7 Things that Send The Toddler into a Complete Meltdown

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We are in THAT horrible phase when our toddler knows best. You could tell her that the sky is blue and she will say it’s green. You can tell her it’s time for bed and she’ll argue that it’s breakfast time. You can tell her it’s really still the middle of the night and far too early to get up and she’ll stamp her feet and loudly protest otherwise whilst waking everyone else in the house up too.

Not only does she know best about everything, but she wants certain things without fail NOW. Chocolate buttons, her scooter, her bunny. Whatever the toddler wants she must have within precisely 2 seconds or all hell will break loose.

I know it’s her age. I know it’s the “terrible twos” and that it won’t last forever, but my God, I better try and acquire some more patience from somewhere before I end up doing something I’ll regret.

The 7 Things:

 1) She Absolutely MUST go to The Toilet on Her Own

She must do EVERYTHING herself regardless of the consequences which often results in a horrible poo smeared mess. I have tried explaining that I don’t have time to be cleaning the toilet, floor and walls every time she goes, but she continues to stamp her foot and insist that she is a big girl and can go to the toilet all on her own.

2) She Must Choose What She Wears Every Day

This was a novelty to begin with. Now I find it irritating at best. All of the decent looking better quality clothes (I can’t say new as 95% of it is hand-me-downs from older sister or cousins), are completely ignored. Instead she insists on wearing the same 5 or 6 items of clothing on rotation either because they are purple or because they have a cute animal embroidered on them. I have taken to hiding a pair of purple spotty jeans that have now shrunk in the wash due to constant wear because if she had her way she would wear them every SINGLE day.

3) Leading nicely into – She Must Dress Herself Every Day

If choosing her own clothes was painful enough, watching her trying to get dressed is excruciating. Why oh why can’t she just accept my help to put her knickers and God forbid tights on? Can’t she understand that it’s traumatic enough trying to suffer the daily issue of the school run for her older sister and that we really must leave the house at 8.25 LATEST?!!  Seriously, does it really matter if I do her purple jeans up and not her?

4) If Adverts Interrupt Her TV Viewing

When she wants to watch TV, I normally have a certain staple series of Peppa Pig or Ben and Holly play round on a loop from YouTube on the TV. Heaven help us all if we are watching a live television programme and we are forced to wait a few minutes whilst the adverts are on.

5) If Her Morning Milk isn’t Brought to Her Within 2 Minutes of Asking

The toddler is 2 and a half. She shouldn’t need milk in the morning, but it has become a habit that is now hard to break. I don’t want to get up before 6am to go and get her sodding cup of milk. But likewise, I don’t really want the entire house in meltdown complete with husband shouting and older school daughter crying at being woken up pre-dawn. I know I really should stand my ground, but for the moment, I’ll have to go with this one.

6) There MUST be Nursery Rhymes Playing in The Car

I am in serious trouble if I try to listen to the radio rather than have Wheels on The Bus churning out on the CD player. Which is a tad unfair. If we’re on a long drive to the mother-in-law’s I’d really like the opportunity to listen to the news at some point or sing along to some grown up tunes. If I dare to chance this, perhaps when she looks like she might be on the verge of nodding off, there is a shriek of protest. “Turn the stupid news off Mummy,” or “Don’t sing that song mummy, put on Wheels on The Bus.”

7) She Will Only Eat With The Purple Spoon

We have an array of plastic cutlery along with a complete cupboard devoted to kids’ plates and bowels. The toddler will only consider eating with the purple spoon, preferably from the purple plate accompanied by the purple bowl. If any of these items have inexplicably been delayed in the dishwasher before her breakfast / snack / lunch / dinner, there will be a meltdown. I wouldn’t mind but after a full-blow show down about having the F’ING purple spoon, she quite often proceeds to eat with her fingers, getting food all over the table and floor in the process.

I could go on with this list as invariably there are more than 7 things that can send her into a meltdown. These are just the ones I can recall right now.

One day, I’m sure I’ll look back on this list and laugh. One day.

 

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Why Adults and Toddlers All Hate Waiting

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On a daily basis from themoment she wakes to the moment she goes to sleep my 2 year old makes constant demands. From, “I want milk!” being screamed at 6am to “I want to watch Peppa Pig,” and “I want pasta for tea,” there is an unlimited series of requests which if aren’t met in precisely 2 seconds, can often result in a full face in carpet melt-down kicking and screaming until she gets her way or is somehow carefully distracted.

 I Want It NOW!

It occurred to me the other day that whilst most of us learn to control our outbursts a bit better than a 2 year old, we are still not very good at waiting for anything. A recent trip to the doctor with the toddler, I was annoyed to be kept waiting for 45 minutes. And although I knew it wasn’t the receptionist or anyone else’s fault, I kept looking at my watch thinking of the all the stuff I still had to do – cook the kids’ tea, get them into the bath and bed before doing some work. Didn’t anyone realise that all this waiting around was cutting into my List of Things To Do?

Likewise, my husband refuses to watch any new TV series “live” anymore, preferring to watch stuff from the planner so that he doesn’t have to wait for any adverts and then jump straight to the next episode rather than wait a full week should we become so engrossed, (as demonstrated recently with our marathon watching of The Bridge).

More people than ever are now in debt up to their eyeballs because they want things Right This Minute! We are no longer prepared to wait to save up for the expensive holiday, the obligatory 4×4 car, or the latest clothes. So it all goes on the Never Never in order to gratify us. This Instant.

Have a Little Patience

I’m no different from anyone else. I find myself getting impatient and irritated if I’m kept waiting for the smallest things, from waiting 5 minutes in a queue for the public toilet to waiting our turn at the supermarket checkout.

It seems as soon as we are forced to stop, we notice it more. We get so used to being instantly gratified that we get upset whenever there’s a gap. The anticipation of wanting something and the actual achievement of that desire can affect everything from the little waits like waiting for a train or waiting for a meal to the lifelong waits of waiting for a job promotion and waiting for a baby.

Of course, I get it. I get that the real reason why we are all so against waiting for something is because our time is so precious. Most of us are so busy juggling the demands of kids, work, house and husbands that if we have to wait for anything even as inane as queueing in a shop, we start to think about the other more important things that we could be doing instead.

I’d love to be able to say we should all try and look at those irritating waiting times as a moment to pause, reflect, or have a breather. Maybe we should stop the clock-watching, stop the tutting and the sighing when we are forced to wait for something.

But in reality, I’m afraid that whilst my To Do List is sky high, that’s not going to happen.

Maybe we’re not really that different from toddlers after all.

 

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My Name Is………

My Name Is.....

Over the years I’ve acquired many nicknames. Some of you will know me as Chez, others Meryl, Beryl, Cherry and weirdly Flo. This week however, I’ve been given a new name by my youngest daughter, Eva. That name is….Carmella.

Since starting pre-school 3 weeks ago, Eva has not only fallen in love with the place, but with her keyworker, the wonderful Carmella. Eva is obsessed with her. Every time I pick her up she talks about what Carmella did and what Carmella said and when she can see Carmella again. This clearly isn’t enough, because 4 days ago, Eva told me “You be Carmella” and “I be Eva.” I chuckled to myself and happily went along with this new role play. What I didn’t realise is that it would last all day and indeed all week. Over the past few days, whenever I’ve made the mistake of saying something like “Mummy needs to put the washing on,” she looks at me as if I’m stupid and says “You’re not mummy, you’re Carmella.”

Advantages of Being Someone Else

The upside of all this extensive role playing is that as Carmella I can get Eva’s attention more than when I’m being the real me. At the age of 2 we are going through a quite demanding phase. I have noticed this week that when she’s stamping her foot and screaming for chocolate buttons, I can get her to stop or listen to me by saying something like “Carmella doesn’t like that.”

A Bit Weird

Let’s face it, the disadvantages are that it’s just plain weird isn’t it? I find it weird that I’m having to pretend to be someone else all week, if anyone overhears me talking as Carmella or being called Carmella then that would be weird. And if Carmella ever found out how detailed this little crush has become I’m sure she would find it ever so slightly strange. I dropped Eva off at pre-school this morning and could barely look Carmella in the eye thinking how bizarre it is that I’ve been pretending to BE HER all week.

I hear about plenty of other children who have had pretend imaginary friends, but I’ve never heard of a child who has insisted on calling their mum after another real person ALL WEEK. Whilst I’m pleased that she’s settled into pre-school so well, I can’t help feeling a tiny bit freaked out by how obsessed Eva has become with this other woman.

It Can’t Last Forever

Surely this phase won’t last forever. We finally had a break through last night when Eva tiredly murmured to me “You be Mummy now.” I’m hoping that will be the end of it. As much as I have nothing against the real Carmella, I’d quite like to go back to being me again. But who knows what will happen later when I go and pick her up today. If Eva’s had another enjoyable day, I may end up being Carmella for a while longer yet.

I’d love to know if anyone else been given an unusual name by their child or is it just me?