Tired Mom Tales from the Toddler Trenches

“Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for.” –Jerry Seinfield

Tired Mom Tales from the Toddler TrenchesYessssssss! Absolutely true. My youngest is very sweet, affectionate, and an overall good listener. Did I luck out and get to skip those awful terribles? Halfway through being two, I started seeing more defiance and tantrums, but these were all mild up until she turned 3 years old. Then all hades broke loose.

Toddler Power Struggles

It started with her not wanting to get dressed for school in the mornings. She would kick, scream, and run off. I would chase her around the house to put clothes on her, and we would repeat the same scenario at bath time and the next morning. A friend suggested that I try giving her clothing options to pick from instead. Hah! Whatta ya know? It worked for her and helped us ease into a more calm morning routine. 

Our family loves road trips, so all of my kids are used to being in the car for long periods of time. All of a sudden the car seat is now the most hated place to be for my toddler and we can’t even get in the car to go to school or the grocery store. She gets really upset when she knows that we are about to get in the car, and makes her body rigid so that we can’t attach the 5-point harness. It takes a lot to buckle her in, and even then, driving with a toddler kicking the back of your chair and screaming at the top of her lungs is unbearable. 

Mealtime Mayhem

All of her favorite meals are now met with a scowl and followed with “I don’t like this!” It’s a wonder that I am even able to get any meal made for dinner so making the toddler something different isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I’ve learned that if I leave her plate on the table long enough, she will eventually come back to it. This saves me and her from having a power struggle and quite honestly, I’m just too tired at this time of day to fight.

Her new favorite thing to shout is NOOOOOO. Not just no, but screaming in your face no followed by lots of OOOOOOOOOOOOs. Even things that she enjoys and wants to do is a no first and then I can see the confused look on her face like “Wait a sec, I like this and I do want it.” There were a few times when my older kids offered her the last bite of something and she said no. Then she quickly changed her mind, but her sibling had already devoured the last of it. A full blown tantrum ensued, so her siblings have learned to give it a minute or two to let her change her mind about things.

Our family no longer eats out at restaurants unless we absolutely have to. We enjoy our meals in take-out boxes at home where we know that it will be okay for the toddler to be herself. YouTube, games, coloring pages and chips and queso will only buy us about 15 minutes max at the restaurant. She will attempt to climb out of the high chair, booster or seat and want to be under the table. Then she will want to walk up to other people’s tables and stare at them eating. When we return her to our table, she will go limp on the floor and cry. I see other eyes on us when this happens and I try my best to calm her without making a bigger scene. The older children are cringing with their eyes fixed on their plates and my youngest boy is helping me coax his little sister into helping him with something to distract her. My hubby scarfs down his meal and quickly wisks her outside to run around and I sit down at my now cold meal and remind my kids that she is just being a toddler with a short attention span. She IS just being a toddler right?

At-Home Toddler Shenanigans

Remember the clothing situation before? It’s now a “I want to be a nakey baby!” thing. She undresses herself randomly and is stark naked running about {She’s peed on the floor a few times} and I have to give her the whole everyone has to wear clothes spiel. Sigh.

She loves the makeup from my makeup table and has destroyed most of my makeup palates {insert cry from momma}, picked apart all of the deodorant in the house, applied lotion from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet and smeared some extra on the mirrors, practiced her ABCs with markers on our bedroom door {in her defense, they were washables}, ripped the baby gate from the bottom stairwell and taken some of the sheet rock with it, gotten into my work bag and found my box of food color dusts and emptied them all in a big pile on the carpet {we now have a 12″ diameter of a   permanent brownish stain}, drawn all over her body with markers (we’ve gotten rid of all the markers in this house but she still manages to find them), and squeezed every tube of toothpaste out and the list just goes on. I repeatedly tell my husband and older kids to find her if she is quiet and/or she is out of eyesight. She is quick and quiet as a mouse but they never learn.

Running…Then Clinging

The toddler is a runner. She runs in the opposite direction when we are rounding the corner to her classroom every morning. I love taking her for walks but she has to hold my hand at all times {which she hates because she wants to be independent and explore}. She may be small but boy can she run or maybe I’m just out of shape. She runs through the grocery store the minute I let her out of the shopping cart. She is now only allowed to go on short grocery runs. How does she have so much energy??  

She is a stage five clinger. She wants mommy for everything. I can’t even go to the restroom without her trying to get inside to see if it’s a pee pee or poop poo. Sometimes I have to work from home at night but it’s impossible to do because she wants me to put her to bed. On nights that I’m really exhausted, I accidentally fall asleep {I hate when that happens} but there is still so much to be done. So I’m up around midnight and work until 3 a.m.

I just love her so much. Sometimes I just cry along with her when I’m trying to calm her down from her toddler tantrums. I feel helpless and defeated. We all try to diffuse possible temper tantrum situations before they even arise and when she isn’t like this she is so darn lovable. She loves to sing, cuddle, and play. She is thoughtful and caring. I have four other kids but it’s been so long since I’ve had a toddler so perhaps I’ve just forgotten how tiring it is. Perhaps I was a lot younger then and had more energy and patience. They say that the days are long but the years are short. I do cherish every moment and I know that she is just being a curious cat. I love holding her in my arms and when she tells me that she loves me to the moon. I don’t think I was ever angry with her because I know she’s only 3 and is trying to be independent and to express herself. I just want my sweet darling girl to hurry up and pass this stage because this momma is exhausted. I would love any advice that you can offer me or share me your toddler tales. This too shall pass, right?     


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