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So you can find many blogs and articles written about toddlers. I wanted to talk about 11 things that WON’T happen in toddler lives.
- Being Quiet
- Staying Clean
- Following Directions
- No Meltdowns
- Using their Toys as Intended
- Wearing Matching Clothing
- Coloring Only on Paper
- Eating Everything you Serve them
- Stay out of Trouble
If you think your toddler will listen, think again. Selective hearing starts early and is something that comes naturally to toddlers. My munchkin actually did pretty well while she was 2. I swear as soon as she started approaching 3 … nope we were done listening. Ask your child to clean up and they can not hear you. Ask your child (in a whisper) if they want a cookie and you have a toddler attached to you until you hand over the cookie. If your toddler starts out listening don’t think you are getting off easy. I can almost guarantee that eventually it will change so just be warned.
What are you smoking? If you think toddlers are quiet then you have not spent time with a toddler. Honestly if they are being quiet it is probably because they are getting into or doing something that they should not be. The only exception to this is when they are sleeping, then you don’t have to worry about them being quiet. Toddlers can be playing with toys that make no noise and yet the sound level where they are playing is high. Making sure they have an outlet for all their energy can help. But does not work all the time, toddlers are just loud. Honestly as much as it can get on my nerves I love the sound of my toddler using her imagination and having fun.
Toddlers don’t know how to stay clean. They don’t even need to go outside to get dirty. I think they just attract dirt wherever they are. It can be food, drink, paint, dirt, play-dough, etc. anything they have access to can cause them to be dirty. I really have to work on my stain removing skills because I stink at that part of laundry. If you have any tips for this feel free to comment them because I can use any tips you have. I try not to put my child in light colored clothing so that all that dirt does not show as much. If you are a clean freak then just be warned. You might want to rethink your expectations of what is clean while you have a toddler in the house.
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Ya right, yes you will have some periods of time where your toddler sleeps so well that you are appreciative. However sleep regression does not just happen to babies. My munchkin slept really well as a 2 year old. I mean once we put her down she would sleep for 10-11 hours straight. I swear turning 3 was the switch for my munchkin on a lot of things. We are currently going through a stage of only sleeping for a couple of hours before waking up. She has been waking up crying and we don’t know why. She does not seem to be having a nightmare but we don’t know. We go in to comfort her and get her to go back to sleep and she goes right back but won’t let us put her in her bed.
We have made the choice that if she wakes in the middle of the night she is allowed to come sleep with us. She actually started doing this on her own. One night about 3:30 we realized that she was trying to crawl into bed. So we let her and she went right back to sleep. So now we tell her she can come join us and to make sure she brings her blanket and Reggie the fox so we don’t have to get up to get them and she does. Don’t assume because your toddler is a great sleeper that it will last through all their toddler years. Just decide how you want to handle it so you have a plan.
This goes along with the fact that toddlers don’t listen. They don’t follow directions either or only follow part of them. Can your toddler learn to follow directions … sure but it sure does not come naturally to them. Ask your toddler to pick up their books and put them away and they might pick them up and move them but not put them away.
We have a rule in our house that if munchkin wants to play on her tablet she has to help clean up her play area. Usually that means she is cleaning up the LEGOs she has spread all over. We help with everything else. However more often than not she gets distracted and does not clean up. Which is ok because that just means she does not play on her tablet. Does she know how to follow directions … you betcha … does she do it regularly? Nope not yet but we are working on it.
HAHAHAHA … you wish you could avoid this part of living with a toddler. Now my version of a meltdown with my munchkin is going to look different than your version of a meltdown but they will happen. Munchkin meltdowns usually only last about a min or two and I believe this is because of how we did things when she was a baby. As a baby when she would get upset we would help identify her feelings and so as she got older she felt heard. By feeling heard she was less likely to carry on to get our attention.
She has started to let us know how she is feeling but especially when she is tired she goes into meltdown mode. When she has a meltdown we offer to hug her and hold her while she gets out the feelings and then we talk about why she had the meltdown. Do they go away … nope but then again if you think about it adults have meltdowns also and why should we expect a toddler to do something that adults can’t even do. The best thing is to help your toddler figure out how to work through their meltdown without it lasting 30 min.
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Using Their Toys as Intended
Honestly I consider this a good thing. When your child can take their blanket and make a cape or use their LEGO people with their train set they are using their imagination and this is great. You want your toddler to use their imagination as this also usually means they are comfortable playing on their own. Munchkin has been known to use the characters in her puzzles in her other area of play and her LEGOs keep ending up in her play blender.
Personally I have been amazed at what she comes up with. I admit sometimes I have to remind myself she can play with her toys how she wants. I think as we get older we get more rigid in how things are supposed to be used. We get into the mindset that there is a right and a wrong way to use/play with things and for toddlers that is not so. Toddlers find new ways to use their toys so just get used to it.
Wearing Matching Clothing
Now I am not talking about when you pick out their clothing, I am talking about when you start letting them pick their own clothing. Toddlers know nothing about pattern matching or color matching … they just know that they want to wear their bright yellow shirt with their pink striped pants and blue socks because they look fun. This is another way of them showing their creativity and their independence. Eventually they will figure it out but toddlers love to wear what they want no matter if they match or not so look at it and take a picture or two.
Coloring Only on Paper
I think we have all heard about toddlers coloring on other items. Well yup it’s going to happen so make sure you have cleaning supplies (magic erasers work great). My munchkin has colored on walls, doors, tables, my laptop (yaaaa that one did not go over to well with mama). They don’t want to limit their creativity to paper or coloring books so no matter how closely you watch at some point it is going to happen. Just accept it and move on.
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Eating Everything you Serve Them
I will admit I thought we had gotten lucky and avoided this issue. Hahahaha, yup I must have been smoking something. As a baby and early toddler she did eat anything we gave her. We could put a new food on her plate and she would gobble it down. Now even her old favorites get turned down. For like a month she was happy eating macaroni and cheese and now she wants nothing to do with it.
Before we went camping in August she would not eat hot dogs and now she thinks they are great. We do ask that she does a tongue test. She has to at least let it touch her tongue before she says no. This has worked some times but not always. We will not make her a different dinner. We will make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if she is still hungry later. It is fully normal for toddlers to go through periods where they won’t eat something or want to eat something all the time.
Staying Out of Trouble
Your toddler is going to get into trouble so just accept it now. What you need to decide is how you are planning on handling it. We try to do natural consequences as much as possible. When munchkin was going through her period of throwing toys the consequence of throwing the toy was she would loose the toy for the rest of the day. When she colored on my laptop she lost her crayons for the rest of the day.
We practice time ins instead of time outs and it seems to be working. We will have her sit with us when she is doing something she shouldn’t. After she calms down we ask her why she is sitting with us. After she tells us we talk about what she should be doing. Then get her to agree and usually it works. So far these methods have been working for the most part. Does it work 100% of the time … nope … she is a toddler. She is going to get into a lot of trouble and all we can do is to continue to work on teaching her right from wrong. No toddler is going to be perfectly behaved. You can work with them and set boundaries and love them as they are.
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Remember the Positive
Honestly I am enjoying having a toddler in the house. Seeing her learn new things and seeing her get excited when she learns to do something or figure something out is some of my favorite memories right now. Knowing that what she is doing is normal and that we just need to help her learn how to deal with her emotions in appropriate manners has helped when I start to get stressed.
Yes I loose my cool and need to take a time out. I know that is me and not her. I remind myself when she is tired these items are going to intensify. Again the same thing happens with adults. We can not expect our children to be perfect when there is no such thing as a perfect adult. I love having a toddler in the house and in my life even if I know these 11 things won’t be in her life right now. I also try to remember all the fun we have together and that helps me to take a deep breath and calm down a bit.
Comment below what is something that does not happen with YOUR toddler.