While I was sorting through pictures of my children for Funny Places Toddlers Put Stuff I realized I had a lot of other funny toddler pictures. Today’s version involves places my toddlers have put themselves. 🙂
On a ball
With a doll
In the sand
Coming in to land
Climbing up higher
Checking out a fire
Going down a slide
Playing in the tub
Looking for grub
Helping do a chore
Hiding in a store
Feeling all right
Cuddled up tight
*I’ve posted a few of these pictures on previous posts but couldn’t resist including them.
Where do your toddlers like to put themselves?
One of my toddler daughter’s favorite pastimes is moving things from one place to another. Take her to a library or bookstore and she meticulously transfers a pile of books to a shelf across the room. Take her to Starbucks and she stacks the yogurt neatly beside the juice boxes. Take her to a hardware store and she drops the screws and nails into new places. At a toy store, every stuffie moves from shelf A to shelf B. Around the house, I’m always laughing as I find interesting little surprises that my daughter has set up for me to discover.
She gives me very creative ideas for supper:
She gets my slippers ready for me when I’m in the shower:
She makes sure her brother can always find his underwear:
She ensures that my hairspray is warmed up in the morning:
She knows how to make me smile when I’m putting the dishes away at night:
If I need an orange bucket, she finds one for me:
And my favorite…even salad dressing needs a little love sometimes:
Have you found anything around your house that your toddler has re-arranged? 🙂
Then the get-her-to-go-back-to-sleep game begins. I turn on her lullaby CD, make sure she has her soother, two dolls and baby orca stuffie and change her diaper stealthily, all without making too much eye contact.
I know the jig is up if she starts yelling “milkel! milkel!” or “book! book!” If I hear either of those words I know it’s all over. She’s up. I’m up. I turn on the lights.
However… if I successfully change her with no shouts there is a tiny chance she will go back to sleep.
I bundle up an armful of toddler, dolls and “bankies” (blankets) and rock her in our rickety old chair. The chair is on its last legs but the reassuring creaks and cracks lull my little one back to calmness.
Her big blue eyes start to flutter a little and I gather her up, ease her into the crib and tiptoe out of the room. I close her door as quietly as possible then pause at my bedroom door and listen. Music to my ears is hearing my husband and five-year-old son breathing deeply in the big bed; still asleep. Most mornings I hear a chipper little boy voice asking, “Daddy? Is it time to wake up? Where’s Mommy? Can I go find Mommy?”
My favorite days are the days when all three are sleeping and there is a chance for a few minutes alone. I tiptoe down the stairs, quieter than Santa on Christmas Eve. The bottom step is the worst; no matter where I step, some days it creaks, other days it doesn’t. Once down, I sneak into the kitchen, careful not to turn on many lights.
I flick the switch on the coffee maker. Usually (because Murphy’s Law is always in effect around here) one of the children wakes up the minute the coffee begins to drip. Our coffee maker is so loud that it sounds exactly like the pot full of boiling eggs my grandma used to make when I slept over. If I’m lucky enough to pour some coffee, the three loud beeps signalling that the brewing is finished will most definitely wake someone up and the cry of “Momma! Momma!” begins.
If, by some miracle, no one wakes from the beeps I’ll either knock something over, step on a piece of Lego or crash into the table and break the silence.
The other day I was so eager for some alone time that I crammed my feet into my five-year-old son’s Incredible Hulk socks rather than go upstairs to find my slippers.
Chances are pretty low that the quiet will last longer than 10 or 15 minutes. I admit that I love it when one child wakes before the other. I pour them some milk and have some precious early morning cuddles with them before the sibling rivalry, hugs, yells and laughter begin for another day.
Do any of you get almost desperate for a few minutes of alone time? How do you find it?
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For this week’s photo challenge (“Forward“) I chose this picture of my son, taken at our favorite beach a few months ago. We are looking forward a lot lately because we just registered him for kindergarten.
When he starts school, it will mark over 5.5 years that I have been at home with him full-time. Other than a few mornings a week of preschool this year and a few days at a babysitter in the early months after his sister was born, he and I have been joined at the hip since his birth.
It’s funny how as a parent, sometimes you just know. You know when it’s time for something. You know when it’s not time for something.
Had we stayed in Alberta, my son could have been in kindergarten this year because of different birthday cut-off dates. He was so, so not ready for it last September. Suddenly now, in February, he is ready with full force. So am I and I say that with no shame. 🙂
I’m delighted that he paces the halls now, asking, “But what are we DOING today, Momma? Where are we GOING?” Many, many days I’m ready to climb the walls because of his incessant talking, questioning and antagonizing his little sister. On the flip side, it’s so rewarding to see his tangible readiness staring me in the face. Two short years ago he was the clingy, shy little guy peeking around my leg at playgroups. Now he is (almost) ready to run into that school with all he’s got.
I’m glad we still have six months before it begins. He is too. We have a few mornings a week where we don’t have to rush anywhere. We can dump out the Lego box, pile the stuffed animals on the bed and laugh at the antics of my 20 month old daughter.
I don’t get people who say full-time mommas are “giving so much up” to stay home with their children. Five and a half years is a blip in my life. A beautiful, messy, loud, snuggly, sleep-deprived blip. I’ll milk it for all it’s worth.
My memories of this day are hazy. My daughter was a few months old, not sleeping very well at night and my son was three and a half and restless.
The equilibrium of his family and all that was normal to him was rocked by the arrival of his long-awaited baby sister. He thrived on any time spent alone with me, even though I was so sleep-deprived all I wanted to do was curl up and “sleep when the baby sleeps.” (Ha! What a joke that is when you have an older child who has outgrown his nap!)
It was a beautiful early fall day and our baby was finally sleeping. We cracked open the door to throw out the recycling and my boy spotted the empty diaper box; a box of great potential. We threw it on the grass, inspected it and headed in to get tape and scissors. An airplane was born.
One of the traits I appreciate so much in children is their creativity. All they need is a little time, some tape, scissors and (sometimes) a parent’s hand to bring their ideas to life. We are so busy scheduling playdates & lessons and making sure we choose the right schools, the right playgroups, the right friends. More important than all of those things is our time, even when we’d rather be curled up under warm blankets in blissful sleep.
I refuse to join Pinterest because I’m sure there are perfect airplanes on there that parents have designed for their children, not with them. I’d rather be my son’s hero-with-a-diaper-box than feel inferior because some supermom recreated the Wright brothers‘ plane and posted the pictures online. 🙂
You may be interested in: http://www.carlhonore.com/books/under-pressure/
If you like my posts and pics, check out this Top 25 list at Circle of Moms. Click the link above, scroll down to Murphy Must Have Had Kids and vote each day until February 13th. Thanks!
I took this picture of my son with his stuffie a few years ago and it remains one of my very favorites. Rather than explain the relationship between a boy and his dog, I will re-post what I wrote about it last year:
B got Dogga for Valentine’s Day when he was 14 months old. It was love at first sight. Dogga became B’s “lovey“. Dogga came on the airplane, into the bathroom, to the park, to the beach, to playgroups, in the car and in the stroller. Dogga saw every first and many lasts. I’m a bit of a wild driver and once when B was barely two I had to slam on the brakes. B yelled, “hold on, Dogga!” from the backseat. I’m surprised he doesn’t have his own car seat.
Dogga has the power to heal cuts, dry tears, scare away monsters and cure loneliness. Dogga is magic. Dogga is practically alive.
Once we realized how important Dogga was we started looking for an extra, just in case. Fast forward a few years and now there are six. The original Dogga had his nose chewed off so “went to keep Grandpa’s dog company” on the farm. Now we’ve got Present Dogga (he appeared under the Christmas tree with a red bow), Girl Dog, Daddy Dog, Mad Dog (the way the fur goes over his eyes makes him look mad, according to B), Scottie Dog and Other Dog.
I’ve noticed the dogs are sometimes left behind now. They always come out for morning snuggles and quiet time. They always go outside for trampolining. They come on long car trips. They don’t come to the store anymore. They don’t come to the beach in the bike basket. They didn’t go to daycamp.
A year from now, B will be heading off to full-day kindergarten and the long, crazy days with two tiny ones at home will be over. Now that a change is approaching I understand what the kind grandmas in the grocery store mean when they say, “Treasure the moments. This is the best time in your life.” Even though some days are like a long, uphill (whining, screaming, chaotic) marathon, this time is fleeting. The tough parts fade away and what is left is beautiful.
Another blogger was kind enough to nominate me for a Top 25 list at Circle of Moms. If you’d like, click the link below, scroll down to Murphy Must Have Had Kids and vote each day until February 13th. 🙂
My little guy had his first swimming lesson in the big pool this afternoon. Until now, he’s been in the kiddie pool, in swimming groups named after water animals. He hated Starfish, goofed around in Duck and really mastered Salamander. I knew things may change a little when I registered him for the official-sounding Swim Kids One. He turned five this week so it seemed fitting that things might get slightly more serious.
He wore his red Lightening McQueen bathing suit, little knees knocking together and tiny goosebumps marching down his arms as we walked to the pool deck and scanned the list for his name. A chipper teen named Alix was the teacher. Two shivering, bouncing five-year-old boys were already there, water up to their necks. My brave guy jumped in and radiated that unleashed, uninhibited joy that only children in the water have.
I sat on the wooden bench and watched. Within moments, he was gliding away from the wall, fully submerged for a few metres until his blonde head popped up, revealing a sputtering, mile-wide grin. I got a little sentimental and felt maybe a fraction of what I’ll feel when he heads off to school in the fall: so delighted that he is independent and confident but a tiny bit sad that I’m not needed quite so much.
I looked away for a few minutes and enjoyed a moment of not being responsible. When I looked up his blissful smile was gone and his lower lip was out in a full-on quiver, his blue eyes fighting tears. The teacher mouthed to me, “He’s got a stomach ache” as my boy reached out his arms, wanting me to wrap him up in his brand-new shark towel and hug away the pain. We walked together to the family change room. He sat on my knee and I rocked him as I had rocked him for hours and hours in the years before, the water soaking through the towel and staining my jeans. We sat for ten minutes like that, he and I.
I’ve never raised a five-year-old before. I’ve taught many of them, but having my own is a different experience all together. It’s like a tug-of-war, a constant pushing away and pulling back. Mommy, I need you. Mommy, I don’t.
This must be the beginning of the letting go. Some days I’m desperate to let go a little. The endless “Mommy, mommy!” The steady rivalry with his tiny sister. Other days, days like today, I savour those long, soaking-wet hugs in the change room.
While roaming the aisles of a big-box toy store the other day, I realized that my 18 month old daughter could care less about 99% of the stuff for sale. I know what she wants for Christmas and it’s not a dolly that sits on the toilet or a pink plastic household appliance. Here’s a list of what every toddler really wants to see under the tree:
- A Kleenex box. The biggest one you can find, with the cardboard piece already ripped off the top. Free reign to pull the tissues out when she pleases, shred into tiny pieces and fling around the house.
- A box of Christmas oranges to dump, line up and move in and out of the box to her heart’s content.
- A toothbrush to chew as much as she wants, swirl in the toilet and poke her big brother with.
- Her own roll of tape. She can rip the tape out over and over with no one saying, “Give it back to mommy, please. Give it back to mommy” and prying it out of her tiny hands. A roll of wrapping paper from the dollar store will also go over well.
- A family sized box of rice to spread over every room of the house, just for fun. She already knows how to do this. She learned it last week in Sunday School.
- A Lego set for her to step on and throw against the wall while laughing with glee.
- An extra $10 to put towards the water bill so she can play at the kitchen sink and yell, “water! water!” as she pours, stirs and splashes joyfully.
- An expensive fabric angel decoration to hug and kiss with spaghetti-sauce-stained hands & face.
- An old plate to take to the cement floor in the garage, lift high over her head, and smash to smithereens.
Ah…the perfect Christmas.
Do you have a toddler in your life? Would you like to remind yourself of what Christmas is really all about? Then jump over to this piece I wrote:
If you comment over there? You are entered to win an unbelievable Elf Pack of free stuff.
- Hallmark Keepsake 2012 Snowflake Ornament
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Comment on all the Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas posts if you want, because you are allowed to enter up to 13 times!
(Thanks to www.mommabethyname.com for featuring my post today!)
I saw a wonderful idea on a friend’s Facebook page. During the month of December, she is doing some Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK) with her children. What a great way to teach young children that the Christmas season is about more than Santa and presents.
My son is almost five. He is at such a curious, open-minded age that I knew he would probably be receptive to trying some RACK. Our first try was to buy our Wal-Mart cashier a chocolate bear. His first reaction when I suggested putting it in the cart was “Why? Why, Mommy? Why can’t I have one too?” I was actually pleasantly surprised when he didn’t argue for very long and realized how happy he could make someone else by giving instead of getting.
When we got to the check-out, B eyed the cashier and asked, “Mommy, is that who we are giving the bear to?” When I said yes he was all excited. I thought he may get shy when it was time to give her the bear, but he stretched out his little arm, gave a big smile and said, “Here! We bought this for you!” She was so surprised and grateful. She said it was a change from what she usually sees happening in the check-out line. We’ve had plenty of days in line where B is asking for things so it was pretty awesome for me to see.
In the car on the way home we had an amazing conversation about thinking of other ways to help other people when they are least expecting it.
My next challenge is to encourage B to spend all of our Shopper’s Drug Mart points to buy toys for children who use the Mustard Seed ministry in our city. We shall see what that brings.
My challenge to you is to try a few RACK with your children. If you don’t have children, do it on your own. Share this post if you’d like to spread more Christmas cheer around!
- Building Traditions of Kindness In Kinders (teacherlingo.com)