. Infants don’t run in to traffic.

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3. You have become a shut-in. Hopefully, you have a backyard because other than work, you’re going to lose your will to leave the house. It just won’t be worth it anymore. Why deal with getting a toddler dressed, carseat drama, and a potential meltdown in public when you can just become a recluse? Groceries are available for purchase online.

4. You’ve ever had to drag a kid out of a store under your arm like a bundle of firewood in front of a crowd of gawking strangers. Good for you. Angry whispering can only get you so far. Sometimes you have to show a kid that you mean business and abandon that cart of groceries. Don’t abandon the wine, though. That’s crazy. Pay for the wine.

5. You regularly open packages of food in stores to keep your baboon quiet while you shop. Don’t worry; it’s not shoplifting until you forget to pay for it.

6. You’ve ever had to alert a store employee to the fact that your kid has urinated on their floor. Hey, better a linoleum floor than a stack of neatly folded sweaters. Bonus points if your toddler has ever thrown up in public. On you. When you don’t have a change of clothes.

7. You sometimes wish you had a time machine and a condom.

8. You have stress-induced heart palpitations. No, your child is not trying to kill you but they might by accident.

9. You’ve seriously considered starting a new life in a new city. If you do this, be sure to cut up your credit cards. They can track you.

10. You have more gates up in your home that the local zoo.

11. You know that sometimes “My phone is charging” is code for “I need you to lay off my shit and play with your own toys.”

12. Your sex life has come to a standstill. Toddlers are natural birth control. Their antics will cause your sex organs to shrivel into your body and seal off.

13. You’ve seriously researched sleep-away preschools and boarding school for two year-olds.

14. You know more about the cast of Jake And The Never Land Pirates than your mom.

15. Every one of your cabinets has some kind of lock on it.

16. Bath time in your house looks like an episode of Wipeout.

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17. All four food groups can be found between your couch cushions.

18. You’ve had to say “Stop eating out of the trash” in the last 24 hours.

19. A small child has recently blown his or her nose into your shirt.

20. You would give your molars for a free, reliable babysitter. Who needs to chew meat when you can go out for drinks anytime?

Excerpt from Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault, run with permission.

Related post: Dear Toddler, Screw Your Tantrums – Scary Mommy