A Letter to Mothers (& Fathers) Sitting Atop a High Horse

Jan 05th 2011

This post has been brewing for awhile, but one hilariously judgmental comment from a reader yesterday inspired me to finish it up and hit Publish. I know all parents with a child or two over 2 years old will thank me for this.

A few years ago, I purchased Dr. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Toddler on the Block” to read about toddler behavior when my first baby was about 15 months old. The book tries to teach parents a language called “Toddlerese,” which is designed to get on the level with the child and help them feel understood so that tantrums can be diffused with as little destruction as possible.

(For the record, I personally found the whole notion of Toddlerese too ridiculous to implement, but Karp’s insight into what makes toddlers tick really did help me understand my changing child a little better.)

Karp opens the book by explaining that, around the age of 18-24 months, children go from being Mommy’s Little Angel, to someone truly unrecognizable. He insists that all parents think this won’t happen to them, but eventually, it will.

I refused to believe it. Not MY Jonas. No way!  I was a GOOD mother.  Sorry Mr. Karp, but I intend on being an ENGAGED parent who doesn’t let their child run wild. No child of mine will ever yell at me or throw a sippy cup at my head!

It only took a few months before my mouth became stretched to about the size of my foot.

As my sweet little baby hit a year and a half old, the hostile takeover began. He stopped agreeing to eat any type of food we put in front of him, and I’d regularly find him leaning over his high chair studying the way juice poured out of his sippy cup and landed on my clean floor. Haaa haa!  Look ma!  Gravity!!! We’d try to put shoes on him, and he’d arch his back and scream bloody murder. We’d ask him to stop hitting the dog and he’d yell “No!” And at just 22 months old, with his newborn brother nursing at mommy’s breast, Jonas walked over, looked down at the new creature, and then smacked him directly in the face with a Matchbox car.

Mommy’s. Little. Angel.

Had my parenting changed?   Had I abruptly started sucking as a parent?  Was that what caused such a sudden shift in my toddler’s behavior? Nope! I was still the same Awesome Mom I prided myself on being.  But my kid changed… boy, did he change. And so, at that point, yes, my parenting had to change with him.  I had to adapt to his new personality.  I also had to learn to love the taste of Humble Pie.

And this is oh-so-common. Just look around and you see moms of babies, or moms of one very easy child, who act like none of this will ever – could ever – happen to them.

They naturally assume that if their child doesn’t act like “THAT,” then anyone else’s child is just “not normal.” But usually all it takes is their child developing a sense of independence to make them realize how little control we have over a tiny person’s behavior.  Or, these people eventually give their kids a sibling and see first-hand how two children raised by the SAME EXACT PERSON can develop such drastically different personalities, which forces the High Horse Parent to realize that kids are different. This is about the time that they discover that their first child is NOT the litmus test of normality.  Oh NOES!  You mean, my first child has NOT set the bar by which all other children can be judged!?!  Oh, the humanity!

My friend tells this story of how she was walking through Wicker Park one day when her son was about 2, and the kid was having a total meltdown.   She was struggling to get him to the car, her face was hot with embarrassment, when she looked up to find the New Mommy playgroup (e.g. moms with babies under 1) sitting on their little blankets, staring at her with disgust as though she was some sort of unfit mother to “allow” her child to lose his shit like that.

She looked straight at them and said under her breath, “Oh, you bitches just WAIT.”

That story always cracks me up.  I’m sure those mothers are now thinking the same thing every time their now-toddler throws a fork at some stranger’s head in a restaurant.  A few months ago, while having breakfast with my one of my BFFs, my 2 yr old tossed his fluffy baseball right into a strangers’ plate full of eggs and hashbrowns, and I swiftly and thoroughly died of humiliation.  Thankfully, the stranger was incredibly gracious about it, which I will be forever grateful for.  I didn’t need anybody making me feel worse than I already did.

But I know someone will undoubtedly come here and claim they have 15 children and none of them have ever acted this way. And if you are the person who claims to have 15 children, none of which who have EVER kicked, hit, spit, pissed, yelled, or humiliated you to the point of outrage in the middle of the bookstore, then I say you either:

  • Are a fucking liar
  • Have 15 mute, immobile children
  • Keep them locked in an attic somewhere
  • Are the LUCKIEST PERSON IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM and should stock up on lottery tickets IMMEDIATELY.

But under NO circumstances are you a “better mother” than anyone else here whose children HAVE tested their patience endlessly and mercilessly.  And the higher you are on your “Better Mother” horse, the harder Karma will smack you right off it one day.

It is a kid’s JOB to explore the world, and test boundaries. They are programmed to push the limits, make mistakes, and learn how to navigate this life in ways that are NOT polite OR convenient to us adults.   Ask any child psychologist and they’ll agree 100% with me that toddler tantrums are 100% normal. It’s our job to offer whatever guidance we can so that they become civilized members of society, but completely preventing a toddler from throwing the occasional fork is not something most parents will ever master.

But don’t worry – it’s not all bad. Sure, these Toddler Tyrants can cause you more stress than you can currently imagine, but they’ll also bring you more joy than you ever thought possible.  When your 2 yr old tells you out of the clear blue sky, “Mommy, you are the best Mommy I ever saw today!” your heart will melt into a puddle on the floor. And when your 4 yr. old tells any stranger who will listen to him that he’s madly “in love” with the baby sister growing in his Mommy’s belly, you’ll (almost) forget that he hit his last newborn sibling in the face with a fistful of toy metal car.

The point is that this is all a crazy, unpredictable ride. So fasten your seatbelts, check your ego at the door, and try to enjoy all the highs and lows — even if that sometimes means laughing with your adult friends about what little douchebags we’re all raising. Don’t worry, someday your kids are going to be saying the same exact things about their kids, and the beat goes on. :)

Back Camera

_______________________________________

Tell me, at what point did you discover how little control you had over the tiny humans in your house?  When did you start learning to eat giant slices of Humble Pie?

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202 Responses to “A Letter to Mothers (& Fathers) Sitting Atop a High Horse”

  1. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    It was the day my then 17 month old beloved son threw himself down and rolled endlessly, screaming, back and forth across our living room.

    “Who IS that?” I asked myself.

    And then he turned 4 and he was so much nicer.

    What happened between 17 months and 4 years is a little harder to recall. I think there may have been a time I broke down in tears on a transcontinental plane, when he ruined all of the carpet in our condo, when he dumped out 25 lbs of flour, 2 lbs of sugar, a can of parmesan cheese, several pints of chocolate ice cream, lemon juice, frozen corn, or chewed his way through a pound of butter–straight.

    And I might have yelled at an old woman who told me that her children “never acted like that” that they certainly did but that she was too old to remember.

    Something like that.
    Carina´s last blog post… Conversations with EG- Egg EditionMy Profile



  2. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Oh, that is so awesome! Ya, there were all kinds of things I said I’d never do as a parent. And then I had kids. Still, I had my ideas. And then I had more kids. Four kids later, everything I ever thought about parenting and children is out the window.

    If there is one thing that I’ve learned since becoming a parent it’s this: NEVER say never!

    Amanda
    FamilyNature´s last blog post… It’s the WhyMy Profile



  3. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve had a kid pee on the floor I almost forgot about it. Ah, memories. I’ll have another one potty training here soon and then I can relive that experience every day. I know what you mean about the rest of it, too–my 6 year old talks to me like I’m a moron at least once a week, but I just correct him and move on. The times when he picks up a book and reads it out loud to his brother or volunteers to help me with the housework more than make up for his occasional attitude.

    I’ve almost gotten to the point where I don’t care what people think anymore. My youngest is autistic, and he’s going to act like a brat sometimes because he just can’t handle whatever we’re doing. It happens. Do I care what you think about it? Not unless you’ve got a cure for autism. Otherwise shut up.



  4. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    So true! Why do people think they can “correctly parent” the “bad behavior” out of toddlers? It’s just what very young people do. They have poor emotional and behavioral control. Their frontal lobes are, well, not yet developed. This will take time. Good parenting doesn’t mean stopping it from happening. Good parenting means being the same loving, understanding person you were when they were “angels,” and also doing your best to find a way to help your child mature and develop through this time of change. Or whatever it is that works for you and your child.



  5. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    When my first born was 8 months old, I distinctly remember thinking he was going to be a handful. And he totally is. He’s four now, and not a day goes by where I’m not working hard to keep it under control. And really most of the time, both of my kids are running the show.
    Marilyn @ A Lot of Loves´s last blog post… Pinwheels- Wednesday of Few Words linkyMy Profile



  6. I thought *I* was the feminist breeder! | Profile
    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    When did I discover I had little to no control? I sat here trying to think of an example, and I realized I don’t really have one because I never expected to have control in the sense that I could do anything to prevent normal behavior. Yes, tantrums *can* be preventable if one is anticipating them, but that’s impossible for every single toddler trigger (not to mention that the triggers change all the time!). Kids are kids! My firstborn threw food once or twice and then decided to eat it instead. Her brother throws more than he eats (and yes, at us sometimes). He likes being naked, and he pisses on the floor if he gets his diaper off.

    I’ve found that “my child never did that” parents tend to either a) only have one child, b) haven’t reached that stage yet or c) become so assured of their own perfection as parents that they’ve blocked out anything that doesn’t edify that. If it’s a or b, all I’ve got to say is that karma? Is a bitch.



  7. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Absolutely. On everything from that stupid toddlerese to the people who claim perfect kids. I STILL have a bad taste in my mouth from an encounter with a well known parenting professional who held the idea that her children were always perfect, and if you had followed her advice perfectly, you wouldn’t have monster children. I really love her advice, so I don’t want to turn anyone off to her, but in person it doesn’t translate. Even the BEST kids have their times, and even the BEST parents will have bad days with their kids. Anyone who thinks otherwise it full of shit.



  8. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My firstborn was what you might call ‘spirited’ or ‘high needs’. Which really means that she cried at top volume, in any setting, from the age of about 4 months on. So, really early, I had to concede defeat. And really early, I was incredibly annoyed by people who claimed that if I only wore her more / responded faster / took her to the right energy healer / whatever that she would somehow not be herself.

    The one thing that my first DID have going on, though, was her awesome sleep. Which I totally took credit for. I thought that if everyone did what I did, then we would all have babies who slept through the night at 3 months old. Fastforward 5 years, and I have a 2 1/2 year old who has slept through the night 3 times, total. It turns out I have NOTHING figured out. Too bad.
    Amber´s last blog post… Blue Fleece BlanketMy Profile



    • VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      “took her to the right energy healer” — baaaa haaa haa… that was awesome.

      I took credit for my first son’s awesome sleep habits too. I’ll give you one guess how that worked out for me the second time around :)



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      My 3-year-old really is an almost perfect toddler, but she was a NIGHTMARE baby. She would not sleep. At all. I figure at this point, I must have paid my dues or something. At least for now.



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        Lord I hope I’m paying my dues… 8 months in and not a night of sleep. I lost control the moment I pushed her out of my womb when she promptly peed all over the nurse and Dr.

        Of course I’m sure if I stood on one foot and spun around 3 times and kept my pinky up while I was prego she’d be sleeping through the night by now… right?…



  9. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Oh how I laughed at the last post and this one. When my almost 18 month old starts getting under my skin I usually tell his father to ‘take It away now please’. Our son is clingy (normal, I know) and if he is having a meltdown he has to be pried off of my leg to make any attempt to calm him down. His newest phase, I think was caused by all the unfamiliarity of places and people over the holiday. Every time I take more than two steps away from him he throws himself to the floor and screams into his hands with his butt in the air, occasionally looking up to see if anyone is paying attention to him. I felt horrible at first, now I laugh because realize he is being a ‘drama prince’ as my mother calls him. I realize it is only going to get more challenging from here, I am not a moron. My boyfriend however, thinks that if we just ‘tell him no’ often enough, he won’t do whatever it is we don’t want him to do… yeah, right. He rarely throws food (yet) but feeding him becomes increasingly more trying all the time. He can’t have wheat or dairy and it’s hard enough to feed him when he isn’t having a picky eating day. Keep your chins up ladies, most mothers make it out after a few decades right? LOL



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      Yes, you make it through all of that, only to have your twentysomething daughter – a new mom herself – making you feel guilty for not getting yourself on a plane more often (oh, if only you weren’t flight-phobic and vomited for weeks at the thought of getting on a plane!) (when you still have a teenage son at home to watch over) to visit her….sigh….it NEVER, EVER ends as a mom, trust me….

      But most of the time, motherhood is the MOST glorious state of being in which to exist. :) And I say that with all sincerity, sarcastic as it might sound to some….

      And, truly, we do not ‘make’ our children stop doing ANYthing that they want to do – we only reach the point in time in which the CHILD decides to stop doing whatever it is that we wish him/her to stop.



  10. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My two year old is 2 months from turning 3 and suddenly he has FORTY FIVE minute long tantrums. I have no idea what I’m doing because my now 4 year old?? NEVER did that. lol



  11. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I discovered it as a nanny, when my 3-year-old “little lady” shoved an elderly woman out of the way in order to be the one to push the elevator button. At least then I could say, “She’s not mine.”

    TFB, I have to raise one of my usage bugbears here. It’s “defuse,” not “diffuse.” http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000273.htm.



    • VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      You’re right, and I know the difference. Now will you come by and edit all of my posts for free? Cuz I can’t afford to pay anybody to pour over the several thousand words I write each week and keep me from publishing embarrassing typos ;)



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        O look here’s noobie again! *popcorn*



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        You mean pore? Teehee. And seriously, I would edit them for you for free if it meant I got to read them first.

        Side note, a couple of our friends sent their little girl to daycare in a shirt that said “Punk Ass” on the back. When the daycare staff asked them not to let her wear it they were like, “What, it’s for your entertainment! None of the kids here can read yet!”



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        Finally! I have just found your blog this week, and all I can say is that it is refreshing to read your posts and to have them accurately reflect how mown bff’s and feel and speak regarding life and parenting in general. Like you, I was never planning on having kids and since then i have had 2 and am usually blessed out with all of their innate goodness, but that other 10% of the time… Let’s just say my daughter has told me ” Mommy, why are you using your angry voice?” LOL
        Anyway, thank you for representing the educated women out there that are realists who are not afraid of judgement or dropping the occasional ‘f’ bomb. United we stand. Lol
        T.



  12. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    At 29 I’m the last of the girls I went to school with to have a baby (they all started straight outta school when I was way more interested in drinking). So after seeing all their angels turn in to monsters then settle down I knew that it would happen to me too… Luckily I’m only at the 7 month mark so I’ve still got a bit of time to prepare.
    Awesome post.
    Glowless´s last blog post… Letter to Tricky – Seven months oldMy Profile



  13. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    my daughter is a spirited, oppositional and quite adorable child. At our wits end when she was about three (she would bite us, pull our hair and scream for the full three minutes of her time out) we went to a parenting class. It was cathartic to be in a room full of people equally lost, and reassuring to hear tales from other parents that made our child sound positively angelic.
    geekymummy´s last blog post… The best laid meal plansMy Profile



  14. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I got the best parenting advice right before my oldest daughter turned 18-months old. I was starting to notice that my previously charming, peaceful, angelic daughter was starting to be, well, NOT. My friend said, “From 18-36 months, it’ll be hard. Really hard. It’s like your child is going through early menopause or something. Just go with it and realize that it’s not because you’re a bad parent.”

    It was the biggest weight off my parental shoulders, ever. I wasn’t failing my child!

    Second time around, I made sure to soak up all that love from my sweet girl before she hit 17-months. And now? Third time around? You better believe I am REALLY soaking it all up. Because in 15 months, I might just get hit in the face with a handful of noodles :)
    Stephanie´s last blog post… P is forMy Profile



  15. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Also, this exchange happened earlier today:

    3YO “DON’T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!!!!”
    Me, “THAT’S MY JOB.”
    Carina´s last blog post… Conversations with EG- Egg EditionMy Profile



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      My three year old just said to me, “why are you always talking? dont talk to me mama.”



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        My fave was “Why you keep sayin’ it over and over?”

        Which was what we had always said to him when he would say, “Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama! Mom! Mom! Mama! Mama!”

        Oh, they learn. Better and faster, sometimes, than we would like.



  16. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I have very few places I can vent that aren’t public domain so I haven’t been able to really get off my chest what happened this weekend, but I’m very grateful for this blog post!

    The back story is: I have two wonderful nieces who are 16 and 11. I love them to bits as well as my sister-in-law. However, it seems as though recently I’m hearing constant comparisons of my nieces to my sons (age 3 and 1) by both my SIL and my In-laws.

    They stayed with us this weekend, and while out to lunch before they headed back, I was playing with my 1 year old who was sitting in the high chair. Both my boys at that age tended to pinch when they’d grab, it wasn’t on purpose, neither realized the strength of their pincher grasp. Normal baby motor-skill development, IMO.

    My SIL dropped this bomb “Neither of my girls ever pinched me.” I brushed it off with a “Well, you had girls.” and left it at that. Then, after having to chase my sparkler older son (who is very sensitive and tends to react very emotionally) I walked back to the table and overheard SIL say “No, neither of them were like that.” and my FIL answer back “Yeah, I don’t remember them like that either.” I didn’t say anything but still, I’m hurt and angry that these judgments are being passed about me.

    So thanks for the balls to write this post, it makes me feel much better.
    Jaci´s last blog post… Healing Mama Jewelry GiveawayMy Profile



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      The joys of selective memory! Sorry you had to deal with that mama.



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      I haven’t hit the “behavioral” stage yet (my son is only 9 weeks old.) But my MIL is CONSTANTLY comparing our son to her children. Particularly my husband who, apparently, was an angel of a baby – slept through the night from day one, (yet supposedly weighed 25 lbs at 6 months,) breastfed exclusively until he was 9 months…blah blah blah… EVERY child is different and it’s not fair for any kid to grow up in the shadow of another. Chances are your sister doesn’t remember every little outburst and break down. I bet if she could go back in time she’d eat her words. I feel for you because I know I’m going to be hearing those stories soon! Best of luck!
      Dawn´s last blog post… Breast Milk and Humanity- Struggling with Let DownMy Profile



    • VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      ARG comparisons! The bane of a parent’s existence. Children are individual people, just because they are pint size doesn’t make them interchangeable, with the only variable being the parent.

      The only thing I have found useful in regards to comparisons are
      that my youngest niece, myself and my daughter are all alike in temperament which helps me pick an appropriate reaction to different behaviours; we are what you might call-challenging.



  17. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Ugh. This makes me appreciate my mom so much. I really think that moms just need some grace and support from eachother! We need to stop tearing ourselves down and realize that we are all in this journey together. High horse mommas, your day will come. I was a difficult kid. It’s never easy, raising a HUMAN BEING. But it is rewarding and beautiful in its own way.

    TFB, you obviously love your kids and that’s so so good to see. Keep up the good work, even though it makes you wanna throw up your hands in despair. Their crazy is just for a season. But you’ll be their awesome mom for a lifetime.



  18. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    uh, my moment? it happened way before 18 months, that’s for sure. here’s a video of my sweet little darling baby turned into TERROR OF A 14 MONTH OLD. holy shit, i hated age 1!

    http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff231/jessicablizzard/?action=view&current=0627091829.flv

    seriously. he was so sweet as a baby! happy all the time, great sleeper, wouldn’t let me put him down… but it was okay because he was mostly happy! then he turned into THIS.



  19. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I don’t remember the moment Number 1 changed.

    I do very clearly remember a moment of grace. We were at the zoo and had been too long. The little one was about two and was losing it. I tried to wrestle him back into the pushchair and he was flailing as though his life was in danger. Eventually I used a leg to keep him still while buckling him in place. Hot, sweaty, disheveled, I look up to see two very bemused women sitting on a bench smiling broadly at me. Before I could explain myself, one spoke up, ‘I remember those days, mine is now six’ as she pointed to a very happy child. The other mom chimed in.
    I was incredibly grateful for their humanity.



  20. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My mom always says that she felt so smug, because I was the best-behaved kid and would always do what she told me to do. She said she would think “Those other mothers just don’t know how to handle their children.” Then she had my sister (my total opposite, who was raised the same way) and realized she had been an idiot (her words).

    Ha!



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      OMG, yes, we are ALL very smug before we become parents ourselves…….



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      My poor mother learned this the hard way as well. I never went through a terrible toddler stage. I was always a ridiculously quiet, content and compliant child. So my mom though she had it all figured out, all while her sisters’ children were a bunch of out of control hooligans.

      Then she had my brother. He started his tantrum stage from about the moment he got home from the hospital. As she says, he more than made up for the “time-off” she had with me.
      hypatia´s last blog post… That Word- MandateMy Profile



  21. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    So true…another book I found very helpful (without any nonsense about speaking toddlerese) was “The Science of Parenting.” Especially for explaining what children are and are not capable of doing/understanding/regulation at different ages. It uses a lot of recent neuroscience to explain why patience, emotional connection, taking our children’s distress seriously (even though it might seem silly that our 2 yo freaks out when she has the wrong color cup) and responding in age-appropriate ways makes a difference in their brain chemistry and overall long-term adaptation to adult life.
    Rixa´s last blog post… More on tongue-tie updatedMy Profile



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      Thanks :) I just went and bought that for my husband. I’ve been trying (without success) to get him to read my child development textbooks since before I got pregnant the first time. Hopefully he’ll won’t be so resistant to something a little less intimidating.



  22. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Yes! Thank you for posting this. My very sweet firstborn turned on me early. The day after his first birthday, he decided to let me know he wasn’t ready to leave the restaurant by biting my shoulder. Huh? And suddenly, I was a bad mom…

    That story, and many more admissions by me as well as dozens of moms like us are in my book “Stop Second-Guessing Yourself — The Toddler Years.” Read it. It’ll make you feel less alone.

    Great, great post. Thanks @Kiddos1138 for pointing it out to me.



  23. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My mother said that my brother (2 years younger) was much more of a handful than my sister and I combined (twins). I can’t wait to see what my daughter will be like in a year, lol.



  24. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I never call my children a douchebag out loud, but only because I know people will jump down my throat. But my kids? Total douchebag a**holes.
    The day my 22 month old became “that” child? We were in an Olive Garden, eating lunch and she flipped her crap. I. was. mortified. But I still adore her. My six month old already has “those” moments. Leaves a lot of sleepless nights.
    And you can never prevent occasional throwing, but when your kid throws as much crap as mine does? You get ninja-like reflexes and can catch them *almost* every time. So awesome. My husband thinks it’s my secret talent.
    Pua´s last blog post… The real usMy Profile



  25. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My first born was and is abnormally well behaved. She was an amazingly easy baby I mean slept through the night, hardly ever cried, would go to anyone, ate like a champ, terrible twos were a breeze. I was so spoiled with her it was disgusting so when we decided to have another one we were all high and mighty we know what were doing, thought we had it in the bag. #2 was born just before #1’s 5th birthday #2 has been a hellion since the day he graced us with his presence. Never slept though the night, up every 45 minutes till he was almost a year old, wouldn’t stay with anyone but me, eating don’t get me started and toddler years ughh. I was never one to judge other moms even before him but I def. learned how to empathize with them after my son came along. I love the spirited little turd with all my heart and soul but after his sister I was woefully unprepared for what to expect with him.
    Becky´s last blog post… Moms taxi service will be riding againMy Profile



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      I know exactly what you are talking about. We waited over 6 years to be blessed with our first daughter. She just turned 3 and has been a delight nearly every day of her life. I knew we would pay for this at some point. Daughter #2 is now 8 months old and WHAT A DIFFERENT CHILD she is! This kid is going to be the end of me. I just know it.

      I taught elementary ed for several years before we had our first and I thought I was the best judge of other parents. I did learn a lot of what to do and NOT do….but man, parenting can be really hard and I want to take back *most* of my high-horse judgements. I’m sorry I was that judgemental teacher/stranger in public. I get it now. We all want what is best for our kids and are doing our best at doing it. :)



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      lol. I called mine a little turd in my head a few times too.



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    I distinctly remember thinking that parenting was SO EASY when my first was about 15 months old….I thought there was no way I would ever make mistakes with him. I felt such pity for parents who “couldn’t handle” their children. Yeah, he was an easy child. Now I have 5 children and I honestly think I make more mistakes than I get things right. But my children are happy (sometimes). They are obnoxious often.
    I have found that just when I start to feel a little pride in my parenting abilities, something happens to knock my off my high horse and bring me back to reality….and I’m glad for that because it is too easy to become a judgmental bitch and I need that reality check.



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    I remember being at the park with my first born when he was about 18 months and watching all the older kids push younger ones to run up the slide and using sticks as swords and saying things like, “You’re dead! Bang! Bang!”

    Boy was I on my high horse. You see I would be a better parent. I would explain the complexities of war and violence to my kids and we would be kind and compassionate to those younger than us.

    HAH! Now with a 6 and 3 year boy (and baby) our house is full out war. Now at the playground it’s MY kids wielding swords and talking about bad guys while other parents with their one sweet toddler gives me dirty looks for my family who is “corrupting” their sweet child.

    Oh just you wait I think. And smile. Smile and wave!



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    My son has yet to reach the toddler stage. However, I was blessed with a rather difficult baby who seems to realize that he is his own person and has been perfecting the art of toddler-style tantrum throwing since he was about 9 months old. The first time he arched his back and turned into a jellyfish to squiggles his way out of my arms and throw himself to the ground in a massive screaming fit…over having a shoe put onto his foot…I was shocked that it would happen so early. We’d just gotten past his unbearable constant fussing that ate away at my patience for the first 7 months or so. I can only imagine the horrors that await.

    Though, he’s still non-verbal and hasn’t mastered walking yet and has become infinitely more fun that I ever imagined already. Soon he’ll be a walking, talking individual doing God knows what to whoever he comes in contact with and simultaneously charming everyone’s pants off with his adorable quirks. :-)



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    We seriously considered our first an angel baby. The worse thing she ever did was right before she turned three she would have these tiny mini-tantrums at dinner. She wouldn’t eat and we would have to force feed her the first bite and then she would okay. We thought hell yeah we got this parenting thing figured out.
    Then Emerson was born. Holy hell. From the moment she was born she has been a fire ball. She had colic for 9 months. She hated all food except breast milk. It wasn’t till she could eat the food off of my plate did she calm down. She would go after my older daughter with a vengeance biting and hitting her. My husband and I certainly ate our giant humble pie.
    At ten and seven their personalities remain unchanged. My oldest remains that easy going girl and my seven year old still has that fiery, carefree spirit.



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    As a Mama of TEN, let me just tell you this: the Toddler Tantrums, yeah, they stick around forever! Add to those toddler troubles the angst of teenage awkwardness and hormones, the drama of relationships gone wrong…you’ll be grateful for the “practice”.

    As a Mama of some children with neurological disorders, you just have to ignore everyone else. They don’t understand and, really, they don’t have to because they’re on their own ride. Just honor yours. Love your children for who they are and, come up with some good retorts before you need them, (ha!) most importantly be confident that YOU are the one with the wisdom for your child–not Miss Pris or Mr Jerk next to you.

    There are, of course, ways to minimize the number of meltdowns but, as my husband says, being a parent means experiencing the three P’s: being pooped on, peed on, and puked on–emotionally and physiologically. You aren’t getting through this without some bumps, bruises, scrapes and scars on your heart and your pride.



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    Don’t hate me and I’m not sure, but I think I was one of those new moms who swore her baby was perfect and he would never ever throw food, piss on the floor, etc.

    It wasn’t necessarily that I was sitting on a high horse. No, not at all. It was complete ignorance on my part as I’d never really spent time with kiddos. My son was my first real experience with a baby. So yeah, my son is nearly 2.5 now and although he is a sweetheart most the time . . . I’m eating a big helping of humble pie now. Because the food throwing and pissing on the floor. Yeah, ALL OF THAT, and then some has happened.

    Let’s just say I’m a little more realistic when I look at my second born.

    So sometimes it’s not that moms are trying to be stuck up. It’s that we don’t know SHIT.
    molly´s last blog post… Let’s get to the bottom of thisMy Profile



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    I really appreciate your honesty. As a first-time mother to a 10-month-old, it’s nice to know what I have in store for me. Your blog helps keep me grounded and far, far away from any high horse. Thank you!



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    My sweet baby is nearing 15 months and I am already seeing it. She is my fourth so I knew it was coming. She steals things from us and giggling madly she runs away. The little shit is fast too. I have yet to get hit in the face with a sippy cup but that is because my reflexes are pretty good ;) LOL Thanks for this very honest and spot-on post



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    Seriously, what is with these people who insist that they never *allowed* their kids to throw tantrums!? I would understand if they were saying that they never allowed their kids to get what they wanted by tantruming (I wouldn’t believe it but it’s at least theoretically possible).

    My son has been relatively easy going so far and loves other people so he tends to be even better at family gatherings and the like. As a result we’ve gotten a lot of compliments on our parenting which I *always* respond to with “We’re just lucky; he came this way.” I had spent enough time with kids that I knew what was coming but when he was a little over one (oh yes, he’s very precocious) he started to become “difficult” on occasion and my husband did the whole “what’s wrong with him” thing. My response, “He’s developing a personality.” The hardest thing for dh has been just letting our son have his tantrum (if we’re at home and he’s not a danger to himself or our stuff we just ignore him completely) but he’s learning. Lately it’s been getting better (except when he’s sick) which is lovely but I know there’s plenty of rough times ahead.



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      Yeah, really – as if you have the choice to not “allow” the tantrum. You can choose how you respond to it, but if they’re going to lose it on you, there’s no stopping a determined toddler. Well, I suppose you could put them in a headlock and then cut off their air supply, but that’s not a viable option xD I’m pretty sure the people who haven’t “allowed” their children to have tantrums were either on drugs, lying, or had ONE child who was the really mild mannered type. Or they gave them everything they wanted in order to avert the tantrums! Interesting to see how well that works for kiddo once they’re older… yikes.



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      My mom tells the tale of me getting really worked up to pitch an epic fit at the age of 3 and in a fit of exhaustion and helplessness, she threw ice water in my face. It stopped me cold, made her feel like a horrible person, and made my dad think she was crazy. But it worked. I never threw another tantrum again.

      Maybe that’s what people mean.



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    oh no.. my kid is only 15.5 months old and you’re telling me it’s gonna get drastically worse in a few months!?!?!? i can’t handle much more!!! …can we say it starts, (and ends) earlier, the earlier they start walking? please!!! my kid doesn’t talk yet.. maybe that is the only evilness that he is saving? ahh
    -freaking out mommy of a not-yet 1.5yr old



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      You might get lucky… for a little while. It seems the luckier we get with our first the worse things are with our second or third! Good luck! Mwwaaa-haaa-haaaa :)

      No seriously, you’ll get through it. Look at the rest of us – we did!

      (well, for now at least.)



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      That’s been true so far for my son. He walked at 9 months, started getting difficult by 14 months and now at 20 months it seems to be getting better.



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        Yup…the second my son walked at 9 months his personality changed and he was in a constant state of wrecking things or throwing tantrums. For him it was better around 2.5 to 3. Now he is a very sweet 3.5 year old. For a long time I just thought I was a terrible unfit parent. But now things are 10 times better and seeing others go through it I realize it isn’t just me!

        My daugher is 13 months and just started to walk…I am starting to see the independence and the fits starting, oh no! Here we go again

        At least I know now it ends well.



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      you’ll evolve and grow and gain some ninja-like reflexes and you will be okay. Don’t borrow trouble, each day has enough of its own.



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    My almost 3 year old has been giving me lip for several months now but thankfully has been to shy to freak out in public… until 2 days ago. Then we became “that family” at the restaurant.

    We’ve barely been out of the house for a month because I’ve been circling the drain with a horrid respiratory bug so we’ll see if the bitchiness trend continues today at Playgroup.



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    What a fantastic post!

    A few weeks ago I was on the way home with my (usually completely sweet and adorable but) screaming, howling 20-month-old daughter, who had insisted in that way only a toddler can on walking part of the way, even though it was freezing. She was out-of-control upset, kept pushing my hand away as I tried to help guide her, and then she missed a step and fell face first in a little patch of dirt next to a tree, soiling her face and coat and sending her into a full-on meltdown. As I picked her up sack-of-potatoes style so I get get her inside, clean her up and hopefully calm her down, I spotted a woman with a tiny sleeping baby in a Bjorn, giving me a pitying, withering look. I almost laughed out loud and thought, I’ll see you in about a year, beyotch!
    CookiePie´s last blog post… Peppermint pattiesMy Profile



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      CookiePie —

      When I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child, my 20 month old son pulled that in a parking lot in Colorado in January. He collapsed in a tantrum into an icy puddle of water in our hotel parking lot (I was by myself at the time and had arms full of stuff too). This of course brought even more tears/crying/screaming…I don’t think anyone saw, but I’m sure it was a beautiful sight! ;-)



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    I saw a couple comments in here that seemed to imply that 36 mos is the cutoff for bad behavior, and I would like to go on record as saying that, in fact, it is only the gateway to a whole new level of consciousness that brings its own assholery along with it. (for example, I was told today that I am a meanie because the sleeves on MY shirt are too long.)

    My favorite parenting book goes on to describe the special characteristics of the four-year-old: 4 is a jerk who hates everyone and everything yet loves poop and death, and wants to tell you all about it as loud as possible in public whenever possible.

    I am sure there’s at least one douchenag out there who will try to tell you that this post is totally trying to deflect any responsibility for your childrens’ behavior, so I want to point out that my favorite part of this is where you point out that you (we, I, all of us) need to change our parenting approaches and gather new tools to help guide our little angels through the challenges of all these new feelings and experiences as they happen.
    FoxyKate´s last blog post… 20 more love- ResurrectedMy Profile



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      “Assholery.” You are going to cause my freaking water to break with all your hilarity the past few days.

      Yeah. THREE. OH. MY. GOD!!!!!! Dr. Sears says that 3 is the “easy” age, which only confirms to me that that guy is SMOKING COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CRACK.



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        Copious amounts of crack… perhaps that’s how Dr. Sears survived the terrible 3’s in his house and why he doesn’t remember them clearly.



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        Oh, you know. The ill-fated timing of my best friend’s husband up and dying combined with some raucous PMS…the pain, it fuels good comedy.
        FoxyKate´s last blog post… 20 more love- ResurrectedMy Profile



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        My ped. once told me that whoever coined the term terrible twos, never actually let their child live to the age of three, because 3 is so much worse than any age I have encountered so far, mine are 3 and 5.



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      Heh. Four is f’n awful. At least, it has been for us so far, 2 of 3 times, and the third is making her way into four now, so I’ll keep you posted. ;)



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        And just so you know, the fifteenth year is particularly trying for daughters…… :)



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        Yeah, three of my four have had a tough time with the 4s. But I had completely FORGOTTEN about how bad 4 was for my oldest by the time my twins got there, so then he looked like an angel in comparison.

        I think, on the other end of the spectrum, once your kids go through those stabby ages*n*stages, instead of looking in horror from the perspective of “oh, that will never be MY child!” from the noobies of the world, we’re going, “sweet, sexy Jesus, please tell me that fucking decade didn’t fucking happen…”
        FoxyKate´s last blog post… 20 more love- ResurrectedMy Profile



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      “My favorite parenting book goes on to describe the special characteristics of the four-year-old: 4 is a jerk who hates everyone and everything yet loves poop and death, and wants to tell you all about it as loud as possible in public whenever possible.”

      HA! Which parenting book is this? I need it posthaste.
      Dou-la-la´s last blog post… Lact-Aid Demo- In which I take one for the team and bare it all for the greater goodMy Profile



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        Yes! That quote is absolutely true. My 4 1/2 year will tell anyone at the top of her lungs if she needs a crap. >_<;

        I would love to know which book this is from as well.



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    I don’t remember a specific day. I’m very lucky to have an easy first child – though she gives me my share of trials. I do try to communicate to moms of kids younger than my oldest daughter (she’s 4) that it’s totally normal. Parents do tend to blame themselves or wonder what happened, I just tell them it’s totally normal.

    Interested to see what my baby turns into. She’s 12 months now, and totally sweet. I’m really appreciating it since I know what I’m in for.



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    Ok, so I just had to share my favorite advice ever from a “professional” on tantrums. When my little sister started tantruming she would bang her head on the floor. My mother went to the pediatrician because was at her wits end since she was really worried the baby would hurt herself. The pediatrician’s advice “Pick her up and put her on the carpet.” Clearly this woman was a parent :).



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      ZOMG is that funny!!!! I will have to remember that, as my near-2-year-old is beginning to do that too.
      Erin W. / Beatnik Momma´s last blog post… Angel BabiesMy Profile



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        My 20 month old son (who takes a little more after his aunt than I would like) also bangs his head when he’s upset but he always stops himself just before hitting it on something hard. Sometimes that snaps him out of it entirely and sometimes he just moves himself to the carpet.



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      ROFLMAO! I love that pediatrician. Definitely a parent..oh yes, definitely.



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    My little girl/demon is almost 20 months old. /her favourite game this week is called ‘mess’. She throws all of her toys around the room while I try to avoid being hit. Then she sings the clean up song and tells where to put everything. Oh yeah, I’m totally in control.

    She also has decided that any child over the age of 1 who is bald or has only a little blonde hair must die. It is her personal mission. Yesterday at a play group I caught her in the act of tackling a little boy from behind by reaching around and pulling him down by his mouth. Then a few minutes later she almost gauged out his eyes with her thumbs.

    She can be so sweet sometimes but she just has so much energy to use, and hitting is her favourite way to do it.



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    AH yes.
    My 2 year old son was a “high needs”, reflux, colic baby who never took a bottle, only the boob and never ever slept. I am kind of grateful NOW that he was like that because it made me stay somewhat sane from 18 months on. I never expected an angel and never got one. So when he is wonderful, I appreciate it TONS.
    My son is 27 months now and it isn’t TOO bad when I stop to think about WHY he is doing what he is doing. Like, why did he throw a gigantic tantrum at daycare dropoff this morning? Because he slept poorly. Why? bad dreams, molars, who knows.
    It doesn’t make it easier to deal with, but at least I don’t feel like the worst parent in the world (all the time). And when he was an infant I felt horrible with all the useless advice I got (just let him cry, you hold him too much, stop nursing, etc, etc). Now I ignore it all, because he is my son and I know best.
    Every age brings new behavior, whether good or bad. i just try to stay sane and not run screaming from my house when he throws milk/yogurt/coffee/toys/knives across the room for absolutely no reason at all.
    And I read like a maniac trying to figure out if it is normal…and of course it all is.



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    I have a great day in mind. Mine has been perfecting the art of tantrums since about 8 months old (hates diaper changes, bathing, and thinks cribs and carseats are torture devices), but his throwing arm has taken time to develop (he’s 22 months). It better pay off with an MLB or NFL contract one day.

    I come home from a long day at work and a long commute. I’m pregnant and not feeling well, stressed and practically in tears. I lay down on the couch to be near DH and DS rather than isolate myself in the bedroom. DS looks at me, smiles, and chucks a huge plastic toy at my face from across the room. Bullseye. I think I cried for 20 minutes.

    Now he loves hitting me. During diaper changes, anytime I say no, if I don’t whip out the boob fast enough, etc etc. This, too, shall pass, right? Right?



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    Thank You!



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    Ha ha, Gina, you’re hilarious! I would love to send this to all the people who stare at and judge us when our “sweet angels” are acting like demons. My friend made a comment once about another kid who was acting up at a playgroup with “I wonder what’s going on at his home.” I could’ve strangled her. It’s not always the parent’s fault! Some kids are just giant pains in the ass.
    Have you read this?
    http://iinformedparenting.blogspot.com/2011/01/11-step-program.html
    A perfect companion piece!



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      “it’s not always the parent’s fault”

      Truer words couldn’t be spoken – I believe that we come out of the womb a certain way, and that’s it. All five of my children have remained exactly the same as when they were babies – the oldest would throw down things and scream in frustration if she couldn’t get it the first time, and, to this day, at the age of 31, will not attempt things unless she is positive she can ‘ace’ them the very first time. My third daughter, in contrast, will try and try and try and try till she gets it right.

      Since my oldest was the ‘baptism by fire’ child, each succeeding child seemed much ‘easier’, and for a bit, I fell into the belief that I had grown as a parent….HA! My oldest grandchild came along (oldest daughter’s child), and he reminded me that I had learned NOTHING in all those years!!!! :)



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    I remember clearly looking at a list of milestones for 18-24 month olds (while still a mommy to just a sweet innocent 9 month old), seeing that having tantrums is listed there as a MILESTONE, and texting my husband that we would be in for it! Now that my firstborn is in that age range, I try my best to laugh at the rapid mood swings, knowing that when she’s a teenager, these will probably seem mild!



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    Bravo! My perfect daughter is slowly turning into a monster. Have I changed? Nope. I still adore her, work with her, practice attachment parenting, do everything “right”- Its natural and you have to roll with it.



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    It probably smacked me fully in the head when my “menace to society” no longer wanted to sit in church with me and I had to leave part-way through the service.

    I read this when I got up this morning & just had to link to this on my FB. Passive-aggressiveness at its best :)



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    Awesome post, especially due to the other day’s post comments.

    I was lucky to have a first child who was SO good. Being a stay-at-home mom, I knew her really well and was able to respond to her needs. THEN I had my second when my first was just 18 months old. I think the humbling really began then. Not only was my 2nd child COMPLETELY different from my first, but my first hit that difficult stage just after I gave birth to my 2nd. Dealing with a difficult toddler and an unpredictable newborn–well, I was pretty much THROWN off my high horse.

    People with just one child who think they really have their shit together–well, try having a second. Then come back and talk to us.



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      This is exactly my situation. My son (who is almost 19 months old now and has always been SO good) just started having these epic meltdowns. I’m almost positive it has something to do with 1) just being a toddler, and 2) realizing that the 7-week-old who needs to be held a lot is NOT going away.
      Leslie´s last blog post… The Best IntentionsMy Profile



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    The most awesome thing I’ve read all week. Sing it, Gina!
    Noble Savage´s last blog post… Run- fat girl- runMy Profile



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    I’m just coming into this realization, I’m afraid. And I have to stop reading these comments because, my three-hours-of-sleep brain is addled after an entire night of boundary-testing battles (which my husband and I decidedly lost) and I think I might actually burst into tears at my desk.

    I never expected to have control, or to have a perfect child who behaved impeccably 100% of the time. However, the thing that I’m finding is that his limit pushing and acting out is taking forms that I never expected. He’s far craftier than I’d anticipated.

    I think this post would be hilarious if I weren’t so fucking tired. :)
    jen @ a little barefoot blog´s last blog post… I’m scattered And really- that says it allMy Profile



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    I’ve never had to eat humble pie. I knew from the beginning that my kid would be an asshole, just as was I when I was a little girl. But he’s also hilarious and irresistibly adorable (just as I was), which is why I haven’t sent him back.

    When I hear the “oh, my kid won’t do that” comment from a person with an infant (or, even better, no children at all), I just shrug and say, “Oh well, I guess I’m just a bad mom. Maybe you should report me to someone.”

    Obviously, I do NOT think I am a bad mom – I just want them to understand how absolutely insignificant their opinion is to me.
    Heather´s last blog post… Goodreads Book Review – American WifeMy Profile



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    LOVE this post!

    My 4 yr old, when upset, will still tell us not to talk or especially, not to look at him. How “precious”. Thank goodness i have most of his quirks figured out now (like his 180 change from only jelly sandwiches, to now only PB sandwiches, funky ways of putting on socks, etc).

    For my kids, the meltdowns from 18-36 were easier then the ones from 36-48 months!! That was the same, for ALL 3 kids. Even my “easy and nearly perfect” first born who called me a bitch behind my back (and grandma caught her) when asked to help pick up sticks in the yard before a first spring mowing. I’d gladly consider selling my children to live with gypsies for a year at age 3, time and again. Whoever said 3 is the easy age, needs to share the drugs with the rest of us mommies – STAT!



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    Love this post.
    Made me think of an article I read in the Guardian a while back (UK newspaper). The author finished off with this account:
    My toddler recently had a Naomi Campbell-strength tantrum in the Early Learning Centre. While proper mums and their perfect children played together with educationally sound wooden toys, I guiltily attempted to wrestle my struggling son into his buggy to make my escape. From nowhere, a mother of three appeared and held tightly on to the handlebars and said, “Here, I’ll hold it firm, you strap the bugger in.” Now that’s the kind of mother I can take tea with.

    http://gu.com/p/2fzxx



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    Laughed my butt off at your replies to the 15 kid Mums…

    I have four boys, the first was and still is the easiest child (now 13). Next is a toe rag, the next had autism and my fourth is a proper little sc***e. He spends his 2yr old days dressed in a dinosaur suit alternating between the sweetest angel in the world and the dark sidet. I just laugh, I love the tantrums, the tears, the wobblies and the grief. He’s just precious. I have to tell myself this or you’ll find me on the front page of something.



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    That is the sole reason why I don’t scoff at other parents when their children are acting out in the store, parking lot, movie theater, etc. (Unless those kids are acting like little shit heads and their parents are just turning a blind eye at the whole situation….that just pisses me off). I know my kid can be a little asshole, and so can everyone elses, and I just try to deal with her the best way I can. My first daughter wasn’t that bad in her toddler phase (thank baby cheesus) but she got bad. She got defiant. And today at almost 5, she’s the biggest little shit head I know. But she’s my shit head and her daddy and I do our best to keep her level and grounded and not such a turd burgler.

    I don’t have any doubt that we’ll face the same defiance and challenges with our infant. I laugh, loudly, at those parents who think their children won’t ever do anything bad and they’ll be perfect angels the rest of their lives. HA! I’m prepared for the worst, and hoping for the best.

    Great post Gina!



  57. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I never expected to have the “perfect child”. But, I was a nanny for a long time, so I kind of expected a lot of the stuff that happened with my own first born. I do remember, however, the first time she threw her first REAL tantrum. Throwing herself on the floor, screaming, kicking, crying uncontrollably…all over…not being able to go outside *right this second* because I had to wash my hands (from cooking). Now, she was “perfect” in public…rarely ever threw temper tantrums in public and I hardly ever had a problem getting her into the car…

    Fast forward to my 2nd child and he was everything my first child wasn’t. And by that I mean that he had no problem throwing screaming fits and tantrums in the middle of the store…throwing himself on the ground in the middle of the parking lot and doing everything humanly possible to get attention during his temper tantrums. Fun.

    My 3rd child is pretty well balanced between the 1st and 2nd. But, his temper tantrums (mainly at home…not out) make my 2nd look like he had sniffly fits.

    I can’t wait to see how the twins will be once they’re born…



  58. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Gina – You are by far my fave blogger out there. This is something we disagree on though :) Well not all the way. Just a little.

    I don’t think tantrums, terrible two’s or other “bad behavior” is normal for human beings. I don’t think it’s a necessary stage in development or anything. I think it is a very, very western phenomen that happens because for many generations now, we’ve been raised badly. People think they have the right to dictate children’s lives down to the minute details of when they eat and sleep. Instead of treating children like human beings, we modern mom’s (and dad’s, def) treat our children more like dogs or “projects” that we carry out. We don’t acknowledge their right to their own lives, we pretend we own them.

    I highly recommend books like Continuum Concept (by Jean Liedloff), The Natural Child (Jan Hunt) and for a more practical, how-to, hands on take: Parent Effectiveness Training (Thomas Gordon). No bullshit about toddlerese and different langueges; we are, after all, human beings just like our children, and we work on exactly the same principles. If we treated our children the way we’d treat adults in the same situation, adults who have the same skills and knowledge as our children, we’d understand.

    Other oppressed groups have risen up in the past to fight for their rights. Women and persons of color used to be written off as something slightly less human then the white male. Women weren’t allowed to vote or be independent because it was thought that we couldn’t, that we just didn’t have the capacity to do that. Slavery was justified with sayings like “Oh but we know what’s better for them” and “They NEED strict boundaries, they’re happier that way.”

    Now these same sentences are used to justify the way children are treated. I strongly encourage you to read some Liedloff, Hunt, Kohn or Gordon. Tantrums and bad behavior may be absurdly common today, at least in western and westernized populations, but I truly do not believe it is a biological norm for humans as a species.



    • VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      Have you seen the documentary “Babies?” Because the pair of toddler boys growing up in the deeply rural African village exhibited ALL the same tantrums that “Westernized” kids do. They stole things from each other, hit, bit, and screamed. But I guess that’s because their poor African mothers didn’t have access to those books you mentioned? Even though those mothers practiced the ultimate Attachment and Continuum parenting without even being instructed to do so by White Western authors?



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      I love the Continuum Concept!

      That’s interesting about your theory that tantrums are a western culture manifestation because of parental micromanaging and control, when the very opposite is what they are accused of – not being controlling enough. I really would like to know how anybody can “control” another human being anyway, even (~especially~)a tiny,immature, human being without resorting to some kind of physical or emotional abuse. We are so worried in our society about training kids up right that we lose sight of the kids themselves.

      Kids are people too! I think we forget that. They have feelings and thoughts and desires-and every right to express them! They just don’t have the experience to know how to express them. Like Gina’s post yesterday relating toddlers to demanding bosses, we can also turn it around and ask ourselves if we would treat an adult with the same anger and controlling behavior that some often use to treat their children. I’d be mad too if an adult slapped my hand away from the radio controls and told me NO! or locked me in my room until I could calm down from being upset about something.

      That being said- my children certainly had their share of tantrums, no matter what I did. I suppose some would tell me that’s because I didn’t control them enough, and others would say I controlled them too much. And for those who told me to just put them in time out- how the heck do you put a child in time out when they spend the time beating down the door while you stand on the other side holding it shut with all your strength? I should’ve realized that that particular discipline trick was not going to work on that particular child! She was going to be spirited no matter what I did!

      Parental peer pressure is just as bad, if not worse, than kids’ peer pressure.

      crap- sorry for being long winded again. (Mommy, just stop talking! haha!)



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        The level of mischief of those boys in the movie is nothing like being described here…the willful, nasty pissing on the floor, the deliberate serious inflicting of harm on siblings, etc. etc. etc. that you all think is so cute. Saga is correct and Stardustdawn, yeah, the whole point isn’t that these kids are not disciplined enough, it’s that their parents may not really be engaged in the right way. Par example, our dear blogger. There is no way in hell she is effectively engaged enough in the lives of her two young sons (and soon to be baby) while she is in school full time, working a job, running this blog and doing god knows what else…BREED ON, BREEDERS!



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          Dear Gina,

          Please give your kids to Noobie. She’ll do a better job with them. Swearsies.
          Carina´s last blog post… Conversations with EG- Egg EditionMy Profile



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          in response to Carina, below…I don’t want her kids…they’re hers and they don’t sound very pleasant…I don’t want to clean up someone else’s mess and I recognize my limits (unlike others…ahem) and know I couldn’t handle three children…which is why I chose to have ONE and focus on that child…sounds like many would have done well to do the same! or, if you’re going to have a gaggle of kids, you damn well better understand that that is your thing now–Mom–and take care of them….whateve…I think I’m done here. The earnestness of the commenters is kind of sweet, but the haughty pride of the blogger is repugnant.



        • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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          Well, bless your heart. Aren’t you just perfect?



  59. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My 5 year old was a fairly exceptionally behaved little girl. I remember going to a friend’s house when Gracie was ~2 and my friend kept telling me that it gets better and that Gracie will start behaving better when she’s a little older. My feelings were hurt at the time, because I saw nothing wrong with her behavior. Well, not NOTHING, but it wasn’t enough to really fuss over or consider “terrible” (as in “terrible twos”).

    Now that my daughter Kairi is almost 2, she’s really started getting into it. She throws fits, she bites her hand when she’s angry, she head butts if I pick her up when she’s angry, she screams, etc etc. She’s also constantly up my butt, even when she’s not mad/throwing a fit, etc. My mom and everyone else in my family that thinks I’m crazy for still breastfeeding and co-sleeping at this age tells me that it’s because of all that. “If you’d just give her some cow’s milk and put her in her own bed, she’d get better,” they tell me. “It’s because of all of this natural parenting that she’s like this.” No, she’s just not Gracie is why she’s like this. Yes, I am doing things drastically differently for Kairi than I did for Gracie, but it’s not THAT, it’s just that she’s a different kid.

    Anyway… People drive me crazy, and a lot of times my kids drive me crazy too, but I prefer my girls’ brand of crazy – what with the messy, chocolate covered kisses and late night snuggles.
    Erin W. / Beatnik Momma´s last blog post… Angel BabiesMy Profile



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    SO very true. I also gets my goat when moms in my ECFE (early childhood family education, a parenting/child educational group offered in MN) class talk about how “their” kid eats all their food and how I should do it so my child will too. Bah, I actually said, not everyone’s child is a perfect eater like yours, but thank you for the suggestion.”
    I used to be one of those “moms on the blanket” oh how I have wised up.
    kristina´s last blog post… Sweet Potato and Gruyère TurnoversMy Profile



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    I am laughing my ass off at 15 mute, immobile children. :-)

    Sorry I didn’t read all the comments because I have 3 BOYS who demand all my time and attention. I am going through a very rough time with a 3-year-old, and it is causing my satisfaction with life to be questioned, as it is a fit now EVERY DAMN DAY and usually in public, and sometimes lasting 3 hours. He has an intensity I have NEVER SEEN with other children… and I have 2 of my very own to compare him to! I am trying not to become bitter about it…

    Hope you are having a great day, Gina.



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      My now 5 year old is that way too. I keep myself sane by telling myself he’ll get better. 3 was supposed to be better than 2, it wasn’t. 4 was supposed to be better. It wasn’t 5 was supposed to be better…if anything he was better at 2. At least then if he beat up his older brother, I could restrain him if necessary. And he didn’t swear at us and threaten to hit/throw things when he was 2. The brief period he was in school was interesting. His teacher loved him and thought he was so sweet and gentle. I’m still holding out hope for 6 being better.

      My oldest was a rough kid, but by 5 or 6 had mostly mellowed out and at 9 he’s great; overly melodramatic with a persecution complex, but hey, there had to be something, right? My youngest is 22 months and so very, very much a toddler. He’s also pretty easy going and it’s hard not to laugh at his tantrums when he holds off on them to go find a soft spot to bang his head into.



  62. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    all children and especially toddlers and teens are wildish kind of creatures. Often they are all fierce emotion, love, hate, jealousy, rage murderousness etc etc, The strength overwhelms their capacity to think. Our job is to be stronger, wiser and kinder ( especially when they are having a meltdown. we are their auxillary egos, to do the the thinking for them until they can do it for themselves. It is a part of the maturational process, in health all kids need to challenge being merged with the mother and make their separate self on its way into the bigger world. Don’t panic, even this shall pass.



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    BTW I think it is always good to have a healthy cynicism about men writing books about how to handle young children Yo have to ask them ( and possibly get evidence from the mother of their children) how many hours of hands on care this guy has actually done!



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    Toddlers are pure evil. No one has a GOOD toddler. At least, no child is good all of the time. Mine is such a delight but don’t fucking make me take her grocery shopping with me because I will be tempted to leave her ass there.



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    I’d comment but I am WAY too busy being a perfect parent to my perfect, well behaved, clean, clothed, brilliant children who would NEVER behave THAT way because I’ve listened to all the advice THEY give…or not.



  66. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    My mom likes to tell the story of how I, at 25 months, tried to beat my newborn brother with a belt while he was nursing and, at another point, cut his face with a cereal box.

    Whoops!

    I held no illusions that my son would be an angel. I was pleasantly surprised when he reacted so lovingly to having a new baby brother, but this past week he’s begun to try to clock the baby in the head with various toys, so I’m reassured that nope: he’s just like many other toddlers with his sibling jealousy!

    Here’s hoping we all make it through the next few years of toddlerdom with sanity intact. :-)
    MarfMom´s last blog post… Newborn Photo ShootMy Profile



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    Ha, when I read that comment from the previous post I thought the same thing – this is a person with only one child, who is under 18 months old. I am just hoping I have “paid my dues” with LS so that this Baby #2 might actually SLEEP during his or her lifetime, and might not start throwing tantrums at 14 months like LS does. I guess I should be thankful that I started out with a more challenging child because I don’t expect ANYTHING with #2… I just pray to hold onto my sanity every single day.
    Jenny B´s last blog post… 2nd time around- Formula and BreastfeedingMy Profile



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      I have only one child because I am not a “breeder” I am a mother and my child happens to be 5. I take credit for the fact that my child never willfully pissed on the floor or threw anything at anyone in anger, banged their head on the floor, etc. It may be common, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think it’s laughable that so many think you have to have a gaggle of kids to know anything. Y’all don’t seem to know much except how loserly you are.



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        well…that’s great that your daughter is awesome and doesn’t misbehave, no, really it is. But I hope that when she does misbehave and embarrass you in public, and she will because she’s human and not a programmed robot, you are surrounded by women like US who won’t presume her spate of bad behavior is a result of YOUR parenting, instead of women like you, who clearly believe that you are better than everyone else and actually in control. 5 is a long way until 18…
        Laura´s last blog post… No- bedtime is at 8My Profile



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        I have one child who is 5.
        I stay at home.
        She is a cheeky, obstinate little gob-shite with an answer for absolutely everything.
        She questions all forms of authority.
        Has an opinion about most things.
        But I wouldn’t change a thing about her.
        It’s her personality.
        I have watched with interest all the parents who live near me, and child behaviour has bugger all to do with having 1 child or 5. Nothing to do with staying at home or working and using a nursery.
        Nothing to do with calm indulgent parenting or Gina Ford 1950s regimented routines.
        It boils down to this simple truth:
        We are all individuals.
        We are all different.



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          Sorry, but……….
          just one other thing ………
          If one takes the time to investigate, here is TFB’s explanation of her ‘name':

          Q: Where did that crazy name come from?
          A: I hard time finding like-minded feminists once I became a mother, and I started to feel like feminism and motherhood may be mutually exclusive. I chose the moniker The Feminist Breeder to prove that even those of us who reproduce can still be concerned feminists.



      • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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        I hate to tell you, but since you have a kid, you are in fact a “breeder.”

        And your perfect 5 year old… well, at some point, she’s not going to perfect and I hope you decide to love her all the same.



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          I understand that “Breeder” is a term for heterosexuals used in LGBT slang, however, in reading TFB and from the sense I get about many people who have multiple children without really putting too much effort into them (while cluttering up the environment and draining precious resources), *I* call people who have too many kids and don’t focus enough on them “Breeders”…so, no, not me.



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        Your 5 year old will turn into a 14 year old.

        Good luck!
        Carina´s last blog post… Conversations with EG- Egg EditionMy Profile



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        I hope you eat your words when she’s a teenager, sneaking out at night, lies to you, rolls her eyes, has a smart mouth and is disrespectful and YOU CAN’T DO A DAMN THING TO CHANGE HER!!!!! Congratulations on being mom of the year right now when she’s at the wise old age of 5 and has been as perfect as you want her to be.



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          another pop-culture, mainstream misconception of fools…that teenagers are necessarily rebellious to the point of terror and bad and disagreeable…try treating them respectfully and like people and things will be fine…why would someone need to lie when their privacy is respected and they are accepted as who they are? why would they need to sneak out when the things they want to do are accepted by their parents? why would a child disrespect someone they love…you guys like to read? here’s one for you, by Alfie Kohn “Unconditional Parenting” try it…



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          What I’m saying is, I HOPE your child turns out that way so that you HAVE to eat your words and admit that it’s NOTHING that you’re doing or reading that makes your child one way or another. I WANT you to live through HELL when your child is a teenager. You’re belittling parents when their children are, well, CHILDREN. Are you saying that you’ll let your teenager stay out until God-knows-when so that they don’t have a need to sneak out? That when they slam the door and tell you to “get out of their room and shut up” that you’ll just slink down the hall and chalk it up to them “needing their privacy”? I feel SO sorry for you for thinking that you’ve got it made and you and your child are perfect. I’m not saying that it’s NOT important to teach them and guide them, but what you’re suggesting is that toddlers are ABNORMAL for peeing in the floor and for throwing food. What I *LOVE* about your above comment is that “you take credit” for your child never willfully doing those things. LOL BIG LOL I hope you’re willing to “take credit” for everything your child does and I pray that it’s not long before you enjoy a nice crow dinner.



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        Well I guess I am one of those “Breeders” because I’m getting ready to have baby #6. I have a mix of kiddos. Some are really well behaved, others are not…I don’t really take credit for either type. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll just talk about 2 of my kids.
        My first born is absolutely easy to parent. He is a disciplined and compliant self starter who rarely had temper tantrums. He is also a bit rigid in his ways and is a very linear thinker. Still, he makes me look like a fabulous parent.
        My second born however still has LOTS of temper tantrums. He is impulsive and quick to anger. He has always been challenging to parent and often makes me look like I have no idea how to be a mother. However, he is sensitive and caring and passionate in the extreme (everything he does is extreme). He is loving and daring and a wonderful nurturing boy who is incredibly charismatic.
        Which one of these kids will be better off through out life. My oldest will, I presume, be classically successful. However, I often think that my difficult, and challenging temper tantrum throwing 2nd born will end up leading a more fulfilling wonderful passion filled joyous life.
        So, Noobie, you can go ahead and find pleasure in the perfect behavior of your child. Go ahead and take credit for it. Just please don’t be under any illusion that you have it any better or did it any better as a parent. You may just find that as your darling grows up, she/he would have been better served by having the persistence, passion, and tenacity of these other naughty little kids.
        I, for one, embrace the challenges of my naughty little children and look forward seeing the results as we come through the other side.



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    My darling son, who could do no wrong when he was born nearly 3 years ago slapped my friend’s 6 month old son in the face this morning because I said he couldn’t take the baby’s shoes off. Oh, if I could have seen that in the crystal ball during my “mom on a blanket” stage.

    I’ve been treasuring the complacent moments with his sister, my sweet 10 month old, knowing those do-no-wrong moments are going to be far and fleeting in like 15 seconds.
    Karen´s last blog post… B-52s Cookie Jar Dance PartyMy Profile



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    Haha! I’m sure you’ve seen me say how I took Rowan to white tablecloth restaurants on Mother’s Day, and he was so well-behaved, etc. and I really DID think I just rocked. He also didn’t hit the crappy stage until FIVE. Toddler years were awesome.
    And then I say how my Humble Pie came nice and tasty, smashed in my face when Aurora turned into a toddler, and every five damn minutes she’s into something else. I mean hell… I gave her a special book for her birthday, and the first thing she did with me watching was bend down and bite a piece off the title page. Whee.



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      Some days I would swear my son eats more cardboard and paper than actual food. This is one of the areas where I’ve really had to relax and let go because I am OCD about my books. I’ve just had to accept that books are not going to survive his toddlerhood and I’ll have to buy new books for any subsequent children.



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    Haaaaa. I have a very very close friend whose little guy is 9 months older than my daughter. For the first three years of her life, I would cast furtive, sidelong glances at him as he went through the apeshit crazy phases of early toddlerhood and think to myself “sheesh, my kid is never going to pee on the floor/flop on the floor at Cosco kicking and screaming/throw food at me/hit the dog/cry over nothing/etc.etc.” … and invariably, nine months later, I’d watch my kid do the same exact thing and think: “d’oh.”
    I’ve concluded that kids are just going to act like insane bonobo monkeys on crack at times. Cause clearly it can’t be due to faulty parenting OR genetics if MY little angel is doing it :)



  71. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    I thought I had it all together when my first son was a baby. Sure, he was a really tough and colicky baby, but we persevered, and I thought infancy was supposed to be the hardest time. Well… then I had another baby… and another one, and I learned that no matter how well I nurture them, they will still go apeshit at least a few times per week between the ages of 2 and 5. That is the true test of a parent’s patience, when faced with screaming, sweaty, totally irrational flailing spawn.



  72. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    Little Miss Kickboxer just turned 2 a couple of weeks ago. So far, she has:
    * tried to color the wall with crayons (washable, thanks to Crayola!)
    * cried once or twice in one of our favorite holes-in-the-wall, where nobody gets upset and everybody tries to appease the blessed babe.
    * thrown herself on the tile floor exactly once.

    So, nothing bad, really. She does know that hitting others (including the cat) is not ok, and if she gets really upset, she’ll just sit there and cry. I’ll sit with her and try to find out if she’s upset or angry or frustrated to at least give her some vocabulary to work with. We also talk about feelings quite often.

    Other than that, redirects have worked quite well. Or white lies (“no honey, we can’t watch Elmo now because Elmo is sleeping.”). And being on my toes because I know the terrifying threes are still coming …

    Thanks for the Harvey Karp reference, BTW. I just ordered the book.
    charlotte´s last blog post… PovertyMy Profile



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    toddlers have nothing on teenagers! you’ll have to again concede defeat as your child turns into someone you do not know! my friends with grown children promise me that they will one day love me again and be wonderful people to spend time with. so for now, i wait…



  74. VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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    This post is a beautiful thing. I’ve been eating the Pie since my first child was born. She has always been extremely challenging. When we had her tested for the AUtism Spectrum and the test came back negative I wanted to cry. Now I couldn’t yell at a stranger staring at us in public, “She’s autistic – give me a break!” Because of course without a label it is all my fault. My mother thinks she and I are so different because my kids aren’t behaved as well as me and my brother were. But I know I am a good mom. Thank you for writing this and making all of us moms feel a little better about our mothering today. I needed to read this. Perfect timing!
    Melodie´s last blog post… My Experience of Being Married To a Partner Who Isn’t Always Sure That Attachment Parenting Is BestMy Profile



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    I’m convinced toddlers are like the fairies in Peter Pan- only able to hold one emotion at a time. But when they have that emotion they are COMPLETELY that emotion. My brother and sister (who I was privileged to spend most of every day with from birth to Elementary school) were Wonderful! Perfect! Darling! Children until 5 and 3, respectively. Oh. My. Goodness. I was still with them after that but it was a completely different experience! I knew then (as a teenager) that I wanted to wait several years after marriage to have my kids! Because after that… well, ya’ll know.

    So here I am, newly married and being as kind as I can be to my friends with children and as encouraging as possible to random strangers with children in “those years” – because I’ve met and seen karma and want it to stay FAR AWAY FROM ME.

    On a side note- the comments have been hilarious! So glad I wasn’t at work when I sat down to read…
    Sarah Neely´s last blog post… Dear friends in Desperate situationsMy Profile



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    I’m the momma of an 8 month old and he’s such a good baby buuuuuut…he eyes the big kids and watches them closely as they go nuts and I know he’s just storing all this info so he knows how to drive me crazy some day.

    It’s so true that it all depends on the kid! I was a fairly easy child. I had my moments and was probably borderline OCD (my parents put my blanket in the freezer because I liked it cold and my shoelace bows always had to be exactly the same size). My brother on the other hand was hell on wheels. He started walking at 9 months and never stopped. He destroyed everything to try to put it together again and was just kind of a nutty kid. So I guess we both had out quirks just his could be seen by everyone and mine were mostly seen by my parents.

    My favorite toddler acting out story is from my best friend. She and her sister are 2 years apart and her sister was not happy when she was born. When she was about a year old her sister carried her to the toilet, put her in, and tried to flush her down it all while saying “bye, bye baby sister!” The bathroom ended up flooding!



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    First off, I wanted to tell you that I honestly thought Gina was working as an “office manager” somewhere. (When does she sleep? She does this on top of everything else?! Crazy!!) Then I started giggling like an idiot at the computer. I can totally relate.

    I love Harvey Karp’s book as well. No, the toddlereeze was not all that helpful but I think he offers good insight into the mind of the toddler and the importance of “connecting with respect”. It helps but it doesn’t cure all of these issues we are discussing here.

    I have dealt with my share of tantrums from my “sweet” 2.5 year-old girl. One had her screaming and throwing herself on the grass while we were out on a playdate. Only recently do I see her defying me and sometimes trying to hurt me. That bums me out. I guess I thought I wouldn’t deal with that (at least not yet). Oh, naive….
    Jojo´s last blog post… Slow down please…My Profile



    • VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      Well, 18 months ago I WAS working full-time in an office on top of all this, the same one DH still works in (which is why I know office culture oh so well.) And yes… it was crazy. Crazy crazy crazy.



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    haha wow, concern troll is trolly.

    I’m not a mother just a cousin and godmother and even I know kids – while being delightful, fun, great company and all-round lovely small people- can also be little shits.



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    This is great! thank you :) My little darling is 24 Months old and reading this has made me feel I am not alone! When he has a tantrum I just leave him lying on the floor! (always making sure it is safe to do so – never leave him in the road or anything!)



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    You know, the memory is definitely a funny thing. I posted yesterday saying how good my first was as a toddler and how ‘bad’ my second is. But now I’m remembering packing my oldest through the store while he screamed his head off. And another time when he was so bad in a restaurant, DH took him outside and he flailed like a crazy person on the ground, embarrassing DH half to death. So yeah, he did throw tantrums. This was all around 17 to 19 months, a very bad stage for him. He just never really went through the hitting, biting, pissing on floor stage, and by the time he was two, he was like a little grown up and was very good. (Though now, as a 4 1/2 year old, he some times has the mouth of a sassy teenager.)



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    Mother of a once perfect kid here! Lol…My first was a dream baby…she slept through the night by 6 weeks, gained weight on time, always hit her milestones by the book…was sweet & wonderful…and then one day she was 2.5. And I brought her home from her part time day care center and she refused veggies at dinner. Surely my perfect child was having an off day! BAHAHAHA!! My perfect child has now had about 1,650 or so off days. In a row.

    Her little sister did not start out perfect. I blame hormones in food & red dye. It’s not me. It CAN’T be me! ;)
    Maegan´s last blog post… Dashing all the wayMy Profile



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    I love this blog. I love your comments etiquette:) I’m a grandmother now, and all I can say is that even if they are angels now and skip the toddler issues etc and you think you have it made, just wait till they reach teenagerhood, aka Toddlers on Steroids:) ROFL.Keep it up.
    Heather´s last blog post… Hello world!My Profile



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    Noobie.
    Please stop.
    Not for Gina or for us, but for you and your Karma.



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    I agree, my son at 13 months, who I thought was my angel and still is.He had the biggest temper, tantram at my friends house. He did not want to get his clothes on. It was like some one was killing him. I was just trying to put his shirt on his face got red and he was screaming bloody murder. Telling me off in baby language, LOL! He does not like his diapr change, but still I manage to change it anyway no matter if he likes it or not. I uselly put his toy that he likes to play with in his hands while changing his diaper. Which sometimes it is not always easy, mylittle Angel, has changed. And I as a single parent has to change with him, but it is hard. Me, being a new mom learn things everyday.



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    I love the Harvey Karp book, too, though we haven’t mastered toddlerese either. My two-year old is more than a handful, and I’m worried that we won’t ever get him under control. But what I hate most are the judgemental looks from other parents as my child is running away from me, yelling happily at the top of his lungs, or flinging things at people.

    My son also happens to be an excellent sleeper, and he eats absolutely everything. However, I am under very few illusions that this is because I’m a marvelous parent, in the same way that I don’t believe my son’s misbehavior makes me a bad mother. Kids are just different. I can do some things to affect his behavior, but he’s two, and will continue to be two until November. I can survive.

    My husband, on the other hand, seems to think our next one will be just like Nick and sleep through the night at 8 weeks, sleep twelve hours a day, nap every single day, and eat everything put in front of him. He thinks we made him that way. Ha! Our next son (due in June) will probably be Nick’s complete opposite.
    Melissa E.´s last blog post… Nick Goes to Physical Therapy With His MommyMy Profile



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    Man, mine has become me. He is already looking for a fight somedays. I thought it was just me thinking he was looking for a fight until i picked him up from mother’s day out yesterday. His teacher said to me right as I got there, “he is one stubborn but smart boy he knows what he wants and will fight to get it, I hope this trait stays with him.” Me too but I hope he adds some reasoning in there with it, or I might go crazy.



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    Great article, really enjoyed it. And the stories from commenters confirmed yes my children are normal.

    Indeed, mothers who judge other mothers need to pull their head out of their ass. How about when your child becomes a drug addicted prostitute, you want to take full credit for that? Oh no ofcourse that wasn’t your doing right?

    I will NEVER take full credit for my child’s achievements, because I am not the only influence in my child’s life.

    Humans by nature are inter-dependent on eachother – farmers grow our food, builders build our house, our bosses provide us with jobs etc. Because infinite influences affect our lives, and we are inter-dependent on our surroundings, taking credit for it ALL as if it were all your doing is arrogant, ungrateful and ignorant. Seriously, pull your head out of your ass and appreciate what you’ve been given.



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      Something you said made me think of an incident involving my then 2.5 yr old & my aunt. My 2.5 yr old had recently become very picky. We were at a family function at my grandparents’ house & there was the standard holiday food on the table. The ONLY thing my 2.5 yr old would eat was the tortilla chips being served next to a bowl of salsa. I normally make her eat more than corn chips at a meal…but b/c this was not her normal environment…not her normal meal…and she was surrounded by a lot of strange adults (the only child in the family in 15 years!), I did not push it. When she saw dessert being served & I let her have a piece of cake my aunt spoke up, “Is a little girl who ate ONLY chips for dinner getting DESSERT??” She said it playfully…but later pulled me aside to tell me that if I let her walk all over me now it would only get worse. She has 1 adult child (about 5 yrs my senior)…who during that particular function was incarcerated. I wanted to smack her…b/c this was not her first free parenting advice she’d given me…but I let it go & smiled, “Well, it’s a holiday, and I think that’s a wonderful time to have cake.”
      Maegan´s last blog post… Kitchen inspirationMy Profile



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    Hi there, just wanted to share this with you. I love this post and posted it on my FB page after seeing it on my friends page. Since this morning 4 of my friends did the same. This is such an awesome and truthful post that it’s going viral amongst my circle of friends. Thanks!!



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    ku-effing-dos.

    I was just pointed to your blog from a girlfriend, who knew I’d love it. she was right.

    (at the risk of being spammy, she’d thought of me, particularly as I’ve just started my own blog, the first entry being about bitch mums, like those above ;)

    xo julie



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    Finally! I have just found your blog this week, and all I can say is that it is refreshing to read your posts and to have them accurately reflect how mown bff’s and feel and speak regarding life and parenting in general. Like you, I was never planning on having kids and since then i have had 2 and am usually blessed out with all of their innate goodness, but that other 10% of the time… Let’s just say my daughter has told me ” Mommy, why are you using your angry voice?” LOL
    Anyway, thank you for representing the educated women out there that are realists who are not afraid of judgement or dropping the occasional ‘f’ bomb. United we stand. Lol
    T.

    [Reply]



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    I found it rather funny that we both wrote/referenced Dr Karp at approximately the same time! My first born let me know within 3 weeks that he was not ‘normal’ and that (almost all) parenting books should be thrown out the window. My second redeemed my self-esteem quite a bit, until she had her first tantrum, but she was SO ‘normal’ that I just mostly laughed. But my third….the goods are so good, and the bads are so horrific. A weird combination of her siblings, there’s nothing like a THIRD child to confirm that you are either the worst parent in the world, or have the worst children in the world.
    TracyKM´s last blog post… Catering to the KidsMy Profile



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    I was lucky with my first two children. They rarely gave me any problems and breezed through toddlerhood. I saw other mothers struggle with their kids, and I felt so sorry for them. And thanked my lucky stars. Then came baby number three…He has flipped over the coffee table out of sheer anger! Everyday, something new is broken, or someone ends the day with a fresh bite mark on their arm. Lord help me.



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    Somewhat unrelated, but I consistently have problems with mothers who only have girls. I have four children, all boys, and it is almost impossible for us to playgroup or befriend anyone who raising *only* a girl (or girls). I have read so many blogs of mothers with daughters who complain about how their little angel is treated by the hostile boys of the world and how their mothers must be completely neglectful and it drives me insane!!! Obviously, this is an overgeneralization, as I’m sure there are plenty of girls that are just as spirited as some boys and not all mothers of girls are so uptight, but it has still been my personal experience thus far.



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      That’s a bit of stereotype… As a mother of 3 girls: 19 months, 4.5 and 22 yrs (wow jus writing that sounds cool). I can tell you that my girls can put a lot of boys to shame. I’m no tomboy and like my girly things and so do they but but they’re no delicate flowers either. Just yesterday they had lightsaber duels and jumped on and off the couch only to fall on heads, ignored the inconvenient pain and continued (to my despair). My oldest was getting along with boys better. The middle one looks delicate but is a tough cookie (and a loud one), the little one is such a gentle soul but can charge like a tank and dominate the other. I love having all girls. I love the contrast. It’s like having a tea party one minute and being trampled by wild beasts the next! I’m proud of them but they make me sweat and curse every single day. Love, love this article and pretty much laughed out loud crying.



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    It never really occurred to me to expect my little angel to be a quiet, submissive, seen-but-not-heard kind of child until I started getting dirty, you’re a bad mother if your 18 month old isn’t happily laying back letting you put her in the car seat when she’s already an hour past nap time looks (and, occasionally, lectures). She throws things, she yells, she flops on the floor, she hits, and she bites. Not constantly, but when she’s tired, hungry, hurt or upset, I know to expect some less than desirable behavior. She’s still my angel. She is constantly pushing the boundaries, and, much to my satisfaction, she’s also continuing to show a growing understanding of where those lines are in areas we’ve remained firm on. She’s a toddler, and much like learning to crawl, walk, talk and climb, I expect her to take a little time and guidance to learn good behavior.



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    It was earlier than for many moms, at about 2 months old my daughter decided to stop eating (due to reflux we later found out, it hurt to eat). From then on it has been one giant lesson about how little control we have over our kids. I guess all you can do is try to be patient and guide them the best you can. But how I relate to other moms has certainly changed. If I see a toddler throwing a tantrum there’s no judgement here; just a sense of commiseration since I’ve been through it too.



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    Oh, I soooo would have thought like Noobie if I had stopped at one child! My five year old daughter is literally an angel. Perfectly mannered and behaved at all times. For three years I silently thought to myself, “Those mothers are doing it wrong! Look at how their children behave!”

    And then I had two more kids. Karma’s a bitch.



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    Like a few others have said, it was early for me. At 4 or 5 months, my daughter started teething hardcore and screaming what I dubbed “the pterodactyl screech” pretty much non-stop all day every day. From there on it was one big ongoing mess of teething, developmental spurts (read: no sleep), and food sensitivities until about 13 months…. from which point we got a break till 17 months when she promptly hit what many call “the terrible twos.” At that point I just took to drinking wine, swearing a LOT with my friends, and aiming to survive each day. When she hit 2.5 and that all calmed down, I basically found pretty much anything she could throw at me (both literally and figuratively) after that to be pretty bearable. Now at 5 she is freaking awesome, tantrums, lippy-ness, occasional shit on the floor and all.



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    I had nine. All kids are not the same. All are difficult around age 2, but some are much more difficult. By the time I was leaving my very easy ninth child in the daycare where I went to nursing school, and she said “Bye Mom” and trotted off to play, I knew it was only sheer luck that my kid wasn’t the one having a major tantrum when his mother left. I had one that had a major tantrum when they tried to separate him from me for kindergarten evaluation! He had major tantrums almost daily right up to age 5, and sometimes older if there was some disturbance to his routine or offense to his sense of how things ought to be. He pooped in his pants and refused to be changed at age 4, and it took me and several of the older kids to get him into the tub to clean him. He wasn’t intellectually delayed; in fact this happened after he had already invented negative numbers while subtracting all the numbers he knew from all the other numbers he knew, including the large ones from the smaller ones. But he was oh so rigid, and his tantrums were endless. He once yelled “Put the poop back on!” over and over for 20 minutes (we recorded the second ten minutes because we thought no one would believe us) because I wiped him with the wrong rag. I really feared that he would wind up in a mental institution.
    He is a graduate student in political science now, by the way, and quite normal.
    Whenever I thought ‘my child would never do that’ I had another child that did. Tantrum, bite, spit, throw things, eat goldfish, lie…it all happened.
    And they are all OK now.
    Susan Peterson



    • Mel C from Australia | Profile
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      You cracked me up!!! My first kid is like that (she is nearly three) and I have had similar concerns (ie. Is she mental?). Again, she does some pretty cool stuff that still surprises us from time to time. I can’t under estimate her ’cause she’ll catch me off gaurd when I least expect it!



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    I love this post! We have some good friends who now have 2 daughters…my husband and I have just one son. Our son is extremely (and I mean EXTRMELY) different than their daughters: personaility, temperment, you name it. Anyway, when our son was 2.5 – 3 years old and they would be over with their daughter (6 months younger), and our son would burst into some sort of outrage the dad would CONSTANTLY say: “That is just so strange how different our parenting techniques must be–our daughter never does that.” I WANTED TO SCREAM AND YELL AND HIT THE MAN…who is also one of my best friends by the way. “YOU JUST WAIT!!!!” As though I was parenting my son to ENCOURAGE this type of behavior. WTF.

    Anyways…flash forward to today: My son is now 4.5 (almost 5) and seldom are there tantrums–EVER. He has learned from the discipline that they do NOT go well for you..that listening to mommy and daddy actually pans out a lot better. He is a very well behaved boy now…of course he has his moments, but all in all…those days are behind us.

    And the best part: our friends are now once again in the MIDST of the tantrums–their second is now 2 years old. And we just get to watch and smile. :)



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    I have a two year old little boy (Aiden) and I consider myself VERY lucky. His father and i are very strict about his behavior and Aiden responds very well with it. He does still have tantrums but only about once a week. I am now 22 weeks pregnant with a baby girl and I am scared to death. I just know that since I have been so lucky with Aiden this new baby is going to be the tantrum queen. Wish me luck!



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    I just discovered your website and I love it! I can totally relate. My three year old son three such a fit at Wal Mart that I actually had someone rush over concerned that I was kidnapping him. Horrors! I had three babies in three years. I feel your pain.



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    I have a feeling this is going to kick me in the ass with my daughter. My son was high needs from day one. So he’s actually much easier as a 27 month old than as a 12 month old. That being said, I’ve always been mentally prepared for everything because he is so spirited. It is what I expect. My 6 month old baby girl is the most beautiful and sweet thing ever set on this earth. I have a feeling that when she slaps me in the face I’m going to lose it and react much more negatively, distantly, etc since it will be hard to believe it is her. Gosh, that doesn’t read like I mean it to. I’m afraid I won’t react as calmly and firmly and lovingly because I won’t feel that deep connection with her because she will seem like someone I don’t know. It’s so hard to imagine her doing anything other than gazing into my eyes and trying to eat my chin.



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    Profoundly perfect blog. Such a lovely thing to read after attempting to have a *relaxing* weekend in Portland this past weekend.
    Wow.
    What.
    A.
    Joke.
    But today he picked me dandelions and said “here go, ma!” and how can you stay mad at that?
    Great writing. So glad I stopped by.
    Deanna´s last blog post… Marketing Your Business with Facebook PagesMy Profile



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    Ha! I missed this when it came out and appropriately so as my daughter, who just turned 18 months, is reflected in every.single.paragraph. I learned early on with my first daughter that no mother deserves judgement before understanding. And like I said, that was with my first daughter – the GOOD one! Not that my second little darling isn’t good, but she sure is much more animated than her big sis and loves to test (and defy) the boundaries. Hysterical meltdowns and she does not care who is watching. Redirection? Not with this kid. She has phenomenal memory and tenacious obstinance. I fear so much for puberty that I already empathize with the mothers of unruly teens. But yes, last night my mostly unverbal daughter randomly came over kissed me full on the lips, said “lub you” and ran off to attack our cat.



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    BWAHAHAHA…OMG, this is awesome! Woefully, I started discovering my firstborn would NOT be the perfectly behaved child I’d hoped, read about and planned for very early on. I remember buying some parenting book geared toward strong-willed children before he ever turned a year old. Gulp.

    I’ve gotten plenty of those looks over time, and I always just want to say SUCK IT. And YES–I LOVE IT when parents of compliant first children suddenly find themselves horror-stricken when the second child turns out to be, gasp, willful! Does that make me a bad person?

    (Sadly, my second born did not come out compliant either. Oh well–at least the first one broke me in.)

    And–one good thing that came of all this is that I’m incredibly kind to other moms who are experiencing kid meltdowns. I figure, why add to another parent’s stress, when sometimes all it takes is a kind word or sympathetic look to make them feel better? Less judging, more empathy.

    Thanks for this awesome post–LOVE LOVE LOVE.
    Debra´s last blog post… Write Hope- Kidlit Auction of AwesomenessMy Profile



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    Omg, nothing is more true. I feel so bad when my kids act up like I have to apologize profusely. Some people are so chill about it and say not to worry, but then you just feel like an apologist for a two year old when clearly everyone knows they act up. But then when the other person is an ass that doesn’t understand toddlers at all, you don’t even want to apologize anymore. I have a tendency to be anal and overly worried with how they act but the other day I was at an empty Verizon store and I let them run around in circles. They weren’t really bothering anyone and trying to stop them would only CREATE a tantrum. But I still feel like the employees wanted me to stop them. F it. Let them be kids a little. I wish I could still run around, break shit and scream as often as I wanted. ;)



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    Coming very late to this party, but I was laughing so hard while reading the post and all the responses. I’m a nanny, not a mom, and after caring for 14 kids (9 girls and 5 boys), the only thing I know for sure is that 4-year-old girls spend at least that year showing their parents and other adults just what they will be like from ages 12 – 20. I always tell parents that at least this way they have 8 years to find a great boarding school.

    But more to the point, every child is different, and they will all, eventually, be complete jerks for a while. All we can hope for is that they are jerks primarily while they are still small emough to be physically removed from places when they lose their minds.

    I think (and kind of hope) that snotty perfect moms will eventually have the jerkiest kids just to teach them a little humility.
    Deborah´s last blog post… First Official Playgroup!My Profile



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    I have to disagree partially. Yes, it will happen with most children, and no, you cannot magically prevent all of it. However, there ARE plenty of parents out there who do not handle parenting well, and many of them contribute to their own challenges in this area. Surviving your children and raising them well IS part luck, but a big part of it really IS in the parenting, too. As just one example… my stepson’s bio-mom had problems for years with him which were primarily her failure to respond appropriately. My husband and I approached things with him differently, and we had an entirely different experience. Just always try to learn what responses and methods work best for each child and it will work out.



    • Mel C from Australia | Profile
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      I’ve read in some parenting literature that some children behave differently around their parents compared to other people, including other family members. This is due to the child pushing limits to see how far they can push and still know that their parents love them (ie. unconditionally). These children tend to be more well behaved around other people because they don’t know for sure that the other people will hang around if they misbehave.



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    If I’d had my fourth, first – I’d never have had the other three!

    Seriously though, the other three are ganging up and exploiting this. They’ve taught him to say “I’m the Messiah” everytime anyone asks him his name. I’ve learned how to breathe on my glasses so that people won’t recognise me.

    He’s not the Messiah – he’s a very naughty (and normal) little boy…



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    I don’t disagree that all of our children will show out. I have two, and they both have their moments. My issue, both as a mother and a teacher, is what I see as an inconsistent parental response. Or worse, sometimes a consistently passive response. What I am saying is yes, my child may throw a tantrum at the mall because I say they may not ride the merry-go-round twice. That is never fun. But how do I respond as a parent? Do I give in? Do I ignore? My opinion (intended as sharing and not as judgment) is we need to be willing to suffer in the short-term for long-range benefits. I may need to leave the mall before I get my fun errands done to deal with the discipline issue. I know it is often hard to change plans or punish everyone for the bad behavior of one, but in my experience, every time I follow through my children are a little more responsive in their moments of fit and anger. I mentioned I am a teacher. I teach 6-8 grade. This is relevant because my anxiety on this issue comes from seeing older children manipulate their parents. I can’t help that some of that stems from parental expectations and possibly a lack of consistent consequences at a young age. I’d love to hear what you think…



    • VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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      Yes, consistency is the key! And that is how they eventually “outgrow” the “terrible twos”. I have seen kids who are eternally in that stage because parents just said “Oh, it’s their age”.That being said, we still have to put up with little monsters while we teach them. “Discipline” by definition means to “teach”. We need to teach our children how to behave. And with toddlers, it can take a looooong time and a lot of tantrums! So for all you moms who are in the thick of it, keep it up, it will eventually end! And different strategies work for different families.



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    My firstborn was exactly like that!! He hit the terrible 2’s at 13 months and was really hard work, so much so I didn’t get pregnant again for another 8 years! Now at 13 he is still prone to the door slam approach to life.

    My 2nd child is conversely an angel child, he’s 4 now and has only ever thrown a handful of tantrums. Only 1 in public. He’ll eat anything and never really strops. Yes I’m very lucky, and yes I am a little bit smug!

    Child 3 is 9 weeks old and I’m thinking I can’t get that lucky twice….. can I?



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    Thank you! Before I had a baby, a childless friend used to talk about ‘smug mothers’. I thought it was an awful thing to say because all mothers are obviously fricking awesome. But then I went to playgroups….and joined mothers ‘support’ groups. Basically lots of mums being passive aggressive, as in, well we would never ‘insert bad mother escapade here – let baby cry, have to deal with a tantrum, whatever you just mentioned you did’ Yup, I get it, some things are better for babies but don’t give off the vibe that you are a perfect mother with a perfect child…you only want yourself to hear it. I know whats good for my baby and that not everything we do together will be perfect…okay, I guess I went on a bit of a tangent there, but sod it, I needed to get that off my chest. Thanks again!



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    I love this post! My son is 21 months old and boy is he head strong. I love that about him as he got it from me, after all.
    I have just recently stumbled across your blog/wesite/whatever you call it…and I love it! We are very like-minded and I feel so “normal” reading your stuff. Thank you!



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    This is great :) The funniest High-Horsers are the women who DONT have their own kids but are say, baby sitters or aunts or godmothers or neighbours…. not speaking directly about any old Wicked Witch from my own life or anything!! The women who have never experienced the insanity/humiliation/joy of childbirth and pregnancy, who have never been so tired with sleep deprivation during the newborn phase that they put their own shirts on inside out – these are the women who when they have their own *precious* little ones “one day when we’re settled”, will expect their child to behave in public. To do as they are asked. To use manners. To not have tantrums. Or have tantrums that they will control in a ‘low, monotone voice nice and calmly’. Who the fuck deals with tantrums like that??
    Ahh, yes, new mothers and not-yet-mothers.
    Mooze´s last blog post… I miss them!My Profile



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    Recently stumbled on your blog via Crappy Pictures and find it very interesting! I’ve already posted one link to my FB page and I’ll be checking back periodically!Now…I agree with this in large part, but this post leaves out the other side of the coin, which is the inappropriate way that parents of toddlers acting up in public sometimes respond to other adults around them. (I also think our parenting culture that relies on TV and other electronics to entertain has something to do with children’s behavior in public, but that’s a whole other story…)When our (now almost 20-month) son was about 3 months old, we were in a restaurant where about 2.5-yr-old twins were at the table next to us, acting obnoxious the whole time. One of them literally threw a fork at us and nearly hit my little baby on its way through the air. I let the woman know (VERY politely, btw) that her son had thrown a fork at our table. What did she do? SHE TURNED BACK AROUND as if I had said nothing whatsoever. No sorry, no [forced] sorry from her son, not a word to him about the incident, she just went back to her conversation. At the very least, the woman should have apologized on his behalf, and she could have moreover at least tossed a cursory word of discipline his way even if it was only for my benefit. I am a firm believer in at least maintaining courtesy toward others yourself as the parents of misbehaving children, even if most of us can’t assume our kids will behave properly in public *all* the time (though I agree a lot with Kelly the teacher’s comments too about consistency, which many parents seem to lack, including many of my own friends). And it’s just something that seems to be severely lacking.You might call this being on a high horse as well, and if so, so be it. But there’s a difference between children just throwing tantrums and children doing something directly to other people around them. I am guessing, for instance, that you yourself apologized when your son threw the baseball bat into the stranger’s plate. I hope you did, anyway. ;)



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    There have been a few times in a store that my now two year old has thrown huge tantrums. She has even been to the point of scratching our faces. What do you do at this point?? If you try to spank or sound mean some people look at you like you are a child-abuser. But if you don’t do anything and try to stay calm, you are a bad parent for not having the little monster under control.I get completely humiliated when this happens. She is my first kid and at first when she acted like that in public I would try to calmly try to get her to quit for fear of someone thinking I was abusing my child. Now I am at the point I don’t care what other people think. If she needs a spaking in public she will get one. My child is completely different from any other child. I know what is going to work for her. A home the corner seems to be working pretty good. Sometimes we go to the store and I get comments like your little girl is so good. most kids that age would be screaming. I will simply say, ” Take her home with you and you won’t feel that way.” lol. I love my booger but that’s just it you can’t control your two year old. They may have a good day and they may not. Now I’m not saying there aren’t parents that don’t handle things right. For example the mother who acted like her kid throwing a fork didn’t happen. If my baby would have done that there would have definately been consequences right in front of everyone!! She definatly knows Daddy and I are boss. She may not act that way all the time. But since I know my daughter and what works for her, don’t let her completely run all over me ( I have to admit I can go a little soft sometimes. But that is a part of mommyhood :)…)She can be a pretty good girl.



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    Fantastic blog!!!!! I will be sharing this for sure!!!! Good bloody job!!!



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    I just found your blog and love it already! My first child(2 yrs and 22mths) is a pretty good kid over all…..I was never on the high horse….but I did think I was pretty awesome at this mom thing;p And if I was on that horse, my second child(11mths) would have smacked me right off of it! He is picky, cranky, throws food. I am scared reading this and finding out that there is more to come! Or, maybe, getting prepared and knowing my husband and I are not alone in this crazy ride of parenting…um….angels?….is a good thing?



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    I remember my high horse when my oldest was born. She was sooo easy! When her little sister was born, she was still great. She is now 5 going on 15, her little sister is 3 going on mega-demon, their brother is the worst case of terrible twos I could have ever imagined, and their sweet little baby brother is 3 months (but the thought of 2 years down the road makes me tremble with fear.) Now instead of riding my high horse, I’m chasing after him begging him to come back… I’m so not catching up!



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    See there’s this thing dad invented called the backhand. That way every child in my family knew mom was only the beginning like a safety net. We treated her with respect because we knew mom could spank, but dad could reduce your favorite hotwheel into a steaming puddle of aluminum with a welding torch. But on the flipside of that coin we had an incredible amount of freedom which I think is key. People lock their kids in controlled environments to ensure their safety and wonder why the kid goes insane. I had a huge dairy farm to roam and explore I learned what stung, bit, and cut without mom saying “don’t touch that!” So when she did tell me something I listened because I thought she must have learned the same way. I understand most people don’t have 226 acres and a welding torch to raise the perfect children. But don’t think it can’t be done my mother wasn’t lucky we spent every Sunday clipping coupons. She did farm work, house work, grew most of our food fresh, and still had time to read me “that dinosaur book.” every night. (even though she couldn’t pronounce most of the words in it) I am her life’s work my brother and 2 sisters as well, we are her puzzle pieces of life and what a beautiful picture it turned out to be. God bless keep up the good work! I may not comment again but if I do know that I do so with love.



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    Loved this piece! We had our own moment “Oh just you wait!” moment while out to eat on Mother’s last year. My younger sister had a little girl who was about 10 months old and still sat nicely & quietly in a highchair. We had a independent almost 3 year old who cannot, even if you paid her, sit in her seat during an entire meal. During the whole meal my husband and I noticed the looks my sister and her husband were passing each other, not to mention the comments they made while I was at the table & while I was taking our daughter to the bathroom for the 2nd time. The whole thing really pissed off my husband and he was just reliahing in the fact that they would get their due in time! Fast forward to when their little angel is now about 14-15 months old and my sister somedays she wants to just scream & pull her hair out. In my head, I was saying “”I told youso!”, but I bit my tongue. After having kids, especially now that our angel is a defiant 3.5 year old and I have a 8 month old that has been crawling for the past month and half, I can see that I probably judged others too harshly back when I did not have a clue. I know better now and certainly didn’t want to make my sister feel any worse, just want to be as supportive as possible. But I have to say it was nice to hear that my sister’s little angel can cause just as much despair as mine!



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    Loved this piece! We had our own moment “Oh just you wait!” moment while out to eat on Mother’s Day last year. My younger sister had a little girl who was about 10 months old and still sat nicely & quietly in a highchair. We had a independent almost 3 year old who cannot, even if you paid her, sit in her seat during an entire meal. During the whole meal my husband and I noticed the looks my sister and her husband were passing each other, not to mention the comments they made while I was at the table & while I was taking our daughter to the bathroom for the 2nd time. The whole thing really pissed off my husband and he was just reliahing in the fact that they would get their due in time! Fast forward to when their little angel is now about 14-15 months old and my sister somedays she wants to just scream & pull her hair out. In my head, I was saying “”I told youso!”, but I bit my tongue. After having kids, especially now that our angel is a defiant 3.5 year old and I have a 8 month old that has been crawling for the past month and half, I can see that I probably judged others too harshly back when I did not have a clue. I know better now and certainly didn’t want to make my sister feel any worse, just want to be as supportive as possible. But I have to say it was nice to hear that my sister’s little angel can cause just as much despair as mine!



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