Only a few months into toddlerhood and I’m starting to get good at it. I’m sure after this blog post she will throw me for a loop, but for now, I’m learning some good tricks to get through the day without too much stress. I know my baby well and she’s a smarty, but usually I can outsmart her!
Surviving at Home
Penny HATES when I’m in the kitchen. I usually try to sneak away when she’s not looking, but she figures it out quick and then comes running, crying at my feet. I haven’t mastered cutting food with one hand, so I had to figure out something.
Sometimes, I let her sit on the counter while I work, but she steals things and stands, making it a bit precarious. After discovering this Learning Tower but not having the money to buy it, I got an idea. Step stool! It’s a bit more unsteady, but she can climb up and stand beside me while I work. She gets a spatula occasionally to “help” me work too. It has cut down on tantrums dramatically.
What else do I do at home? I choose my battles wisely. I stopped fighting her when she climbs on the coffee table. I let her make messes. I don’t let her eat cat/dog food, stand in the dog water, or tear books apart. She gets a lot of freedom, though, because I want her to learn from experience.
Like I mentioned in another post, Penny is a climber and a runner. She craves the outdoors, and so we’re out a lot. I try to get to the park often so she has something to climb. The rules at the park: Don’t jump off the high things and sit down before you go down a slide. Otherwise, have at it!
When we’re on walks, I try to steer her to the sidewalk and not in the street, and hold my hand if she does want to cross the street.
Again, she gets tons of freedom, because rules are for losers! I let her chew on sticks, try out leaves, splash in puddles… whatever. It’s about choosing battles. What if she gets a little dirty? Eats a leaf or two?
Shopping with a toddler can be especially difficult! Penny is, so far, a good shopper. Though lately she’s been wanting to do more. Get out more. RUN.
I let her come out of the shopping cart very rarely, but it happens. Usually she just wants to help push the cart, so I let her. If she gets sidetracked and starts grabbing stuff off the shelf, she goes back into the cart so as not to make a big mess. I let her hold some of the items I’m buying so she can be involved, and of course, I chat with her the entire time!
Another trick is to bring a snack for her. I try to bring an apple because she loves them and it keeps her occupied for awhile! Just the other day she munched on an apple while wandering around the post office without begging me to pick her up.
I guess the moral of this is - Choose your battles. It’s not fun for either of you to spend the day saying no no no and taking things away, thus resulting in tantrums. It’s okay to let your toddler go a little wild, without your boundaries!