Sunday, March 06, 2011

On Toddlerhood


I remember when Little One was still a tiny little thing. We waited with anticipation for her to say her first words. Pretty soon, the babbling and chattering came.  We'd oooh and ahhhh, and clap our hands with excitement each time she said something new.
Then she became a toddler. The pointing out the window and listing off everything she saw was so adorable. The way she pronounces things in her little chipmunk voice is just so stinkin' cute.  I mean really cute! Now she's forming simple sentences and is non-stop talking. Sure, we don't always understand what she says, but she manages to get her point across most of the time.

It's the other times when she can't make herself understood that she gets a little...scary. She doesn't throw temper tantrums like the kind all parents dread. You know the big-lay-myself-in-the-middle-of-the-shopping-mall-flinging-my-limbs-and-screaming-my-head-off-while-the-tears-flow-so-everyone-can-see-me tantrum? No, we've been lucky (knock on wood!) that we haven't had the pleasure of dealing with that (yet!).

We pretty much try to deal with things immediately by either A) trying to PREVENT the meltdown (usually it's because she's either hungry or tired), B) trying to DISTRACT her/divert her attention (offer her a toy to play with or a book to read and look at), C) trying to talk to her and explain things (not always successful since she is still just 2). The "You can't stand on top of the piano because it's dangerous" doesn't compute in a toddler's mind.

As a whole, Little One is a pretty easy-going, chilled out, happy toddler.  I love her. However, along with her new found "voice" and ability to articulate her wants and needs comes the occasional meltdown.  "No!" just happens to be one of her favourite words. Sometimes, in desperation, she adds the "No, pleeeeeeeeease!" if she is really in opposition of what we ask of her.

Me: [Little One], please don't mash your potatoes between your fingers. Oh! We don't throw our food when we're done. That's not nice.

Little One: No!

Me: Give me your plate, please. You're done.

LO: NO!

Me: AH! Please do not put your squash in your cup! Milk is for drinking! (as I remove her cup and plate)

LO: (reaching for her plate and cup) Nooooooooo, peeeeeeeeeas! Peeeeeeeeeeeeas, Mama! Nooooooo!

OR

Little One: (pulling at my shirt while I'm cooking supper) Come on now, Mama!

Me: Honey, I'll be with you in a minute. Mama's cooking supper.

LO: Come on NOW, Mama! (tugging even harder at my shirt)

Me: Soon, Baby Girl! Come, sit and play with your toy while Mama cooks! Isn't that fun?

LO: NO! Come on now, Mama! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeas!?!?! (as she throws herself onto the floor and cries her heart out)

I know I should be cherishing every moment because children grow up so quickly. These early years are so special. Little One is so much fun and she's just so funny, and witty, and adorable! At the same time, I sometimes wonder if I'll survive the toddler years! Oh, I know I will. It's just that some days are pretty unreal. Today, for example. Little One was *supposed* to be napping, but when I went upstairs from cooking lunch for the boys, what should I see? Little One *not* in her bed or in her bedroom, but in the living room where I was painting the walls! She had a paint roller in her hand and had painted ALL OVER her face and limbs! Yes, my toddler was COVERED in Cerulean blue! I almost had a heart attack.

I'm sure one of these days, I'll look back on this and think it was funny. I know I'll miss these days when she's a teenager.

Parenthood. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. :)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son Kenneth, now 26 and dealing with his own 18 month old, threw a temper tantrum in the grocery store once. I look at him and said very loudly, " I wonder who's little boy that is." then walked a little further down the aisle till he stopped.

hotmommy said...

amen to that sister! when our two oldest were toddlers i put them on time outs or i'd just ignore them until they stopped crying. if you ignore her she'll eventually stop.

Cait said...

awww :) i would the kids i babysit for in time outs too because sometimes they need to understand that what they are doing is wrong. don't worry- it'll get better :)

Palm Springs Savant said...

Sometimes I just watch my brother and Sister in law with their kids and I wonder, how do they do it?? It is amazingly hard work

C said...

Anon:
Haha! I can picture you doing that! :) I need to take a page out of your book. You seem so chilled out and so easy going. I saw your "It's just paint" comment on FB and thought "Yeah! You're right! It's *just* paint!".

I need a girls day out with you, K, and N soon! :) xx

C said...

HM:
I definitely know she's not at the point where she understands time outs yet. I know many people have told me to let ignore her and she'll eventually stop. It's not something I'd do though. I know it works for some, but I don't think it's the approach for us. I think I'll have to write a post about this very topic sometime! :) xoxo

C said...

Cait:
Thanks for this comment, and thank you for popping by my blog :) My husband likes to call this "The TERRIFIC Twos" and not "The Terrible Twos". :)

C said...

Rick:
Have I told you lately how much I love your comments??? I (big fat fuzzy heart) you!

Calfkeeper said...

Haha...you are right; raising little ones is not for the faint of heart.

Hope you and LO recovered from the paint incident.

Calfkeeper said...

Oh yes. I have never even tried to do time outs, I didn't think it would work. And I haven't really tried the walk away from her thing either. I just keep on doing what I am doing and let her go for it; usually while she's at my feet. (Unless we are in public, then I get her out of the building, to spare everyone else.)
Eventually she realizes she's not going to get what she wants or whichever, and she will quit.

Now at age 4 she's into this reasoning gig; she tries to talk her way out of things or into getting things.

And one piece of advice I read somewhere is for the adult to NOT fall into trying to explain an dreason with a child who is in the middle of a tantrum; they aren't listening adn are not going to submit to reason. They are totally in the throes of an emotional meltdown, so logic isn't going to work. I just try to ride the squall wave out, distract her, and things eventually settle down.

C said...

Calf Keeper:
Everyone was asking for photos, since they know I'm all about the photos! This time, however, I didn't even *think* about grabbing my camera! All I could think about was "OH. MY. GOODNESS. How am I going to get all that paint off of you, child?!?!" Hahaha!

C said...

CK:
Yes, I think I'll have to write an entirely separate post about that very subject! :) I also read that about toddlers and meltdowns (not trying to reason with them because they just can't hear you when in the throes of a meltdown).

I don't do the "walk away from the situation" thing. For me (and this is just me here), I feel that it isn't right for my child or me.

I feel that it can be terrifying and overwhelming for a toddler when going through moments of being out of control due to these new feelings they express and they have a hard time expressing them effectively (anger or frustration). For me, if I'm near Little One when she's screaming or crying (in my mind, at least!) it gives her the emotional protection, and helps to absorb and dissolve those super, angry, frustrated feelings. That's just how I feel though. I just wouldn't feel right walking away.

Frau Guten Tag said...

I definitely understand! I've been referring to my son as a "toddler" since he turned 1, BUT just this month (22 months, I know he's still younger than Little One) he has really changed & is definitely a toddler. He's talking, saying new things every day, & is making his needs/wants known--it is cute & amazing but also oh so frustrating!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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