Toddlers: A Thought on Birthday Parties

Handling a birthday party that is not your child’s: Not fun.

My daughter is two, actually she is two and a half! As such, there are a few universal qualities that one can expect. First and foremost, everything is hers. If she likes it, its hers. If it’s purple, it is most definitely hers. If she, at one time in her short life, touched it, then its hers. As much as I try to dissuade this behavior, it seems stubbornly imprinted in her genetic code.

The birthday Girl: Kylie! Isn’t she just too cute?

Today we had a party for my wicked cute niece who turns two next Saturday. We had her party this week because her big obnoxious Auntie (or Tee Tee as she calls her) is selfishly getting married on the most sacred days of her little childhood. Yes, I am that cruel. In all fairness, I did buy her an adorably cute little cake that matched the top tier of my wedding cake with a pretty pink K scrawled on it, so I am not totally heartless. Anyhow, back to my original point. There were presents at this party, presents my beautiful little two and a half year old could not keep her hands off of.

“No no, Kayla those are Kylie’s presents!” Yes, there names are close, blame my sister. Then again, I have an older niece Kiley and I named my daughter Kayla so I guess you can blame me too. Getting derailed again, man I am bad at that! Despite the constant scolding, my daughter needed to get into the presents. She also just had to have the birthday girl princess tiara. Luckily Kylie was not a fan of things on her head so she did not object to my daughter swiping her crown.

My beautiful little thief with her stolen crown 🙂

Then it came time to sing happy birthday. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday. Actually, let me correct that. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday to her. She did not like singing to Kylie, which was shown when she burst into tears. Of course everyone thought it was because we were singing loud, but I know the truth. She didn’t get to sit in front of the cake, and everyone wasn’t singing to her. For as shy as my daughter is, she certainly likes attention if it concerns birthday. That could be cause she associates birthday with birthday cake. Seriously. When she sings happy birthday, its not Happy Birthday to you!” its “Happy Birthday Cake to you!” (but she totally means happy birthday cake to me). Yeah I know, she’s wicked cute.

After the cake fiasco passed, we came to the dreaded time that had my skin crawling from the beginning, the presents. Now I refuse to be one of those parents that goes and buys a gift for their kid simply because its another kid’s birthday and they will be getting a ton of presents. So this is how the present opening went.

Kylie opens present. Kylie gets excited for presents. Kylie opens next present. Kayla swipes recently opened present. Kylie wants swiped toy back. Mommy interferes and gives Kylie her new toy back. Kayla has a meltdown. Kylie forgets toy as next toy is opened, and conveniently so does Kayla. Then we repeat.

It was only through great patience, and quick moving parents that we were able to stop a full on toddler brawl. Well except for the plane fight, that one just sort of happened. No bruises though, and thirty seconds later they were happily playing together with all the toys. They are like sisters, Kylie and Kayla. They have a love hate relationship that looks eerily similar to the one I share with my own sister. Luckily, we have moved past the point of fighting over things… most of the time.

 

Have you experienced this issue with your children? What is the best way you have found to surpass the EVERYTHING IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU, MINE! stage?

Of Cookies and Tantrums

Dear my beautiful, charming daughter;

You are currently in your room, face streaked with tears. Your little nose, by now, will be filled with boogies, and your too-big-pants are most likely drooped halfway down your bum. You are throwing a tantrum, and a sizable one at that, while I sit on my computer typing this away. Every now and then I can hear you murmur mommy, before the crying picks up once more.

Some may think me cruel for listening to your tantrums, refusing to cater to your needs. I am sorry I did not let you have a cookie, seeing as how we will be eating dinner in less than an hour. I am sorry you found this so unfair that you threw yourself upon the ground screaming out your anger. I am sorry that as I sent you to your room you decided to stomp your adorable little feet and through a little terrible-two-tantrum.

I was patient, at first, ignoring your whining and grumbles. I even used the nice voice and made you smile. But the moment you heard cookie after dinner, the battle was lost. The face contorted, the lower lip quivered, and your little mouth parted to issue the first of many toddler screams. These little shrieks of indignation and anger only increased as you sat in your room, angry at mommy for daring to say no, but that is okay.

Four minutes have passed, and by now you have quieted. I can hear the door open and close as you contemplate exiting. Your cries have stopped, but your temper is still in full force. The little pout on your lips, and the soft sniffle as you look in my direction is proof enough. That is not your I-am-sorry pout, that is your you-yelled-at-sweet-little-me pout. Well, my beautiful little girl, pout all you want. You still can’t eat the cookies before dinner. And now, now you can’t have them after dinner either.

With Love,

Mommy

 

Toddlers: A Thought on Tantrums

Toddlers: A Thought on Tantrums

From the moment my daughter hit 18 months, we have been cautiously awaiting that time. The time all parents notice that their children, their adorable, sweet little children turn into stubborn, chaotic, vicious balls of terror: the Terrible Twos. I long thought that my charming daughter would not enter such a stage. She had such big innocent doe eyes, and the sweetest softest little voice that I just couldn’t imagine it morphing into a fearsome creature. How wrong I was. Be warned, you parents of angels, there is a demon lurking just under the surface.

It started with a little back talk, and a little whining every now and then. Occasionally when she got angry, she would smack things. Never you, or any person, simply the table or even her own leg. At first, it was a little comical, but not to worrisome. As time progressed, those cutesy antics progressed. Then it became the look. Yes, even her facial expressions communicated her rebellion. She would give us the look after we told her to do something, or if we did something she did not like. Normally, I can combat her artfully crafted look with a perfected one of my own that sends her scampering off to do my bidding. My fiance, the strong man that he is, has little hope against our precious angel. Men, such tough exteriors and yet such mushy interiors.

She generally ignores him when he tells her to do something, and then laughs if he gets angry. Now I know she is only two, not even two and a half yet, however there is something so utterly infuriating about a toddler laughing at your frustrations! And the talking back, sometimes I am rendered speechless at the things she says or does in retaliation.

Take for instance my Saturday morning. I had just returned from overseas, and was eager to spend time with my demon… err daughter. I poured a bowl of cereal for her, and one for me. Well she did not want the bowl I poured for her, so I gave her mine. Such a good little mommy, she thought. At least that’s what my mind thinks she was thinking. Well I did not like the cereal I gave her (was her favorite) so I decided to make some english muffins. I should have known better, I really should have. She decided, halfway through the cereal, that she did not want the cereal anymore, that she wanted my english muffins. So I informed her that she already had breakfast. She looked down at her little cereal bowl still half full of coco pebbles and milk, picked it up, and threw it on the floor. My jaw hit the ground along with it. She then looked at me. Right at me and said, “No I don’t.”

It was this moment the truth became clear to me. My daughter has gone from being a toddler with a slight attitude to a full on terrible two. I calmly put my perfectly toasted english muffins down, out of her reach of course, and walked into the other room. I counted to ten to ease the torrent of emotions within me before leaving the room with a tight smile. She did not get my english muffins, and she most certainly did not get any more breakfast. Instead, she sat on her adorable little rump and picked up all the coco pebbles and wiped the spilt (thrown) milk with paper towels.

Take this as a warning, all you in-denial-parents, your adorable little baby has a dark side! The cute laughs and bright eyes are just tricks to weaken you! They will get you when you least expect it. And yet you will love them all the more for it.
What about you? Do you have any funny terrible-twos (or beyond) stories to share?