Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Warning: Toddler on the Loose

Most of us are aware that raising your kids involves navigating the relentless sea of completely insane behavior that changes by the minute phases common to developing youngsters. It often seems that as soon as we find a groove in which we can all just get along for about 30 minutes at a time, a new wave washes in and we are left floundering on the rocky beaches of parental incompetency.

We have recently entered the phase of "I Can't Take This Kid Anywhere That Is Not Specifically Designed to Entertain a Toddler." It basically limits us to visiting our local play cafe, story time, the park and play dates in the home of other hostage like-minded parents.

Completely out of the question right now: any kind of public event in which allowing a toddler to run free would be dangerous or disruptive (which in case you did not realize is ANYWHERE) and dining out (unless you enjoy a meal punctuated by flying sippy cups, overturned meals, ongoing pleas for release from the highchair and a nice helping of meltdown for dessert).

Now having two children at different developmental stages, means that you cannot completely avoid the challenging situations in which you will spend the majority of your time imitating a border collie attempting to rein in the rogue sheep. Little Diva has needs and is not afraid to demand that they be met. So we will occasionally brave a lunchtime visit to the pizza shop and usually, we need to bring The Baby along to her other activities because Sweet Hubby's schedule makes him unavailable for the tandem parenting that can be helpful during this phase.

We prepare ourselves as well as any Super Nanny might instruct for these outings, but quite frankly, it doesn't make a bit of difference. No matter how many toys, books and snacks I pull out from my diaper bag, the allure of everything else that is out there is just too strong. The Baby wants to be free to terrorize her surroundings explore with unrestrained abandon. Who can blame her?

This means that I presently find myself digging quite deep into the endless pool of patience and composure that was assigned to me at Day One of motherhood with alarming frequency. Let's hope that this phase plays out before the proverbial well runs dry. I need to keep a little of that supply on hand to deal with Little Diva and her current mission to become a teenager by age six. But that is another post all together.


  1. I can completely relate! Any place that requires my toddler to be still or quiet for more than 2 minutes is an adventure in patience, for everyone else there. :)

  2. I love your writing! I sometimes see parent's out with toddlers and why how they do it! My baby is still little but when I watch my nephew (who is in that you can't get me or control stage) playing at my house has never seemed so wonderful!

  3. I totally remember those days. Thankfully, I am beyond those, but the threes are not very fun either. I hope the Baby moves beyond this stage soon.

  4. Yes, yes, yes.

    My oldest went through this phase and the twins are in it now. We just never go out to eat because it makes us MISERABLE trying to control the babies. We always end up with a wringgling, whining, kicking baby in each lap while trying to eat and maintain composure.

    The good news is that in a year it will be back to calm. Somewhat. :)


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