Thursday, August 4, 2016

Toddlers are so easy going...

Toddlers are always teetering on the edge of emotionally unstable.


We brought our little one inside to eat dinner last night, and her bottom lip had never stuck out so far. It was like we broke her little heart. She could do nothing but lay on the kitchen floor and cry.

Outside!

Outside!

Her facial expressions are transparent, good or bad.

You made me come inside to eat dinner?! I thought you loved me. I'm so cute.

As a parent, you want to provide healthy, well-balanced meals to your child so they can mash it up and throw it on the floor. Yesterday evening, mom and daughter had an epic battle of wills over eating chicken. Layna used to like it, and she used to eat anything with the promise of something better.

Do you want applesauce? Okay, just two bites of chicken.

Screams.

I may not have won the book-in-bed battle of Spring 2016, but I won the chicken war last night. Someday, little one will learn that she cannot out-stubborn her mom, no one can. I always have time to prove a point. 

Doesn't mean I always do the right thing, like last night. It was a painful hour until those two pieces of chicken were eaten, and here is where I went wrong.

5. She got too worked up.


Oh my word. The level of hysterics was intense. You would have thought I was actively injuring the child each time I reminded her she needed to take two bites. It got to the point, where she couldn't hear me, she couldn't understand. My guess is she momentarily forgot why she was so upset, but couldn't stop.

You're making me eat chicken, I'm going to cry.

I hate chicken today, I'm going to keep crying.

Why would you make me cry my own tears? I'm going to cry louder.

I'm so sick of crying, I'm going to cry.

I hate crying, I'm going to keep crying.

... I need to catch my breath...

Okay, back to crying!

4. She needed comfort and trust.


Trying new things can be scary. We encourage her to be inquisitive and curious. She has no problem mixing her milk with the food of the day and seeing how it squishes. But generally, we also teach her to be cautious of what she puts in her mouth. Sure, mom and dad were serving her the chicken, but she also goes with Grandpa to feed chickens. 

Something doesn't add up here.

The hysterics stopped when I let her sit on my lap. Turns out, sometimes they just need a hug. But, hugs don't mean they will listen. The battle goes on.

3. There was too much on her plate at first.


I don't like pizza. For as long as I remember, I've hated it. It's passionate, the amount I loathe the food. If you put an entire pizza in front of me, and said that is all I'm getting. Sure, I'm an adult and would probably throw my hands in the are, cry, post the injustice on Facebook, and accuse you of taking my rights away.

We gave the kid a whole chicken breast. That's a lot for something that apparently is the worst thing in the entire world, this week.

2. We strayed from our normal discipline routine.


On an average day, if little girl does anything wrong, she gets a warning and then timeout in her room. Depending on the level of wrong, timeout may or may not be supervised. We always end with an agreement to right the wrong, and agree with a hug and a kiss.

Turns out, after an hour of terrorist negotiations, a little timeout was all that was needed. Not even a minute into it, she agreed to take two bites.

Why didn't we do this first?!

1. We haven't been consistent.


Some days, I'm exhausted after work. So when my little one is throwing her food on the floor and telling me she is all done, I don't fight it. It isn't her fault that she developed a preference for cheese and fruit, and thought she could swear off protein at dinner. There have been several nights lately where this has been the case.

That's on me. Parents don't always do the right thing, cause guess what...we're human. However, as parents we should be saving our best selves for our family. They deserve it, and they need it. So, find a way to laugh through the struggle, and do your job of loving, caring, and protecting them.


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