My son is obsessed with holding his own umbrella. He’s a little too young for it, and I’m nervous for any eyeballs or parked cars in the vicinity. However, when he’s old enough — and for any readers with older children — this would be a great way to brighten up a rainy day. It would also make a great gift. I like how it’s clear so that kids can hold it close to their heads but still see through it. The hooked handle is also easier to control for little hands. (An adult size is available, too!) The umbrella is $25 at the SweetheartsSouthern shop on Etsy. Monogrammed Polka Dot Umbrella
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My 2.5 year old has suddenly, SHARPLY leaned into the terrible 2s this past week. All of a sudden he is having complete meltdowns over the tiniest little things. He wants everything a particular way for no particular reason/in a way that I’m not always willing to let happen – i.e., he inexplicably wanted me to stand in the kitchen instead of sitting next to him while he ate dinner last night, which I didn’t want to do. Or he wants to do things himself and melts down when he can’t do it – e.g., tantrum because he couldn’t get off his shirt because there was a button that needed to be undone (that he couldn’t do himself), but more tantrum when I tried to help. I’m just at such a loss for what to do – I am following all of the most common advice, like giving choices when possible, and trying to keep him from getting hungry or tired (not always possible because he refuses to nap sometimes). I know a lot of this is classic 2 year old behavior, but it is really exhausting.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Solidarity! So, my almost-2-year-old was doing this last weekend, including screaming “I WANT IT!!!” which is basically nails on a chalkboard for me. I was like “Who is this kid?” while also knowing….this is 2. I’ve found it comes and goes, he’s been back to his fun low-key self for the most part this week (and quickly figured out no one responds to when he says certain things)…but I also know this behavior will come back.
Being silly can help. It’s hard to do in the moment, but can sometimes distract or flip a silly switch.
To the shirt: “Oh no, your shirt is stuck for ever! Let’s take you up to the washing machine. I’m going to have to wash you with your shirt. [scoop of kid for hug/to be carried upstairs] Can you hold your breath long enough to be washed? Let me see you hold your breath. Do we need your goggles so you don’t get soap in your eyes?”
To the kitchen standing: “Why are we in the kitchen? Are we hiding from Daddy? Uh oh, I think he’s coming. Duck! [crawl across floor to peek] Do you see him coming? You better hide!” “Oh he found us, let’s go eat dinner with him.”
The washing mashine stuff put such a big smile on my face. It’s so adorable!
+1 Being silly is the only strategy that works for my 3yo. It is hard in the moment, but gets easier with practice.
ughhh. a lot of distraction. so if my son were to want me to stand next to him, i would say- “no, mommy isn’t going to do that, but mommy is going to sit next to you and read you this book while you eat!” my husband isn’t above doing a funny dance to distract and change the atmosphere, and im a fan of doing funny faces. obviously, doesn’t always work and it’s so exhausting!
Being two is fine! (To take a note from busy toddler). Ive also found the terrible twos have hit closer to 2.5, and DDs energy has also skyrocketed so she needs more physical activity every day to not be bouncing on the couch every night after dinner. We mostly ignore tantrums and say Ok I understand you’re upset, I’ll be here when you calm down. They’re really just trying to have some control in their world. Imagine how frustrating it would be if you couldn’t get your own shirt off!!
What helps us is really watching the sugar/artificial dyes in her food, physical activity, silliness, and empathy. Take deep breaths and trade off parenting with your spouse, if you can, during hard moments.
I could have written this myself. My dd turned 2 in May and it’s been so unbelievably hard the last few weeks with the tantrums when does this get better?
Boston Legal Eagle says
My older son is almost 3.5 and it’s gotten better overall, but he still has meltdowns and when he does have meltdowns, they tend to be more intense. Which I hear is common in the 3s. So fewer tantrums on a day to day basis, but when they strike, they’re bad.
I have no real advice other than to stay calm yourself, which is really really hard in the moment. I’ve found the toddler years much more trying than the baby year. I’m also someone who is rational and not particularly playful, so I struggle with this stage. My husband is better and he has so much patience.
We are there too. I have a 2.5 year old and about three weeks ago he started just having EMOTIONS about EVERYTHING. So. Much. Crying. It was rough. But it eased up after about two weeks. We still get the tantrums and the frustration and the tears, but less of them. It could fully ramp back up tonight but, like with so many stages and ages, it helps to remember that it is always just another phase.
We do a lot of Daniel Tiger with my 2.25 year old. “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four, 1, 2, 3, 4” and our improvised second verse of “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count some more, 5, 6, 7, 8.” If she’s truly upset, she’ll come over and hold both of my hands (maybe they do it on DT, I don’t know where she’s getting it from) and take deep breaths with me. She also does not like it when mama sings anything, so sometimes that’s enough of a reaction to snap her out of the tantrum. Sometimes I also let her sob for a few minutes then get down on her level and ask if she needs a hug (the answer is usually yes and so we hug until she calms down). Other than that, it’s a lot of redirection, physical activity and, frankly, a lot of her sobbing on the floor while we ignore it because as far as I can tell, sometimes she just needs to cry.
+1 and I’m not above putting the actual episode itself on for reinforcement if the timing permits.
It’s so hard. My son is a new 3yo but somehow it’s hitting him now. Last night was a total sh!tshow. I ended up holding him on my lap to eat chicken nuggets while watching Frozen because I was just at the end of my rope. Not my proudest moment but I’m getting through it.
I don’t know. Sometimes when I am having a meltdown after a miserable day, all I really want from my husband is for him to hold me and indulge me. That sounds like that might’ve been what your son needed from you last night.
Thanks, that made me tear up! Sometimes it’s hard to forgive ourselves for things that were probably actually all right anyway!
I got a lot of the same advice about offering options for kid but it would stress her out. I’ve been trying to pepper her with questions less and instead just narrate what we’re doing. If there’s push back, I might give her an option or I say we’re going to do x THEN we’ll talk about y. That seems to help much more for my easily overwhelmed girl.
Right there with you – our 2 year old has massive tantrums because she doesn’t want to sit in her car seat after pickup at school because she wants to drive our car…we use a lot of redirecting.
Hahaha, this hits so close to home. When my daughter was just shy of 2, we went to a fall ranch pumpkin thing. When we left that day, she threw a fit because she wanted to drive! It was baffling. It was the first time it had ever come up!
Buddy Holly says
Has anyone worked with a career coach in the Boston area (or northern New England) that they liked? DH is bored and needs help defining new career goals and potentially changing his job role.
DH doesn’t really have a mentor and I think someone like a career coach or possibly a therapist that specializes in careers (if such a thing exists) might be helpful to identify career goals and give some structure to DH for thinking through what he wants. He has a lot of power at his company right now and could even potentially change his role to something that would be more satisfactory and less boring, he just seems to have trouble identifying what that change would be. Thank you.
No recs but I would also like to know what types of people/coaches/therapists can help with these issues. Interested to see if others have experience to share.
I would suggest looking into an executive coach. This feeling of being “stuck” is what coaches often help with by asking open ended and clarifying questions, helping to create short term commitments, and being an accountability partner. Coaches do not offer straight up advice (so they are not mentors) and I find that this is often helpful to coachees because the coach is completely neutral about the best way forward and so coachees can think more creatively (as his wife, you will always and should have an opinion). While there are coaches that are great and not certified, I would start by going to the International Coach Federation website, selecting ACC coaches, and filtering by location & topic area (be aware you can definitely have a great relationship with a coach virtually). Also, watch the short video about a coach relationship. A good coach with a few years of experience typically charges $200-250 per hour and will do an introductory call for free. I would encourage your husband to talk to a few coaches to see if he clicks with anybody. From there, you typically agree to a set number of sessions and then evaluate if you want to continue to work together.
I am an executive coach and my husband was in a similar position two years ago. There is no way that I could or would coach him as his wife, so he went and did about 8 sessions with another coach and from there really was able to identify what it is that he wanted, what he valued, and what the short and long term steps he needed to take to get there. He ended popping back for another three sessions when things got a bit derailed due to outside forces, and that is the great thing about working with a coach that already has a relationship with you. My own clients will periodically check back when they are thinking about a change and many coaches have an ongoing relationships for years and years. Best of luck to you!
Buddy Holly says
Thank you, this is helpful
Aunt Kate says
Hi, moms! I am single and childfree. I get to host my two nieces (ages 4 and 2) this weekend at my apartment while my brother and SIL go to a sporting event. I’ll have them overnight. I used to babysit growing up, and I’ve watched them at their house, but this is the first overnight and I hope I’m prepared. Hoping you can help me with childproofing and also activities/tips! I live in a loft style apartment (think lots of concrete, cement, white/quartz). I bought socket plugs and have a pool noodle to cushion the edge of my quartz countertop. I have them from 9a Saturday to noon Sunday and they don’t usually nap (sometimes the 2 year old).
I am planning on going to the park, library (kids area), and maybe children’s museum near my apartment. I have time to go shopping tonight and will stock up on coloring books, crayons, etc…What else should I get? Food and snacks are covered, but I’m worried about them getting bored.
You guys are going to have so much fun! One surefire kid entertainment: looking at photos on your phone. Show them photos of your friends, trips you’ve been on, etc. My kids LOVE doing that when aunts/grandparents come to visit; and I like it because it’s a great bonding experience.
Ready-made cookie dough and decorations? And worst case, if you don’t end up using it, then you have cookie dough.
Sounds like you’ve thought of everything! If you like to cook or bake, involve them. My kids love baking mini- muffins with me. Sometimes we do a tea party afterward to eat them.
Anchor your TV and all tall furniture (dressers, bookcases, armoires, etc.) to the wall. My husband thought this was all ridiculous and refused to anchor a piece of furniture to the wall until our 2-year-old nearly pulled it over on top of herself.
I agree, in general, that anchoring furniture to the wall is good when kids are involved. But for a 27 hour visit, that seems alike a lot of extra work.
OP, I would just keep a close eye on the kids and don’t let them climb on your tall furniture. It sounds like you have lots of fun activities planned. Going out to breakfast before the park one of the days could be fun. I also second the recommendations for bubbles and baking!
If you’re willing, take your couch cushions off your couch and let them jump around. Put all breakables that are out (vases, frames, etc) away. Careful of a 2 year old with crayons and your walls. Stickers are often a hit!
Suggest vinyl reusable stickers if you can find them. And if disaster with crayons happens, magic erasers take them off of most walls. You might pick up a water wow book or two instead, much less messy.
I used to love, love, love baking cookies with my aunt (my mom didn’t have time for, in her words, such nonsense). I also used to get to stay up a little later and we would always go to the pool. As a kid I thought I was extra special for all of the these weekend visits, but as an adult I learned that I often spent weekends with her so she could ride in the HOV lane home on Fridays.
Have them make a little video for their parents right before they go to bed, saying good night and telling them what they did for the day. The kids will love making it, and the parents will love watching it on their way home from the event.
You’ve gotten great advice already, so I’ll just concur that it sounds like you have a great weekend planned! You rock!!
Bubbles are always a big hit if you have good outside access.
If you think they might stay with you repeatedly, think about getting something special for them (stuffed animal, pillowcase, etc) that will live at your house.
Do you have nightlights for their room?
My kid LOVES to play “picnic” inside where we spread out a blanket and eat on the floor. Even if it’s just lunch, it seems so silly and special.
Bubbles, baking, any old toys that you might have (I know probably, not) or anything that is new to them really. My 2yo loves to ride the escalator and elevators, so if we’re out shopping and she asks for it we will do that 5 times. Basically, say yes to any odd requests that aren’t dangerous. Yes, you can add sprinkles to dinner. Yes, you can choose the music for our dance party. Yes, you can play dress up in my older-less-worn-not-expensive clothes.
Scavenger hunts are also fun, you hide something like a small toy/bouncy ball in the house and play hot/cold to find it. Great for rainy days.
Second doing pics on your phone, especially if you have any baby pics of you and them. My 2yo loves pics of herself, so we’ve printed a few and she names the people with her.
You are so kind!! It’s going to be a blast.
Buddy Holly says
This may not happen, but have a plan for if you get super frustrated with them. That is a long time to spend with two young children and everyone can get tired, they can miss their parents, etc. Have a safe place to put them if you need to take 5 minutes to yourself to breathe, calm down, and catch a break. Laying down on the floor and just breathing deeply can help reset a situation if anyone (an adult or kid) is feeling out of control and you can’t immediately separate yourself to calm down by yourself.
For the fun stuff, I send the idea of stickers. Have a child friendly playlist of music set up that you might want to play for dancing or for calming them down. Pull out any fun clothes or accessories that you wouldn’t mind them playing dress up with (no chocking hazards for the 2yo). We’re going on a bear hunt can be a fun song to sing and act out (look on YouTube if needed).
Both the 2 year old and 4 year old would probably benefit from quiet time around 1pm or 2pm even if they won’t nap, so have a plan to do that either at home or on a blanket at the park or whatever.
Good luck! You sound like such an awesome aunt!
+1 to this. Also don’t discount baths as an activity – my son could play in the bath for a long time. Shaving cream paint on the walls is fun.
Buddy Holly says
The bath idea is very good too! There were definitely days at that age where we did 2 or 3 baths because kiddo needed to calm down and I needed a few moments where she was contained and not screaming at me. Also, I meant to say “second” the idea of stickers. And, I do know how to spell “choking hazards,” I am just not very good at proofreading.
+1 Baths, bath toys, bubbles, bath color drops (target has these) are like magic reset buttons for small kids. On snow days when naps weren’t happening I swear I let my son play in the tub for close to an hour while I chilled out with a magazine.
You’re going to have a blast. You have lots of good suggestions here! My only addition is get someone to take a picture of the three of you while you’re out and about, and send postcards and/or a framed photo to them afterwards. Reminder of fun + mail = win! You’re a super aunt!
Sounds like you’ve got it covered. I will also point out that most kids are much better behaved for people who aren’t their parents, so it’s likely that you’ll have a fun time – this was always the case when I hosted my niece and nephew prior to having kids.
I don’t think they’ll get bored if you have one big outing planned, like library or children’s museum. Do you live in a city where they could ride public transit? That’s always exciting to little kids too.
My kid’s daycare doesn’t have quite so many days of closures, but it’s close. Without nearby family or anyone else to help, it was tough and I ended up leaving biglaw in part because of it. That said, here’s what we get for the days off:
-professional development days beyond what’s market for daycares. The daycare tends to attract and retain educators who value professional development and are really excellent at their jobs.
-most of the educators’ vacation is during the closures. This means greater consistency and fewer substitutes for the kiddos.
The daycare is amazing and 100% worth it. I learn so much from the educators and my kids love it.
Our daycare, notorious for a ridiculous amount of closures, is closed THIRTY SIX DAYS this year. Thirty. Six. And we’re paying $15,000 for the pleasure of finding extra care on most of those, since I only get six paid holidays. ARGH. If it wasn’t so convenient and my kid didn’t absolutely love it, I’d be so tempted to go elsewhere…
That is downright crazy. I am so sorry.
I almost cried at my desk when I counted it up. I don’t have local family and while my mom will likely be able to come out a few times and stay with us, it’s so stressful!
I would cry too. I have to plan the combination of breaks and days off and hoildays we have each year like a military strategist. We don’t have family nearby either and people (like my boss) don’t seem to understand how hard it is to figure this stuff out.
100% bananapants crazy. Ours is closed 5 days plus federal holidays. If it’s not a school that follows a September-May schedule, there’s no reason for it. What on earth is the justification?
That would be a total dealbreaker for me, I’m sorry.
They say they need “inservice” days but obviously other daycares manage to do whatever state regs they need to do without closing all the time! When we started it wasn’t so bad, but it has gotten worse every year. We’re so desperate because there are so few daycares in the east end of our city and the waiting lists are out of control. It’s such a good fit for him that I don’t want to move but it’s truly outrageous!
Do you have a parents group? I’m sure you are not the only person stressing about this. I’d suggest talking to the director (and/or corporate ownership) and pushing back, ideally as a group. Ask for specifics – how many of those days are inservice days? They can’t all be. How much of each day is inservice, or are they just bad at scheduling and they only have half-days scheduled? Ask them to help identify backup care for at least part of it. Part of running a daycare is figuring out how to handle all the different requirements and yes, other daycares can do it. (I’d also be a little concerned about financial and staff stability — are these closures a way to not pay hourly staff? Because the staff will look for something more stable if so.)
Look at it this way. 36 days is nearly 2 months of closures. You’re paying for a full year but getting far less than that. If you’re looking at an additional $15K for backup care, that might be what tips it to nannyshare or some other alternative.
Yes to what octagon said! Our daycare used to close every time there was a threat of heavy rain because you have to go over a low water crossing to get there. After they closed 5-6 days in one month a group of parents threatened mutiny and – ta-da! – they now have an alternate location they go to on heavy rain days that’s available 8 am to 2:30 pm. So, not perfect, but better!
That is just awful. How do the parents put up with that?
Boston Legal Eagle says
That would be a no-go for me. We turned down a daycare in our new city because they closed for a random week in July (among other reasons). We’re paying a lot of money for full-time coverage, other than standard holidays.
What is their justification for this? Is it an in-home? Because I totally get giving teachers time off, but there should be lots of back-up to cover.
For what?! That is absolutely insane.
Can you push back on this with the director? It probably won’t change anything this year, but knowing that parents are upset and raising the issue may be a consideration when they make future years calendars.
Our daycare is associated with a school and on an academic calendar. It’s closed from the end of May through mid-August, and offers “camp” (which is basically the same as daycare) for only 6 weeks during the summer. Between August and May, daycare is closed for 30 days.
DH is a SAHD now. When we were both working, we had 4-5 babysitters as backup care, and we budgeted $300/mo for babysitters who could cover school closures and sick days.
Buddy Holly says
I restructured my career to something part time and more flexible after our child started on a preschool calendar that sounds similar to yours. The academic calendar is brutal for two-career families, especially if you don’t have family or other built-in babysitters. I got tired of scheduling care for all the holidays, sick days, summer days, etc., so I pulled back. I love the school my child attends and I knew we would have to make an adjustment once we hit kindergarten anyway. I really wish childcare were easier.
OP, my suggestion to you would be to talk to other parents and potentially share childcare with them. My daughter’s best friend has a full time nanny and my daughter spends some time at her house when our school is closed and I can’t watch her. I pay the nanny $10 an hour (which she gets above her regular pay) and bring snacks for all the kids. This works out well and their family uses the same nanny service that I used, so I know their nanny is qualified and has a background check, plus we trust the family. Maybe there is a SAHM/D or a family with a nanny that could help you when the school is closed. Another option would be to call a nanny service or post a flyer at an appropriate place in your community to ask about a nanny share. Perhaps a family in your area would love to have your child over on closure days and share the cost of their nanny.
My own thought is that pushing back on the daycare is not likely to work. You could try to find out why so many closures and maybe gently push back, but they probably close those days for a reason that is important to them. It is super frustrating, for sure.
Yep, our preschool/daycare is on basically this exact calendar and it only works for our family because my spouse is also on an academic calendar (so we actually don’t want to pay for care during the summer). Otherwise we would have to choose a different daycare.
That’s a ton! We have holidays + 5 inset days thoughout the year. Can you create a co-op with other parents to split up those days? 5-6 families go in together on 2 babysitters? Or rotate families? I’d be happy to switch off with a friend.
Go elsewhere. That’s absurd.
That’s ridiculous–it adds up to more than seven weeks, or nearly two months!
Any chance this is a Montessori? Two of the Montessori places we looked at had similarly ridiculous schedules.
Yes! I want to switch my son to the awesome Montessori in our area but the number of closure days is out of control. Sadly probably going to be a dealbreaker for us.
For that amount of money and those closures, you might want to look into getting a nannyshare with another family.
Our former center was like this, totaling about 6 weeks of closures throughout the year. BUT, it was wonderful, super convenient, extended hours, and my toddler adored it. We have no family in town, so we hired a nanny for each of those weeks through a nanny agency (I’m a broken record about the agency, but we really rely on it). She went to the park, the local kids music class, and just generally had a great time. One of those nannies from the week-long stint turned into a long-term nanny for our infant later. I would certainly price in the cost of care for the closures when planning what childcare costs will look like for the year and whether the place is workable. But balance that against how convenient it is for you on and your family on a day-to-day basis. And as someone else noted above, consider a nanny share with another family or families for the closures. For us the convenience and other positive factors won out and since we knew ahead of time it was fairly seamless (just expensive) to plan coverage.
I really appreciate all of this helpful feedback! I did reach out privately to a few moms I already have phone numbers for, and also to a parents’ group on FB (which isn’t very active, but at least I could put it out there). It’s frustrating because our city has a lot of people who grew up here, and it feels like SO many people have Grandma to watch on those odd days off.
But already a few of us are looking into an organization that can provide care for multiple kids at one of our homes, so maybe I can get even half a dozen of those days covered.
Thanks for all of the feedback and even just the reinforcement that this IS ludicrous! One of the moms on FB pushed back on me saying “Well actually, this is really common” and I had to say it totally is not! None of my coworkers’ daycares are anything like this, and it sounds like people in this group have similar experience. Then she said she just sends her kids in the summers anyway, so, eyeroll.
I guess I just needed to get it out. The convenience and how much son loves it are what keeps us there, but we definitely have to find solutions other than “husband and I use up all of our vacation and sick days.”
Not common at all! My daycare is only closed on federal holidays.
I love this! But I have always been paranoid about monogramming on things that you take outside (jackets, backpacks, etc). Growing up my mom would never let us have our name on our backpacks because… I guess strangers would then see our names and pretend they know us? Is this still a real concern or is my 80s childhood stranger danger outdated?
Happily, I think the latter. Monogram to your heart’s content!
It’s still a discussed risk, but I think it’s one you take with a grain of salt. Yes, don’t put your 12 year old’s name on his backpack if he’s going to be walking a 1/2 mile to the bus by himself. A 6 year old’s umbrella that he’s probably using solely within arm’s length of you? Less risky.
I remember this so clearly as well. My mom never let me get my name or initials on anything.
Help My Three Year Old Is Acting Out! says
This is somewhat repetitive to the 2.5 yo question but discipline ideas for a just turned 3 yo boy? He has been so bad recently and absolutely refusing to do what we want (get dressed for school, get in the shower, stuff that needs to happen). We wake him up with a milk and give him time in the morning, we let him choose the shower temperature, we read books over breakfast, we do everything I can think of to make this fun and distracted. And he is just being bad? Threatening (or actually) taking away promises of fun doesn’t work because he’s an immediate gratification guy. Time out works okay but it takes up too much time when we are on a pretty tight schedule (which is tight because I’m really not trying to rush him!) I’m at the end of my rope! His tantrums are super physical and I end up getting kicked and whacked a lot (trying to wrestle him into his clothes for example) and I feel like we need to draw a hard line. Feeling super defeated, like everyone else today apparently.
Oh and we have two other kids who end up somehow crying during these debacles too. Baby’s getting ignored and older sister is getting ignored. Ughhh.
Oh also this is our second time dealing w a three year old so we’re using all the verbal tricks from How To Talk etc. and that’s not helping.
And my husband’s been traveling two nights a week. Writing this out basically just makes me feel like throwing in the towel, except he has to put on clothes to go to school!
I’ve seen this suggested by others, but have you tried having him sleep in his clothes? Or brainstorming with him about things that could help in the morning at a time when he is calmer?
Hugs. That sounds so incredibly frustrating. Any little thing you can do to make life easier and avoid the battles is a good bed to try and have more positives than negatives. Like anon suggests above, having him sleep in his clothes for the next day is a tiny thing that might make life more than a little bit easier. We do it and it is the best thing ever.
Can you identify any other triggers? Enough sleep? Hungry? Can you make it a contest like if he accomplishes xyz by 8am, he can pick his color vitamin or the music in the car?
+1 This is huge for my 3yo kid. We don’t always get it done (just like I always try to shower at night…), but when we do, mornings are glorious. We just feed him and let him watch PBS Kids for a half-hour. When the show is over, we get in the car. It works beautifully when we get it done.
Hello, you’re me, my kid is yours, apparently. The kicking, hitting, and (now) spitting is SO frustrating. He does not care about consequences or rewards. Our problem is in the evening, though, not in the morning, but otherwise this sounds word for word. It just feels like nothing can happen “correctly” for him and everything makes him mad and/or is a battle with us.
I read your comment above. He’s 38 months so a new 3 year old too. We def have the same kid!
Yes, almost to the day my son is 38 months! Commiseration!
Boston Legal Eagle says
Do timers work? We do a lot of timers for our 3.5 year old to get him onto the next task. Usually he drags it out, but eventually moves on to what we need him to do. Agree that it might help to have him sleep in his next day clothes. Can you move the shower/bath to nights or every other night, when you have a little more time?
A picture chart of the necessary steps in the morning might help. I.e. food, clothes, brush teeth. Only then does he get TV or whatever.
Hugs and solidarity. This is hard.
Make it a game and move the reward to the end? If you get this all done, you get to do ___. For us it was watch a show. Also, sometimes you have to call their bluff. Take him to school in his pajamas, send his breakfast with him, etc.
Thank you all for these ideas! We have tried putting him in clothes the night before but that was a battle – thinking I’d rather have the battle at night than in the morning though so totally going to try that next week. He’s a TV show monster (not so good at moderation) so that’s dangerous but I think more timers and a chart and rewards are all going to be tried! Really appreciate all of these ideas since I am feeling discouraged!
He’s the most fun and sweetest kid when he’s happy! I just hope this phase is short!
Re: getting dressed — I’m a broken record on this but for us, ten minutes of screen time in the AM is worth its weight in gold (well, it would be if you could weigh time. I’m not great at metaphors). We dress the kids (or they dress themselves) while they are watching the first half of a Daniel Tiger. If they protest/fuss, the TV goes off. This is remarkably effective, thanks to the power of loss aversion.
Showering in the morning sounds tough — any way you could move that to the PM?
Oh shower is evening! We have battles then too!
I’m considering a super wings in the morning but super wings makes him crazy. Maybe Daniel would be more successful!
This is basically what we do. Highly suggest that you start with the episodes of DT that deal with anger management.
If you are looking to limit screentime, I get a lot of mileage out of letting him hold my phone while it plays a youtube video (or even just spotify w/ the album art) of one of his favorite songs. The time the song plays is usually just the right amount for those terrible acts of torture I inflict on him every day, such as brushing his teeth or getting a fresh diaper.
Emily S. says
This is, admittedly, a macro level suggestion, but if you’ve tried How to Talk… and it’s not helping, have you delved into Janet Lansbury? She’s better at helping you see how your parenting philosophy/overall approach could help you treat the root of the issue, not just the symptoms (she has fewer “here’s what to do when you’re kicked in a tantrum” and more “how you can recognize what’s going on with toddler so you have fewer tantrums in which you get kicked.”) Also, you mentioned a baby, so is there a chance this is late onset or still adjusting to a new baby?
This is so hard, and it is so hard to stay calm in the moment. As Janet says, though, you can do this!
Yes to Janet Lansbury. Also, is he getting enough downtime? Time after school and long stretches on weekends that are calm, unscheduled, time for him to play or look at books and be outside? It sounds like he could be feeling his days are too chaotic and unpredictable and he is trying to grasp for some control.
Tips for surviving the first trimester with an almost 2-year old? My nausea isn’t as bad as the first time around, but it’s still there with some bad food aversions and overall exhaustion. My husband is helpful but he unfortunately isn’t home every night, and I’m only 7.5 weeks so not quite ready to tell family/friends and ask for help. I’ve been allowing a little more screen time and frozen food for our daughter than I usually would, which makes me feel really guilty.
The only food my two year old is willing to eat is frozen food and she gets a fair amount of screentime and I’m not pregnant, so I give you permission to not feel guilty. It’s a short-term situation (hopefully for both of us) and our kids will be OK. Part of taking care of both of your kids is taking care of you. Sometimes I think my toddler’s favorite activities are cuddling up on the couch under a blanket with her mama and watching a movie.
Make peace with taking shortcuts. This is a time when it is great to have them to make your lives a little easier. It won’t be forever (but you will need them again and again!). Be gentle with yourself
I have a 3yo and 1 yo and we’re just emerging from TV and frozen food (or, for us, eating out). I would lean on them to make lie easier and know that you can ease off of them later. Little kids are adaptable and won’t be forever harmed by too much TV. Especially when that TV is in service of getting them a saner parent and a sibling!
Also, when your husband is home, he should give you lots of time when he’s totally in charge. My husband did that and it was awesome.
+1 and you’ll only need to rely on more shortcuts after baby arrives. Says the second time mom full of guilt whose toddler is getting Wayyyyyy too much screen time right now because we have a new baby.
I was a fan of games that involved mommy laying down and the kid playing around me. Sleepover, family, lay down restaurant, laying down salon, we got creative with it.
Can your husband do some cooking on the weekend so you just have things to heat up? We did a lot of chicken meatballs and soups.
I’ve also found there are more options for real food that happens to be easy to prepare–frozen riced cauliflower, ready to microwave sweet potatoes, frozen brown rice, etc. Using those shortcuts felt ‘ok’ to me, and combined with dino nuggets made a dinner my kid would eat without a fight, and I just had no energy for the fight.
ha, I’m not even pregnant and I do the mommy laying down game. The other day I was doing it and my son brought over a pillow and blanket from the couch and said, “here you go mommy. go sleep, go night night.” Thanks kid, I wish!
That is so exhausting! You absolutely don’t need to feel quilts about anything! I’m expecting a baby soon and have a 2.5 year old- he is such an energy suck. If you have a child proof space at home, my advice would be to just hang out there. I spend a lot of time lying down in our play room while my son plays on his own. It requires minimum interaction so I can save my energy for bed time or dinner time or other times when I really have to have focus. I think doing the bare minimum is absolutely ok.
I also thought this blog had some nice ideas of ways to entertain your toddler from the couch. http://www.thekavanaughreport.com/2019/04/entertaining-toddler-with-morning.html?m=1
Boston Legal Eagle says
Our kids get lots of frozen food and a good amount of TV at night, and there are two of us and I’m not pregnant. Give yourself a much needed break here. When I was pregnant with DS2, I used to get home, manage to eat some dinner and pass out while my husband dealt with the toddler.
Anyone have any words of wisdom on dealing with newborn cluster feeding? Going on a second week of it, baby has wanted to eat constantly all morning. It gets better, right? I don’t see how this is sustainable. Saw a lactation consultant and everything is great in that department, so it’s not like the baby has trouble eating.
Unfortunately it’s totally normal. It DOES ease up and get better. I find cluster feeding emotionally hard to deal with, but acceptance is key. Park your butt on the couch with all your food drinks and just vegg out on tv or with your kindle/books, etc…it was hard for me with my first kid but with my second I was like yeh whatever. I mean my only advice is to make sure they’re actively sucking not “flutter sucking”, listen for swallows. Comfort nursing and flutter sucking is totally fine but if you need a break it helps to know they aren’t actually hungry.
+1 yep. Acceptance is key. I remember one day where it went on for 15 hours. FIFTEEN. Of back and forth from one b00b to the other with no significant break in between.
My FIL has a story where he came home to my MIL crying with mascara streaming down her face when she had been clusterfeeding for 12 hours. She was like “I can’t do this anymore!” So he took my DH (the baby), told her to go to bed, and gave him a bottle of formula. Not that you need to give a bottle/formula, but you are not alone! My DD clusterfed every evening right at dinner time for like 4 weeks I think. DH would just feed me while I sat on the couch from 6-9pm
You’re right, it’s not sustainable. But it also doesn’t last forever. And I hereby give you permission not to give in to it, if that’s your choice. I successfully nursed both mine for 3 years total (13 months with one, almost 2 years with the other) and I was a firm follower of the 3-4 hour rule, even at those early stages, and would pull off a sleeping baby and pop a paci in their mouth. Kelly Mom is a great asset, too.
+1 on paci. We’ve always used one from the beginning while EBF..and baby has never had “nip*le confusion”
+2 on paci. If baby won’t take a paci, don’t be afraid to try another brand.
It is the WORST. I actively resented it and it made me so sad/angry/frustrated. But yes it will be over soon, I promise. Agreed with the advice to park on the couch with the tv/snacks, put a boppy or something next to you, and just keep transferring the baby from boppy to b**b and back until they finally pass out.
Emily S. says
I had the same issue but it wasn’t until week 11 of a 12 week mat leave that I finally went to a lactation consultant and asked for help. She taught me the difference between actual feeding and comfort sucking and (very kindly! but ruthlessly efficiently) shut it down. It definitely does get better, but don’t be afraid to get an outside opinion, and before the week before you have to go back to work!
It’s the first weekend after my husband is back at work from parental leave, and I’m at home handling child care by myself (I still have several weeks off, and baby is 6 weeks old). Any advise on how we can structure weekends so we both get a little rest and time to ourselves and don’t go crazy?
From the beginning DH and I switched off who got up with baby on weekend mornings. We were each ‘off’ from parental duty until noon. When I was nursing, after the first wake up feed, DH would bring baby downstairs so I could sleep, he’d bring her up again for another feed around 9:30/10ish. And then I would feed her again when I was back ‘on’ at noon. I’m off Saturday mornings and he’s off Sunday mornings. Usually I just caught up on sleep, or watched trashy tv on the tv in the bedroom. Now I tend to get out to a yoga class nearby.
Solo parenting time was great for DH’s relationship with the kids plus they’ve never know anything other than me being ‘off’ on Saturday mornings, they accept it without question. Now that they are all sleeping through the night, being ‘off’ usually ends at 10am so we have more time for family activities.