Ask LJ: Toddler Advice

Dear LJ,

My toddler keeps knocking things off the shelves in the store! How do I act?

Frustrated Mum

IMGP3001Frustrated Mum,

Is there any chance the toddler is not yours? Not your toddler, you just thank the Lord that today is not your day to deal with that. And smile! Bystanders of toddler tantrums should always smile at mom and dad!

The child is yours? Oh. Can you pretend they aren’t? Just kidding. Though, isn’t that where we all go?

Having raised 4 toddlers already, working on the fifth now, with one more to go, I’ll give you my not so expert advice since in all my toddler raising days I have never raised YOUR specific toddler. Unfortunately, there is likely no one size fits all approach, so you, as the presiding expert on raising YOUR toddler will just have to do what feels right for you.

Option 1: Tie that sucker down. I don’t mean it mean. Sure they want to walk. But the buggy can be your friend! Just make sure you don’t get the buggy (or cart or whatever they call it where you live) too close to the shelves. You know that annoying person that walks in the center of the aisle? Well now you know why.

Option 1a: If this is not a buggy kind of store, strap him to your back or plop him into the stroller. Again, take care to stay away from the shelves!

Bonus expert tip: Keep the snacks flowing! They sit happier when they are preoccupied with snacks. Icees are the only way Target ever happens.

Bonus expert tip: Singing ridiculous songs very loudly can keep a toddler quite for quite some time. In my experience, toddler happiness > personal embarrassment. Great Big Poop one more time, everybody!

Option 2: Leave. Seriously, some things are not worth fighting over. If it isn’t a necessity, hang up the gloves and let the kid win. Get out of there!

Option 3: This can be combined with Option 1. Make your necessary trips fast! If your particular brand of toddler has zero patience, a leisurely stroll around Target is ill advised. Get your junk and get out!

Option 4: Don’t attempt any store with your toddler. I know this sounds drastic, but there are some toddlers… Work out some arrangement by which the child does not have to darken a store until they are 4. Or 5. Or maybe 16.

Option 5: Online shopping. What can’t you buy online?

Now, whatever you do, don’t do the following things:

-Yell. They don’t listen. Eventually they’ll train you on this one.

-Act like a toddler. As tempting as it might be to join them in pitching a fit, refrain. Someone has to be the grown up around here and it sure isn’t them.

-Reason with them. They aren’t there yet. If you find yourself arguing with a toddler, you need to rethink some things in your life. And they don’t know WHY. Gravity. I mean, the answer is usually just gravity.

-Lecture them. Wah wah wah wah wah wah. Look! You turned into Charlie Brown’s teacher.

You’ve got this, Mum! Go get ’em!

**Ask LJ is a fictitious advice column based on search engine searches that send people to my site somehow. All advice given is by me, who is, again, not an expert on your kid.**

**If you really need help with a toddler, I have a couple book suggestions you can check out in all that free time between poop and jam and broken toys and more poop and baby powder in the carpet. Making The Terrible Twos Terrific. Your Two Year Old.** This post contains affiliate links.

Double Trouble Kind of Week

Aidan @ Tea Party

I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that sweet little man could not possibly be a handful. No, really. If his mother says he is, she must be lying. That cutie is not capable of mischief. No, not that sweet guy.

Imogene in WagonAnd that beautiful girl could not possibly be devious. Oh no! That just can’t be true about such an angelic little princess. Her mother must be mad to say such things. Her mother must not appreciate the creative genius of that little lamb. Really. That girl is a saint! I’ll vouch for her, she’s perfect.

That is what you’re saying, I know it. But I, their mother, am not misled in thinking these two are trouble! Yes, it is usually a hilarious kind of trouble. But they are trouble, nonetheless. I’ll give you a taste of what I’ve dealt with this week:

Imogene in Aidan pantsThat beautiful girl changes clothes constantly! Seriously. She takes off whatever outfit I have helped her pick out in the morning and proceeds to don whatever she fancies at the moment. In this particular moment, it happened to be her brother’s pants. Now, this adds to the already massive amounts of laundry I must do each week. (So far this week, I’m well over 15 loads. Yes, I said 15. And the week isn’t even over yet!)

Aidan won’t leave his pants on. He has decided this week that he is completely capable of changing his own diaper. He has taken an interest in using the potty, demanding I take him and sit him on the toilet several times a day so he can tinkle in the bowl. He feels he is too big for Mommy changing his diaper. This has resulted in at least 2 incidents of poo smearing. (At least he only smears it up his arms or down his legs and not in the carpet.)

Aidan Butt FaceThen there is the Burt’s Diaper Rash Cream incident. I had already told each of them at least once not to touch anything in the baskets on the changing table. (This included several baskets containing shoes, bibs, burp cloths, cloth wipes, cloth diapers, big girl panties, and diaper rash cream.) They chose to smear it all over one another. When they heard me coming (I tend to announce my presence.) they grabbed cloth wipes and bibs and tried to quickly clean up. It didn’t work.  (Their “punishment” was to clean it all up. Wipe it off every surface, remove their clothing, put all soiled washables into the washing machine, and into the bath the two went.)

butt face & butt handsAs a side note, I know from previous experience (no, this isn’t a first) that the easiest way to remove unwanted butt cream is to wipe all excess off with a dry towel, then bathe in dish detergent. (You’ll never get the stuff out of their hair if you try to use regular shampoo.) So, they smelled like clean dishes afterward.

Aidan the logThe beautiful girl also dresses her brother on occasion. Thus the flowery yellow and pink shirt. He is covered in soot. Why is that adorably toddler covered in soot? He climbed into the fireplace and sat on the log holder (or whatever the technical or proper term for that metal rack is).  And not only did he climb in there, his partner in crime was so kind to shut the fireplace screen behind him.

They also learned they can drag the dining room chairs all over the house so they can better reach the things I put too high for them. I caught them stealing bubble gum (Aidan was stealing, Imogene was coaching). They also attempted to steal vitamins, but they couldn’t figure out how to get past the sink.

Imogene also bathed Aidan in their bathroom sink with his clothes on. She was supposed to be in there pottying, but when the water ran longer than it took to wash her hands, I found a fully clothed Aidan in the sink while Imogene bathed him.

Aidan was a super big helper and picked up Lucas’s “accident” with his hands. Yeah. Really helping his Mommy out. Someone’s gotta be the man of the house, right?

They took a cardboard bolt that fabric comes on and used it as a sled to slide down the climber’s slide. Very inventive. It took about 5 minutes before they were both hurt and crying.

Aidan busted a Chick-Fil-A container of Polynesian sauce and poured it one himself. He got mad when Lucas (our dog) started licking him clean.

Mum & EmeryAnd to the double trouble we add the third little trouble maker. He threw up in his sister’s hair once, my bed three times, his Daddy’s belly once, and Mommy’s shoulder/shirt too many times to count.

I’m sure I missed some other mischief, but you get the idea. It has been one crazy week! Aren’t toddlers fun?!

He Killed It!

As some of you know, our beloved Mac crashed a few weeks ago. (It has been with us since 2005.) Well, by the grace of God, the Computer Chick saved all our files from our completely dead hard drive. She replaced the hard drive and we were back in business. That is, until yesterday. Yesterday, that cute loveable two year old decided to perform a little science experiment.
I had the laptop on and open. I had been interacting with some of the ICAN ladies while enjoying a cup of hot tea. (My tea was getting to the lukewarm area. Why can’t I ever finish the cup while it is still at the hot but not scalding stage?) Emery started crying. I knew he wanted to eat. (What else does a 2 month old milk monster do?) So, I picked him up and ran upstairs with him to quickly change his diaper. The tots were enjoying watching a show, so I figured they’d be fine. (And getting them from one place to another is like herding cats.) They were fine in the sense that they didn’t harm themselves or one another. However, Aidan, being the “terrible toddler” that he is decided to work on the laptop for a minute while I was away. In the two minutes that it took to change Emery’s diaper and bib, Aidan spent the time spooning lukewarm tea onto the laptop. Yes, he did. Now, he didn’t manage to get much liquid onto the computer, but apparently he got enough on it. The computer went black and has not turned back on since. (I’ve tried, but it refuses. Perhaps it is just scared of Aidan.) Surpringly enough, the pastor did not seem too upset at his son’s distructive nature. I wasn’t too mad at him, because really, what intelligent person leaves a $1200 machine unattended with a toddler nearby. If it were a movie, I would have seen it coming. However, it is my life, so I completely overlooked it.
I keep praying the thing will magically work. I mean, I’ve been wanting a Mac desktop computer, but I can’t afford one right now! I really just need this one to work. Perhaps I’ll try laying hands on it. It worked for the washing machine.

**Edited To Add: It is still dead. All dead. (The only thing left to do is empty his pockets and look for loose change.) I took advice well and let the thing sit at an angle and dry out. I skipped the rice, only because we didn’t have enough to cover the laptop and the world around me flooded and I was unable to go to the store for more rice. After sitting and drying all weekend while everything else was flooding, it still didn’t work. A side note, the pastor’s wife and family are fine despite the floods. Our house did not flood, we are on a hill. Our backyard did become a rushing river (it was several feet deep) and about 20 feet of our privacy fence have way to the rushing rapids. We had quite a bit of debris come down, too, but the river carried it off. (Sorry to whoever’s yard it ended up in.) We did spring a couple roof leaks. One should be an easy repair, but the other is probably going to require extensive repair. We’ll see. On Tuesday after much of the flood waters parted, we took our beloved Mac to the Computer Chick. Since we had just replaced the hard drive, they bumped our baby to the top of the list. We got the call today that he is indeed dead. They are going to buy back our barely used hard drive and refurbish it. But the “mother board” is completely shot. I’m assuming that is some part in there and it was not a little queen ruling the insides of my computer. That would be cool, but I would feel much worse about her passing. We are looking into our options. We cannot currently afford to replace our wonderful Mac, but do not want to attempt to find a cheap PC to fill such big shoes. We may be able to go this new Net Book route until we get the money saved for a new Mac. That may be the sensible thing to do for now. I did lay hands on the Mac and pray for his recovery, however he was already in glory at that time. I’m okay with it. He is in a better place.