Parenting through the toddler years can sometimes feel less like a rewarding experience and more like waking up and going into battle every day. We’ve written a lot about toddlers this year, and as we wrap up 2018, it feels like a good time to revisit and collect all our favourite toddler posts into one spot.
Tagged With toddlers
As a first-time parent with a obsession with product ratings that I realise should be questioned, I spent an absurd amount of my pregnancy researching baby gear. I needed the most reliably secure swaddles, the perfect newborn bathtub and a musical mobile that was guaranteed to change my life.
Here’s a secret: Kids’ favourite toys cannot be found on any store shelf. Instead, just about everything you need to stimulate, captivate and exhaust your young offspring is probably already in your possession, hiding in your linen closet, kitchen cabinet or garage.
Once you start digging around your home (as my husband and I do, frequently at 5:00AM these days), you’ll find endless novelties to present to your kids without needing to shop, wrap or spend a cent — at least until they start begging for their own phone.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband went through the childproofing checklists, making sure our home wouldn’t be a danger zone for a tot who believes the entire world is just waiting to be touched, climbed and licked. We crawled on the floor in a quest for potential hazards. We bid farewell to our sharp-edged glass coffee table. We bolted our chests of drawers to the wall, locked up our cleaning supply cabinet, and put safety covers on our electrical outlets. My daughter is five now, and still alive.
When it’s time for your toddler to let go of something big, the struggle is real. These tiny tyrants are routine fiends, and giving up longtime objects of comfort (or any old thing picked up in the sandpit, for that matter) often doesn’t go down easy.
I have learned, however, that if you create a ceremony that celebrates your little one’s budding independence, one that gives them a sense of purpose, pride and goodwill, the drama will be dropped. Really.
Before my daughter learned to speak she learned to sign, and the first sign she mastered was “more”. More meant more — as in, “Give me more milk before I scream-cry in 5-4-3-2-1...” — but for her, it also meant “again”. Sing that song again. Push the toy cash register button again. Make that funny sound with your armpit again, again, again.
Little kids are notoriously difficult to dress. Any parent who’s experienced a closet standoff with a naked child six minutes before they’re supposed to be at the bus stop can confirm. It could be that the kid is extremely picky or acting out of defiance, but what if it’s more than that? What if the issue is seriously impacting your family?
When preparing a meal for a toddler, you cannot be bogged down by the inefficiency of the knife, a tool that requires you to use two hands to carve food into safe, manageable bites. No. There is a better life out there, and you can unlock it by opening your kitchen drawer and grabbing a pizza cutter.
"Please help me find a replacement for a lost 'best friend'," a person who goes by piper2010cameron wrote in an online post. "I have searched everywhere." The description of the missing companion: A tiny stuffed tiger with orange and black stripes, a small triangular nose, and a fuzzy white belly. And then there came this heartbreaking line: "My poor kiddo has been asking why 'Itsy Bitsy' hasn't come home and it kills me."
You know you've earned a Parent Badge of Courage when you've experienced the sweaty, heart-stopping ordeal that is trimming the bangs of a squirmy toddler. Now that my daughter is four, she sits relatively still through the process, thanks to Beat Bugs playing on an iPad perched in the bathroom, but she sometimes likes to rotate her head without warning to look in the mirror and give me a small heart-attack. Does she not see that I'm holding a sharp object just millimetres from her eyeballs? Apparently, she does not.