Monday, May 05, 2008

The time has come...

I need to dust off my parenting books.

I have spent the past year dealing with Jay's sensitivity issues and Lola's never ending "terrible twos" and have completely neglected disciplining my third born.

This week she woke up a toddler.

It has been three years since I have dealt with disciplining a 14 month old. I have forgotten how exhausting it is. She is too young for time outs, she cries to every "No!" she hears, she falls to the ground and arches her back when I divert her attention. I can no longer change her diaper without pinning her to the ground and breaking out in a sweat. I can no longer strap her into her high chair for some quiet time without watching her wrestle out of it and falling to the floor. Fifi has developed a strong personality and her new toddler presence has been heard.

It has been easy to give in to her screams for I have two others I need to chase after and discipline.

"OUR family does not call each other names. Do not call her a peepee head." Shhh... shhh, Fifi. Stop screaming, you want to go here? Mama will follow you. "Get your toes away from his face, LOLA!!!" Shh... shhh, Fifi. Stop screaming. You want another frozen go-gurt? Here you go. "Jay, stop riding your razor in the house!!!" Shhh... shh.... Fifi. Stop screaming. You want Mama to do back flips. Okay, how many?

I have been a bit overwhelmed between serving frozen go-gurts and executing back flips. I think the time has come to dust off my toddler parenting books. Save me some time and tell me has worked for you.

Oh my gosh. I have a toddler.

66classy comments:

LaskiGal said...

OMG! I'm gonna have a toddler! Hope you don't mind, but I'm just gonna sit back and soak in all the advice. I'll be needing it!

Jeni said...

How well I can relate to your dilemma now as it has been over thirty years since I last had to deal with two pre-schoolers and now, here I am with a four-year-old and a two-year-old, both autistic, to boot! The nice thing this time around? I don't have to deal with each and every worry coming down the pike as their parents are here with me too so it does take away a little bit of the pressure.

And, while I'm visiting now -just wanted to let you know -I just tagged you tonight for the Six Things Meme. You'll do fantastic with it, I'm sure!

Kristen said...

Good Lord I wish I knew!

I too, will be watching the advice roll in to the ever popular and classy OhMommy!

I could use the advice as well! :)

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I forget... ;-) This post is bringing back the nightmare!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

What works...

* Time for them to grow up
* Wine
* More wine
* Shots of whiskey

Did I help any? ;-) **so laughing here!**

The Mom said...

I don't do backflips. Somersaults, occasionally.

I'm in this spot too, remembering the 2's though. My oldest is 9.5 and my boy is 7 so this seems brand spankin' new again.

I look forward to hearing tried and true, because I'm so worn out to try to be true.

Shellie said...

The only thing I can tell you is remember that she will outgrow this stage. That makes it easier. And distract the heck out of her to get her to stop doing things you don't want her to do and tell her crazy stories to get her imagination going to get her to do the things you want her to do. That is, if she will actually listen to you. I only had one verbal toddler. It's harder when they're not into human communication yet. :) Oh , and give her choices, acceptable choices, like do you want A)the blue cup, or B)the red cup. If you're lucky she won't be like my daughter and say c) the purple cup (that you don't have) then D) drink straight out of the jug E) scream. See my first piece of advice and leave it at that.

Laura said...

HWat is it with "waking up a toddler" - that is what happened at our house too...sheesh, no one warned us either...and like you, I am at my ropes end...can we form a union and go on strike?????

Happy disciplining to you!!!!!

Let's keep sharing war stories...I am sure, together, we can make it through this time!

Sarah said...

As the mum to a 13-month old, I'm following this thread with interest. I haven't got a clue! However, my sister-in-law says the key is to give the mirage of choice. As in, "Do you want to get into your high chair by yourself, or do you want mummy to help you?"

chichimama.com said...

Do it sooner rather than later, as I type my three year old is pitching a toddler worthy tantrum because I refuse to move the furniture to suit her tastes. I did the "shhh, shhh" for way too long and am paying the price...

Indy said...

Keep repeating to yourself "This is only a phase, this is only a phase..."

Krystyn said...

OMG, I have a toddler, too! Now, she is super sensitive, and everything involves serious tears!

Make it stop and I'll make yours stop!

Stella said...

Tequila and baby gates strategically placed works WONDERS!

I fear my youngest becoming a toddler and then I fear having another one who will become a toddler. God, I need to drink more!

Irene said...

OMG No way! I am not kidding when I say I know exactly how you feel. Right down to the frozen gogurt. My little one literally LIVED on those at that age. And it was often the only way to stop an ensuing tantrum.

The funny thing about little kids is they change so much so fast. Things that you thought would drive you batty that you needed call in experts for help with, suddenly just stop when you least expect it.

I was just having this conversation with my hubby. Our almost 3 yo used to sing at the top of her lungs before she fell asleep every. single. night. SO LOUDLY. But now suddenly we are saying - she is quiet as a mouse! And she used to be a nightmare to take shopping when she was Fifi's age. Now? She is an angel and SO easy.

Don't worry...they change...just don't run out of gogurt...

VerWaynia said...

I go to a toddler group facilitated by a pediatric nurse who I respect immensely. She's one of the classiest women I've ever met and I imagine she raised the healthiest set of kids ever!

Anyway, I'm a first time mom of a toddler, so I won't claim a lot of wisdom. But what I do have came from her...

My son was really laid back until he started being mobile and all of the sudden I realized discipline was going to be a real issue. She said you can start t/o at 1 yr. I thought he was too young to get it, but I did it and it worked. The only problem is that until just recently (he's 18 mos) I've had to "restrain him" to get him to stay there - which he hated more than the t/o itself.

I have a t/o corner in each room and I use the floor - he'd have too much fun on a chair. Also, I do the 123 thing, esp at diaper changing time. If I think he's going to give me trouble I start counting and put him in t/o before I start changing him, then he's usu cooperative.

Anyway, all that to say, I'd still give t/o a try - I bet she'd understand it more than you think!

Lisa said...

I was here just a few months ago...and I think it was harder the second time around - can't imagine the third :) Anyway, Hubby & I took a parenting course this winter to refresh our skills & found a strategy that works wonderfully with Lulu. The parenting class is called Love & Logic & the strategy is called "uh-oh time". Shoot me an email if you're interested in learning more :)
PS- Good to know you're human like the rest of us & sometimes do backflips to pacify your children :)

Anne said...

My son is just starting to kick himself off the changing table (even while buckled in!!). It's driving me mad. Just last week he was suck a good listener, now he doesn't hear "no" or "stop" or even the dreaded first-name middle-name combo.

krissy said...

I sorta blacked out those terrible years...
You could have grandparents intervention. Call them and ask them to visit and to help with sensative, lively and toddler kids. Then take a bubble bath with some wine.
Viola! Problem solved!

MommyTime said...

Sarah's "Mirage of choice" idea is definitely what works here. So do those travel snack packs (the containers with removable lids made of flexible silicone that is cut with an "X" so you can reach a hand in to get out some cheerios, but you don't spill the cheerios on the floor).

Also, there are some battles we decided we're worth fighting. We moved from high chair to booster seat on a regular kitchen chair at about that age because the fights about sitting in her high chair were motivated by the fact that she wanted to be at the table with us.

Also, I just closed my eyes and took deep breaths a lot. :)

THopgood said...

Oh you poor thing! My advice?...Get yourself a trampoline! They make the back flips much easier...trust me...I know!

Then take a deep breath and remember "this too shall pass"!

Jenn said...

I have a toddler too...I got nothing for you, this is my first time around, so I'm reading YOUR advice!

Lisa said...

No clue--my kids are perfect ;)

LceeL said...

I really don't have any advice. Man, and all that, you know. Annie did all of the heavy lifting when they were toddlers. so ... I'm afraid all I'm going to be good for is managing the cheering section. You know -- rah, rah, sis, boom, bah. you can show 'em, you're the Ma!

Steph said...

Ok your post made me have flash backs! I really don't have any magic tips however Beth from the funny farm is right wine and more wine helps, we like to call that Mommy juice here! But seriously I rad a great book by Tracy Hogg Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers It was a great book with some tips that really helped. Good luck this to will pass as you know. :)

LunaNik said...

This post made me grin. A really big, goofy grin. You are endlessly adorable. I could literally picture the entire scene in my head. And I literally laughed out loud at the image of you wrestling with Fifi during diaper changes...baby poo smeared on your juicy couture velour track suit. (I'm laughing WITH you not AT you because my Stella is the SAME WAY.)

Good luck sweetpea. That's all I can say.

cyndy said...

Now that my kids are past that point, I think I've blocked it out of my mind!

Erin said...

I've had a toddler on hand for the better part of 10 years, and I can only say that I've become a worse parent as the years have passed.

My fourth child is the Queen Of The World. And I know that part of it is because I stuffed food in her mouth when she was crying and did backflips when she needed entertainment just to shut.her.up.

The only thing that works is consistency, which is difficult to do when you have two older (but not very old) kids.

Good luck!

Good & Crazy said...

Love & Logic.
We needed help with our soon to be 10 year old daughter (she was looking me straight in the eye and saying, "You. can't. make. me". And I knew I couldn't. And I knew I needed help.) I read every book I could get my hands on through the library from the series, and it turns out it helped my toddler IMMENSELY. I think mainly I stopped giving in. And started to keep things even, no need for time out if the child knows you won't give in to tantrums? (Easier said, than done, eh?)

Don Mills Diva said...

Time to get ready to rumble!

I just woke up a few days ago and thought - "Where did my toddler go? I have a little boy!"

allisonsays.com said...

Oh my gosh...my 8 month old is going to...grow up? I'm in for it. He's my first, so, of course, I'll have no idea what I'm doing! I'll have to purchase some of the parenting books and read up on mom advice, because if he is strong willed like me then I really am in for it.

Good luck!

April said...

No advice...but I will be reading what others post as I'm sure when the time comes for me I'll need it! LOL

Jennifer said...

um. yeah. I've got nothing.
i have 2 - 2 year olds and a 4 yr old and I can barely make it through a day here... so I actually think I'll be back to borrow some advice from your comments. :)

I know one thing I try to keep in mind is... will this matter in 5 yrs? will this matter in a year? in a month? a week? will it matter tomorrow??? and then try to deal with it from there... pick and choose your battles, I guess, is like the same thing.

And thankfully "this too shall pass!!!"

xoxoxox's Jenn

Memaw's memories said...

I have nothing to offer except my sympathy. Just remember, they will grow up. Be as patient as possible.

Beth said...

I watched 4 toddler at one time(see a previous post). I can tell you that ignoring the things that you can works very well. Again, it's the things that you can. She's acting to get your attention, so it sounds.

Good luck, my baby is 12 months, I'm nearly there too.

the MomBabe said...

It'll get better. As soon as she can talk..... in like another year..... man alive, toddlers.....

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

1,2,3 whap! worked REALLY well over here. And, now I never get past 2...although we're moving more to the time out now that he's older. Good luck. That 14-18 month stretch is MURDER!

Karen said...

I hear you loud and clear on this. We've fallen into the trap that since Micah can't talk he can't understand a whole lot of our requests. Turns out we were VERY wrong and we're faced with an out of control toddler ourselves. You're not alone!

zoeyjane said...

i've spent the last year alternating between the phrases, "use your words and tell me what you'd like," "i'm sorry, but you cannot have everything you want, everytime you want it," and, "isobel, if you want to be angry, that's fine, but you need to go and do it in your own space."

seriously, my best advice is to use your own judgement. if you'd give your two older kiddos the eighteen yogurt, she can have it too, right? but if you think more than one for them is too much, then the rules gotta start applying sometime.

Isobel was a demon on two legs from about 10 months on...she's starting to clam down, so that a tantrum lasts about a minute now, from 40+ previously. What totally helped was me setting and consistently maintaining boundaries but letting her know that she could come to me even when mad about the boundaries - as long as she wasn't 'not nice' about it. Kicking me, hitting me, etc. totally isn't doable and she is put into her own floor space to do so while i occasionally interject a calm voice telling her to breathe and use her words.

ya. i wrote lots. sorry for the comment kidnap.

April said...

Well, you already know that this, too, shall pass. And are you ready for another cliche? It's an oldie, but goody: pick your battles. Because you're not going to stop the screaming and the crying without enduring it at least a hundred times or so. Be sure that those times are worth it to you.

suchsimplepleasures said...

it never ends, does it? my 4 year old gets threats of spankings...which seem to work at this point but, not for much longer.
as you know, i'm having parenting issues too! but, mine are older and bigger and smellier and noisier.
i think we should go on a vacation...somewhere tropical...with no phones and no cell phone connection. whaddya think?
xoxo

Eve Grey said...

Don't you find you just love them more & more as they get older?

Happy Days said...

I am going through the very same thing right now!!! I will be back to read the advice. I am just trying to be consistent. I think, that is what worked for the other two anyway. I hope it helps to know that you are not alone. It sure helps me!!!

beth said...

I am afraid I can not offer any useful advice. I am to busy here giving out frozen go-gurt and executing back flips for my second child.

Someone Being Me said...

Let me know if the parenting books have any good tips. My 15 month old has the exact same issues. Every thing is a struggle. And I only have one child.

Stephanie said...

This is so me right now - Karys is also 14 months old and sometimes I am at a total loss for what to do. This is my first time experiencing it - seeing how she is my first & only born child. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

MamaWise said...

I. Feel. Your. Pain.

GG is a very strong-willed toddler. I feel like I am new to this all over again!

BTW, thanks for the frozen GoGurt idea, I have been using it successfully with keeping T3 in line :)

Stephanie said...

Well, I'm a spanker, so I don't have much public advice for you since it's not the norm any more and I've already subjected myself to DHR just by saying that. I've read your post on that and I totally respect your decisions not to. I can tell you, however, the only thing that does work is consistency. Punky is developing a mind of her own but she's a great kid. I don't say that because she's mine, she just knows there's consequences to her bad behavior. We have a wonderful relationship, too. Whatever method you choose, just stick with it. Kids are so easily confused and it's sad to see them when they're like that. Distraction and negotiation don't work. Sticking to your guns and making them see who rules the roost is essential. They have to develop respect for you as an authoritative figure or you'll have a pregnant 16 year old who's been arrested for battery on a police officer. ;oD Good luck!

Secret Agent Mama said...

Davey's the same way. Oh my God, we are living parallel lives!! <3 I ova ke pomini.

Blessings From Above said...

This past week I did dust off my parenting books, as my little guy will not stay out of the cat's food. Unfortunately, the only advice I was able to find was "Distract & Divert". This would probably include Go-Gurts and back flips.

Only advice I have is...Chardonnay!

just jamie said...

I've really been wanting #3 lately. Um, can I just say thanks for the reminder of ALL it comes with? :)

Mine loved "forbidden" zones, like the kitchen cabinets. Keeping them stocked with stuff they can get into (tupperware, plastic spatulas, empty boxes of cereal...) helped to distract for ... at least an extra 30 seconds!

Good luck. And a nice glass of wine around, oh, 2:00 helps too. :)

This Southern Belle said...

oh, what a reminder of things to come with our youngest! Good Luck with finding what works for you and your family!

Angie said...

My toddler woke up at 4:45 this morning. For good. Wide awake...had NO interest in going back to sleep. Good times.

The Immoral Matriarch said...

*lol* Lets pull our hair out together.

Kelly said...

I feel your pain hon!! If I thought the toddler years were hard with my first two, they were nothing compared to my third child. He's only 2 1/2 and frankly, I'm exhausted!! I hope I survive him!

Rhea said...

You can do backflips? Or was that just humor? I bet you do backflips in your damn classy heals. hehe

Lola's fart comment while reading to Fifi is HILARIOUS!

Are you teaching your daughters to be good manipulators? It's a skill every woman should have...

ShannanB said...

What'd like to know is when does it get easier... mine is almost 3 and still in full blown terrible twos.

I think the key is to be patient and calm. They can smell our fear.

Wendi said...

I got nothing.
I have three kids and I am still learning every. single. day.
I can tell you (now that my youngest just turned 4) that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see how they are gaining their independence and not needing their mama for everything. I may even get a few nights of uninterrupted sleep this year! While I am excited for all of that I am a little sad they are growing up.
Enjoy Fifi while she is a toddler(did I just say that?), because I promise you will "blink" and she will be a tween. Just. like. that.

Jane the Sane said...

My nine month just arched her back and had her first tantrum recently because she couldn't have the remote. I have no idea how to handle it. I can't imagine how it will be when she is toddler. They are so much bigger and stronger and louder then. You have my sympathy but sorry no advice from me.

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, the arching of the back totally kills me. When I try to put Butterfly into the carseat, she becomes stiff as a board, and she howls so loud I'm afraid the neighbors will call CPS. Glad to hear I am not alone.

Joeprah said...

Best of luck with that one. I am lucky my girls were relatively easy as toddlers. I can get alcohol at cost if you think that will help. ;)

Karen MEG said...

Oh, boy, girlfriend, and here I was thinking I'd never have to relive the toddler to terrible two's again. Actually, they weren't all that long ago, but I'm really good at blocking.

A lot of it, as you already know, is for attention and out of frustration. I know that doesn't help a lot, but for me it puts things into perspective to let me deal with it myself (ie. calm myself).

I think I actually did start the timeouts with the girlie around then; whenever she would move I would grab her and plunk her right down where she was again. And again. And again.

Look at it this way, I'm sure you burn quite few calories doing all those back flips!

Grandy said...

Eww...afraid I can't be much help here. For once I feel I am lucky with just the one (although I so desperately want another) but I was able to just ignore him when he did his thing, and not worry about what the siblings were doing.

The Schneider's said...

We just hit the terrible two's with Jonah. The not listening, not doing what he's told, and the infamous limp body act when you try to pick him up or put him in his carseat and he's not ready. I try to be consistent in my attempts at reasoning and discipline. Bribing seems to help in public situations and sometimes you just have to choose your battles. I also make sure that when I'm talking to Jonah I get down on his level and have him look me in the eye. That's a tip I learned from Super Nanny! I just take it one day at a time. Good Luck and I'll keep checking for more advice on this thread!!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I don't know if it worked or they just outgrew it but ignoring their screams and not giving into their demands was what we did. And I can't tell you how many times I left the store with a half full cart and a toddler under my arm...or dragging behind me.

Fortunately, this stage seemed to miss our last child. Thank goodness.

Ya... About That said...

Holy cow, it's intimidating just to leave a comment on your blog anymore. Are you reading all of them? I'm like 734th on the list, but here I go - I'll recommend hand flicks (hard, my sweet friend), and time outs. They totally work at that age. Also, make sure your other kids know that you are going to have special Fifi/Mommy time and ban/assign them to their rooms for reading or something so you can have 1-on-1 time with her and she feels special and like she's got your complete attention. Then, have a glass of wine and call me girlfriend! xo

crunchiemummy said...

OMG You described this perfectly! Don't worry -- you will get through it! I think the problem is they think they are older than they actually are -- my littlest one is now 19 months going on 12! Good luck and please share any good tips you find in those dusty old parenting books!

 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs

Original Header and Concept by: Judith Shakes