Today was a particularly trying day for me. It seemed as if each time I asked Dylan not to do something, he look right at me and did it anyways. Also, he had a couple of tantrums over things that I could do nothing about. For example, he wanted to play with Play Doh and I could not find any in the house. For about forty five minutes he let me know how upset he was that I did not have the Play Doh that he needed. The whole day seemed to flow from one limit testing scenario to another until we got to our evening “quiet time” and bed time which went smoothly, with no shenanigans. Thank goodness.
On days like this, I find it useful to look around online and see that other parents are facing the same things that I am. Although each toddler is unique and each parent has his or her own “hot button” issues, we have a lot more in common than you might think. Here are a few common toddler behaviors that test the mettle of even the most saintly parents out there.
Messy eating. You prepare it with love, your toddler takes two bites and dumps it on the floor. He slurps his soup. She blows bubbles in her milk. He talks with his mouth open. He stuffs his mouth too full of food and then spits some out. The list of annoying mealtime behaviors is as varies as the dinners that we serve up to our tiny diners.
Constantly “needing” you. You finally get everyone else fed and it is time to sit down and eat your own breakfast. Not so fast, your toddler needs you to help him find a toy that he must have that very minute. It is time to change the baby’s diaper, but guess who suddenly runs into the bathroom with a sudden urge to use the potty. The telephone rings and you answer it, only to have to end your call abruptly within the first five minutes because your toddler has decided to place himself in peril. It is time to start cooking dinner, but your toddler does not want to play in the kitchen and instead wants you to play in the playroom with her.
Objection, asked and answered. Your toddler asks you a question. That is all well and good, and you give him an answer. He asks the exact same question two minutes later, and you reply with the same answer. This happens again and again, until a miracle happens and the topic of conversation changes. Also, toddlers seem to love nothing more than asking questions that you can not answer with any degree of certainty.
When your toddler is testing the limits of your patience, know that you are not alone. It can really help to think about the fact that you are not alone in your plight.