Monday, July 23, 2012

Toddlers Are A Rare Breed.

Surviving Motherhood is one thing but nothing, I repeat nothing, prepares you for mothering a toddler. 


Toddlers are a rare breed. One minute you are gazing upon them lovingly, wondering how in the world you were ever so lucky as to have been blessed with such a wonderful human being, a perfectly melded miniature reflection of both you and your partner. 


And the next minute? You're calling local circuses and trying to barter with them to come and take said toddler away. 



When mothering a toddler you need to be prepared for anything and everything. And I mean anything. Although I only have a single toddler year underneath my proverbial Mom-Belt, I will be the first to tell you it was the single most trying year of parenthood I have ever experienced. 


This past year has made the first two weeks of Newborn-dom seem like a cake walk. How come nobody tells you these things? How to survive mothering a toddler is like one giant well kept secret.



You may be saying to yourselves, "AP, get to the point. Tell us what is so trying about the toddler years." And oh, don't worry. I'm about to. 

Let's start with the absolutely, freakishly unreasonable demands, for starters. Demands such as bathing with one's dinner plate, wearing one's obvious pajama shirt to run public errands in and using one's baby brother as a foot rest. 

My toddler demands each of these on an almost daily basis and I've now learned that a) bathing with one's dinner plate means one less plate to wash in the dishwasher b) nobody cares if your two year old wears his jammie shirt to Hobby Lobby as long as you can keep him from emptying the check-out candy counter into your cart and c) 10lb infants can withstand quite a bit of weight resting on their bums. 

But don't get me wrong, I tried to fight each of the above mentioned bears for quite some time. In fact, I would turn almost blue in the face while patiently explaining to my toddler that dinner plates belong in the sink, jammies are for night-night time only and baby brothers are not for resting on. 

Although, I will admit, it is quite difficult to tell your toddler he cannot wear his jammies to Hobby Lobby when Mommy, herself, is clearly wearing the same black yoga pants to run errands in that she slept in over night. 

Not only are toddlers King and Queen of Unreasonable Demands, but they are also notorious for tantrums. Before I proceed, I love a good tantrum as much as the next kid. There are plenty of days where, by 4:30pm, I'm about ready to lay on the floor kicking and screaming. However as adults, we at least have the option of kicking and screaming our way into a bottle of wine after lunch. Toddlers do not. 

I have to wonder how one so small can go from zero to limp-fish-kicking-and-screaming-on-the-market-floor in mere seconds and over something as small as having your waffle cut in two, rather than being given it whole, something that, mind you, has never happened in your two years of life. 

Now would be the time when I would appreciate a Toddler Survival Guide or at least some sort of quick and dirty instruction manual. 

I understand that tantrums are a normal part of toddler development and it's purely them struggling with their tiny need for independence and frustration when it comes to communication- but for the love of all things holy, a simple shout and shake of the head would do. 

Falling to the floor in a fit of legs and arms, yells and screams is highly unnecessary, especially when it causes those around us to wonder if I am, in fact, your mother and not some stranger attempting to kidnap you. 

Although, I do have to wonder WHY anyone would EVER want to kidnap said kicking and screaming banshee. 

Toddlers. They are a rare breed indeed.

33 comments :

  1. They really are. I always say it, they balance out the crazy with the cute. I guess it's the only reason we end up keeping them, yea? We've not really had a lot of public meltdowns..but yesterday, I took Eme into a pizza shop to pick up an order after church. She was exhausted, and I knew I was on edge with getting her home. She kept picking up bags of chips and fruit snacks (WHY DO THEY HAVE FRUIT SNACKS THERE?) and I'd put them back, explain to her that I got her pizza, etc. On the last time? SHE LOST IT. On the floor. Sceaming! freaking out. went limp. I always try to act insanely freakishly calm in those situations. I try not to look around me. BUT OMG I WANT TO. So I can smack every judging eye. But I don't. I scooped the screaming child up in my 38 week pregnant arms and walked right outside (small pizza shop, so it was easy). THEN? The pizza guys brought my order to my car.

    Further proof there should be curbside for moms like us with toddlers. And newborns. And yea.

    So--lesson learned. Bring my food to my car and no one gets hurt. I mean, tantrummed.

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  2. This reaffirms that m kid s normal, thanks for this.

    When my toddler was a wee little one we always left the house with a cute bow and. Matching outfit and now? Well most days she is wearing mismatched socks, a princess shirt and her hair is all over the place. Heaven for bid I make her look cute.

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  3. Oh love- I hear you 100%!!! Now that both my two are toddlers I said "WTF was I thinking" having them so close together! I've heard it does get better though so cheers to our wine and prayers for our sanity! Xoxox

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  4. I love this post! I'm so glad that my kids are not the only ones with unreasonable demands. My daughter wore a flannel nightgown to the grocery store yesterday afternoon. I tried to fight her, but realized...why bother. She'll figure it out on her own when she walks outside and it's 93 degrees!

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  5. Our first wasn't a tantrum kid. He was too busy running crazy 24/7 to have any (at 6 he likes the have drama moments which is an entirely new kind of tantrum). Now our daughter (who is 2.5) has epic tantrums. She loves throwing herself down and screaming. I love when she does it in a parking lot. That is always fun. Or the grocery store when she climbs out of the shopping cart and I put her back. I usually just try to ignore her (well not when we are in public when we are at home) and walk away. You become immune to the screaming after awhile:)

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  6. HA! Freaking love this. I'm already dreading the toddler years. Ben, at 8 months, I SWEAR, is already turning into a toddler, bit by bit. He's currently on a hunger strike regarding wearing clothing, going to bed, and eating anything besides pears. Oh, there's joy coming my way fo' sho'...

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  7. If you get that manual, could you send me a copy? I'm just so grateful for Twitter so I can ask you all if G's outrageous behavior is normal. Because sometimes? I'm afraid he's going to end up in jail if his behavior doesn't improve.

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  8. We did not experience the terrible twos with my first but with my second? Hold on to your hats people. The epic tantrums are coming.

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  9. I feel ya momma! This post cracks me up! You're doing a great job! It's part of being '2'---so just hold on to your yoga pants---because it gets wilder at 2! :) HOORAY!

    xoxoxo

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  10. Everytime I see a new baby I remember how much work I thought it was. How frazzled I was all.the.time. Now I wish all I had was a baby who ate, pooped and slept! Don't get me wrong, the newborn phase is a whole different level of hard, but I'm now convinced nothing compares to the toddler. Oi vey!

    We got an early preview to the terrible 2's right around his 1st birthday. Now things are actually calming down a bit. Calm before the storm? Probably.

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  11. Oof. I will be coming to you in 2 years for advice on how to handle a screaming toddler that wants waffles not cut and plates in the bath. You're doing a swimmingly fantastic job momma ;)

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  12. Thank you for posting this! I'm only babysitting a toddler this summer, and his tantrums have confirmed that I don't want kids! We went on a walk around our neighborhood last week and I brought him a nutrigrain bar in case he wanted a snack. Halfway in he said "nack" so I broke the bar in half and gave it to him. Holy cow that was a bad idea. He got so mad because he apparently wanted it whole. He screamed, and kicked until I just gave him the whole thing {I gave in because I didn't want people to think I was kidnapping him} He then cheered up until he realized he had gotten some of said "nack" all over his hands while he was throwing his fit. He doesn't like to be dirty. Upon realizing he was dirty, he threw an even louder tantrum and crumbled his "nack" in his hands making him dirtier and then angrier by the second. I sprinted home, I was so embarrassed. I have never ran so fast in my life. I no longer judge parents who have toddlers who have tantrums while out in public. Lesson learned, they are in fact a rare breed!

    I think you are doing a fabulous job by the way!

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  13. Loving this post. I have 2 toddlers and life with them is crazy. Everyday is different and I never know what to expect. Some days can be a complete challenge with them and other days are a breeze. I'm kinda scared to see what life is going to be like come november when we welcome baby #3.

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  14. My stomach just started hurting remembering those toddler years, which btw, lasted until age 6/7 with my son.

    I have no advice. Just survive it anyway you can without the authorities being called.

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  15. Luckily, Hannah was never a tantrum thrower....but then she hit 3 years old and started to do things she knew she wasn't supposed to.myou know, the talking back, saysing no...so while we skipped one thing, the next hit full force. Fun times!

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  16. There are moments where I really truly feel like I have messed up my kid. The tantrums make me feel like I've jacked this thing all up.

    They are tough.

    Just last week, the Hubs and I had to carry a wailing, screaming child out of the grocery store. We felt the daggers, but you know what if you've had a child you've been there, done that so they can judge away.

    Hang in there. These toddlers are challenging at times, but they have to be easier than teenagers right?

    We'll look back on these times and think it was such a small glimpse of time in the grand scheme of things, but some days I feel like I need to start over.

    Good thing they are so stinkin' cute!

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  17. Oh yes. I FEEL YOU. I definitely have a strong-willed toddler, and am learning to seriously pick my battles, because when we battle, it is crucial that I win. And sometimes, it's just not worth battling for 3 and a half hours about whether or not she can wear one tennis shoe and one flip flop to the supermarket. Or why a sweatshirt in 100 degree weather is not a good idea. LOL.

    Great post!

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  18. This does not excite me for the future with Quinn. It sounds like it might change my mind on wanting to have two, let alone three, children. Oy vey!

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  19. I can't stop laughing. i know that's a mean thing to say...but I swear I don't mean it to be mean - just that the way you write has me giggling under my breath.

    I'm reading Bringing Up Bebe and hoping to avoid the whole tantrum thing altogether...somehow I'm guessing that is NOT an option....le sigh.

    With that in mind, I feel like it's only fair to share an embarrassing story since I just told you that I laughed at your frustrations and that I won't have any tantrums (the second one is only a hope, not fact): this weekend P, who is my lovely never-do-anything-wrong toddler of 18 months got woken up too early by the dog and proceeded to have one tantrum after another while we were at her auntie's house...her auntie who is expecting. In fact, by the early afternoon P was running around the living room, hitting every single thing out of sheer frustration before attempting to shove herself into the small crack behind the couch and leave nasty snot all over her auntie's couch. I looked like a wicked winner too as I sat there and watched it happen, trying to calmly explain to my sister in law that these things happen and that she's frustrated and just needs some time to cool off. If dirty looks could kill as she comforted my screaming, hitting, biting little tot while I shrugged.

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  20. Do you know how many times I've said over the past three weeks, ZOMG I forgot how EASY a newborn is? ... I mean, it sure as heck didn't feel easy when Evalyn was born. And I would never, ever, ever downplay a first time new mom's experience .. but I know when I was in the throes of Evalyn's first year, it did NOT feel easy. But now that I can look back on it? And compare it to her second year? Oh, heavens. A couple of times since Gwen was born I've been able to leave Eva with a Nana or Papa and just take Gwen with me, to the midwife, the grocery store, etc etc ... and IT IS SO EASY. She doesn't ask for ALL!THE!THINGS! she sees. LOL

    Also ... apparently Evan was a wicked climber as a toddler and Evalyn has recently acquired this habit. In the past 3 days I have removed her from a) standing on top of the toilet tank (once completely naked), b) the dining room table, multiple times c) sitting on the window ledge that dividies our living room/dining room and d) from my landlord's Vespa in the garage.

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  21. Your post is so very accurate! I'm a momma of 4, currently dealing with my 3rd toddler. Yea... Thanks for posting. It's nice to be reminded that my kid isn't the only crazy one. :)

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  22. Oh my dear friend, I have no words other than I COMPLETELY get you. I have a video of Bennett throwing one of his famously awesome tantrums on my blog somewhere in the archives....you would die. I think if we as mothers, are alive at the end of the day, it's a success. Ha ha

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  23. If I had a nickle for every time I threatened to, A) send my kid to the "baby pound", B) Sell her to the gypsies C) leave her at the circus or D) make a killing on the baby black market I'd be a rich woman.

    Also, I have no advice since my parenting motto is fake it til you make it, but I thought I'd offer some solidarity.

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  24. Bathing with your dinner plate sounds like a solid plan. Just sayin'.....

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  25. Oh, the Toddler Meltdown. God Bless the toddler meltdown... love love love this post. Oh, and last week? We ran errands in a tutu bathing suit, with leg warmers and flip flops... proudly. =)

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  26. Oh yes, a rare breed indeed. It's absolutely mind boggling that you can want to drop kick them out the front door one moment and the squeeze them with every ounce of love you have the next. Hmm, tricky, tricky breed!

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  27. Ok, so were you watching me at the mall tonight? Then you would have seen me and J trying to calm down Rhys while firmly explaining that mommy and daddy are the boss. (Who are we kidding?!) Then he rode home in my car and cried the ENTIRE WAY home because he wanted to ride in daddy's car. Thing is? He would be crying for mama if he was with daddy! Toddlers... (smh)

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  28. Completely agree. I've given up trying to explain that jammies are jammies and that t-shirts cannot be worn multiple days in a row. Who cares if she wears the same Dora shirt all week to school? (ok I do) And E takes a fork to the tub every single night. I don't even try to get it. Or she has to sleep with a book. Or the fact that she absolutely positively cannot let me fix her shoes so nine times out of ten, they're on the wrong feet. Oh good times.

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  29. Are they EVER!!! Terrible 2's? Kal started at 16 months and if it gets worse? Let me tell you, there is not enough wine/vodka/lime-a-rita's in the world.

    So glad it's not just me. I dont know how mom's get through toddlerhood that dont drink. I dont get it.

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  30. I am just now arriving at the Toddler Tantrum Terminal. I actually took Ryan to the pediatrician yesterday because I thought he had an ear infection. You know, cuz of the increasingly incessant whinyness. But his ears looked "perfect." Diagnosis: He's a toddler.

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  31. I am in the same boat right now. My toddler will ask me for milk and then cry and swat at it when I give it to him. So I put it on the counter and walk away; two seconds later he's grabbed it off the counter and is drinking. WHY? He aks for bread, I put it on his plate, and he won't eat it. Cries like I gave him something revolting. WHY? He's cuddling me one second and kicking me the next. Oh toddlers.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

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  32. Wait until he turns three. Just wait :)

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  33. Wait until he turns three. Just wait (insert evil laughter) ;)

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