Living with a Toddler: 7 Quick Takes on Survival
Living with a toddler is like living with a hurricane. Hanging out with Kelly & crew to tell you how I’m semi-surviving having a tot again.
It’s my third time having a two and a half year old, and thank GOD because I know now it’s not permanent. They will, WILL, grow in their prefrontal cortexes and become semi-rational. SEMI. My favorite book for this stage (and all kids, really) is this one. It changed my expectations so I no longer freaked out about the tot not listening. Because they kinda can’t.
The hitting continues. Now he’ll warn you. I HIT YOU, MAMA. or I NO LIKE YOU SO I BITE YOU! So at least there’s a head’s up. He also throws things with remarkable accuracy. Hard heavy things. At people’s heads.
Refusal to get dressed in that outfit.
This is a first for us. MonsterTot will not wear certain clothes on certain days. He eschews long sleevers unless they’re proclaimed “hockey jerseys” or “Joe Mauer Power Batting Shirts.” He also is wise to the fact that unless there’s a number on the back, it’s not actually a jersey.
I bought this sweater and told him it was a hockey jersey. It’s the only sweater he likes. I should buy a few more.
That food is YUCKY. No, it IS YUCKY. he says about his former favorites. All the time. Ellyn Sattler has a great guide on providing options and then letting the kid decide and starve if necessary. They won’t starve. Promise.
He could be worse in the food department (loves ethnic food, hates white crackers) but I just wish it were consistent. Me and every mom in America. (No, we’re aren’t Bringing Up Bebe so, no, he doesn’t eat Rochfort cheese.)
His Winter Coat.
This is even more dire than getting into certain outfits. The dreaded winter coat. He’ll wear the rain coat, no problem. But the winter coat (much less hats & more) is so so abysmally affronting to his dignity, it is a real battle.
I just make him wear it and put him outside. If he persists in gnawing and ripping it off his lifeless chest, he can come back in. And then repeat. Multiple times.
Naps & Sleep.
He’s still napping a solid 2+ hours an afternoon because I am stubborn and make my kids nap for an eternity (SweetPea still does at 4.5). He wants books, a million songs, and then for me to lay down on his brother’s lower bunk across the room from his crib.
Did I mention he’s still in a crib? And I LOVE that he is because then I know where he is. Eventually he’ll migrate to the lower bunk, but toddler jail for life!
I want two books, a quick rendition of Tantum Ergo, and then to say GOOD BYE SLEEP FOREVER. So we compromise. But sometimes he protests for a long long time. And then I check for a poop. And then tell him to go back to sleep.
Talking & Whining.
I love the burgeoning vocab! I loathe the whining, but am resigned that it’s also a form of communication (along with screaming, screeching, and wailing). I do my best to address the issue that is causing the distress, or at least acknowledge and be sympathetic. Often distraction or bait & switch is all that works. And I no longer get triggered by his incantations because I don’t expect anything less!
How’s living with your tot? What are your survival skills??