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Things to never give an un-attended toddler…

When I’m trying to <get dressed, do my hair/makeup, cook, clean, insert parent-duty-thing-here> I will sometimes give Liam something to do as a distraction so I can get said thing done.

Well, sometimes that backfires.

Here is a list of things I have learned to only give to an un-attended toddler with caution.

  1. A banana.  Seems innocent enough, and you may be thinking, “my kid loves bananas!” Yes, so does mine. I often give him one to eat and he happily runs away with it. Well, the last time I did this, I came home to find my husband scrubbing squished banana out of the bathroom rug. Whoops.
  2. Your cell phone.  It’s the perfect distraction, I know. I used to let him hold it because he didn’t know how to unlock the screen, so it was no big deal. Holding it made him happy and let me get shit done. Well, apparently he knows how to unlock the screen now because I once took it back from him to find half my apps deleted and that he had gotten into my banking app and transferred money between accounts.
  3. His toothbrush.  You might be wondering, what’s wrong with good oral hygiene? Nothing. However, I gave Liam his toothbrush this morning to so he could brush his teeth (which he loves doing) while I was getting dressed for work. Suddenly, I felt something wet rubbing on my bare-butt. It was Liam’s toothbrush. He was rubbing his wet toothbrush all over my butt.
  4. A dish towel.  I know, this one seems really weird. But here’s the deal: Toddlers are extremely helpful little creatures. When something spills, Liam likes to grab a dish towel and clean it up. It’s cute. So one day, as a distraction, I gave him a towel and told him “go clean!” He took that job very seriously. When I was finished getting ready, I came out of the bathroom to find Liam had purposely been spilling milk out of his sippy cup all over the living room so he could clean it up. OMG.

In a lot of ways, I feel like I should have seen each of these blunders coming. Live and learn, and then come up with new and better toddler distractions.

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Trick-or-Treating With a Toddler

This Halloween was Liam’s first that we got all dressed up together and went Trick-or-Treating!

Because at 20-months I can dress Liam all cutesy and he doesn’t really care, he was a cuddly monkey. I borrowed a banana costume from a friend… and I wanted my husband to be The Man in the Yellow Hat so we could be a little Curious George family, but he opted for something “cool” – he was a nijna. Sweet.

Well, in 45 minutes, we made it around the block. Once. That was it. And while it was fun, it was completely exhausting and not what I expected.

Here’s the run-down of what to expect the first time Trick-or-Treating with a Toddler.

  1. A lot of chasing.  Liam acted like we normally keep him on a leash or something – he ran around free-range like a crazy person. So much of my time was spent trying to steer him away from the street and toward the front steps of houses. This was actually the first time I thought to myself “I could really use one of those kid leashes right about now.”
  2. Hatred of hats, hoods, and anything over the head. Liam’s monkey costume had the cutest little hood on it. My kid who LOVES wearing hats (he asks to put it on all the time!) despised this hood and spent half his night trying to take it off.
  3. Complete cluelessness. We had practiced what to say. We had practiced putting things into his little treat bag. But when it came time to shine, Liam was clueless about how to Trick-or-Treat. It was actually pretty cute and went a little something like this:
    • I would have to carry him up to the doorstep.
    • He’d pick out a piece of candy and then either put it back into the candy bowl, or hang onto it like his life depended on it. He would NOT let us put it in his bag.
    • Then, as we’d walk/run/zigzag to the next house, he’d get sick of holding it and chuck it in the grass somewhere.

I think he ended up with like 6 pieces of candy, which is fine with me because we don’t really do sugar in our house anyway, but OH MAN. After that experience, this mom had a beer. 😉

family Halloween

family halloween 2