Category Archives: Toddler

A sweet toddler giggle to end the day …

… or the other things life has taught me this week.

It started perfect with a wonderful Sunday. I was for several hours all by myself. The Hubs and ‘Timan’ went to visit Gromi (my mother-in-law) and the tot spent hours playing with his cousins on the PlayStation in the garden, while the Hubs was watching football and drinking beer working in said garden with his brother-in-law. Don’t we all love the crisp cool air in the mountains? Whatever, I had a great time too, staying at home all alone. 🙂

As the days passed, I realized certain things I won’t be able to change and some things I don’t want to change, ever:

1. ‘Timan’ wants to roughhouse. That’s ok, ‘Timan’ gets to roughhouse. But just not with me. The Hubs has to be his perfect sparring partner. – I’m a ‘Lady’, not a punching ball, for heaven’s sake.

2. Every time I’m in the shower, washing my hair, covered in foam, ‘Timan’ needs to go for ‘big business’ and is in urgent need of someone to lift him up on the throne. Of course this happens when the Hubs is still at work (he has a late night work schedule, sigh). No problem, I hop out of the shower, pop him on the seat and hop back in. And all he does is sit there, talking to the sink and playing with the toilet paper I usually forget to put away. No solid output, nothing. – But shame on me if I dare to tell him to hold it back until I’m finished with my shower. This would be calling for a disaster and his omniscient words would be “But Mommy, I’ve told you.”

3. I caught the tot ‘cooking on the stove’ – while standing on a chair in front of it. I was scared to the bone. Luckily nothing happened. Unfortunately he’s so cocky, he knows-it-all, can-do-it-all and my words are blown away with the wind. – Maybe I need to put the phone numbers of the ER and some Taxis on my speed dial.

4. We got back to napping after several nap-less days. I signed up for the help of mother nature (aka earlier sunrise), but ‘Timan’ still needs my patience, more patience and maybe even more of it. A bright bedroom at 6am wakes him up and he is tired by the time lunch is finished, but if I don’t add my cooing words to the mix until he’s falling asleep in my arms, there is no nap. – And no nap means a cranky tot by late afternoon and no quiet time for me.

5. I found the perfect beginning of ‘Timan’s bedtime ritual. We start with some laughter and lots of his sweet giggles, just nothing rough (see no.1). It doesn’t matter what is going to make him giggle, my tickling or a catching game while he’s sitting on my lap, he’s just giggling and laughing. Believe it or not, he’s falling asleep much easier afterwards. And to top it off, these toddler giggles are so sweet, they make me smile, no matter how crappy my day was. I only hope he keeps doing them for a very long time to come. 🙂

So you see, in spite of the rather humid and wet weather and ‘Timan’s still itchy skin, life is good in paradise. I hope it’s been good with you too. Enjoy a great weekend.

For more of those important lessons life is teaching you, head over to ‘Life With Baby Donut‘:

Life With Baby Donut

Do those sweet toddler giggles change your mood to the better as well? They just make me happy. I can’t get enough of them.

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Yep, that’s the man

Men are so much different from women. I’m not talking about the physical thing here, it’s what they do and how they do it. Sometimes we like it and sometimes it’s driving us insane. But we all know ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’.

And actually, I’m ok with this. What on earth would I do if the planet I usually go to find some peace, is crowded with individuals like ‘Timan’ and the Hubs. No way, that’s not going to happen, not with me, I need my ‘Venus’ space.

Anyhow, the Hubs and I are quite different. In many ways he is what I’m not and I am what he isn’t. It’s all about the ‘yin and yang’, isn’t it?

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And then again, there are many things the Hubs and I share and in many ways we are quite alike.

And there is our son ‘Timan’.

For the Hubs he is the one and only (besides me, of course :-)) and he is absolutely wonderful and delicate with him.

He is introducing him from early on into the world of those little gadgets.

He likes to cuddle with the tot as much as I do.

He builds one sand castle after the other with ‘Timan’, and tells him the matching stories to go with their ‘constructions’.

He is working with the tot on their ‘gangsta’-image.

But sometimes, I really don’t understand what’s going on in his head. There are moments when something is a little off, just a tiny little bit weird. Let me explain this:

The other day ‘Timan’ was in bed already and the Hubs was watching sports on TV. I was playing around working on the computer and didn’t pay any attention to what he was doing. A while later I found him like this, and no, he was not even tipsy:

?????? What’s up with this??????

(Yes, that’s the leg of a chair on his forehead and yes, he’s fast asleep.)

So I was a good wify and didn’t turn off the light when I went to bed. But maybe I was not so good after all, because I left him lying on the floor like this, under the chair, next to the dinner table. 😉 By the way, he spent the whole night there.

Later he told me he was doing medication free headache treatment. Huh?

But hey, these are just a few snapshots of the many facets that make out my Hubs.

And even when his nutty moments are driving me nuts sometimes, it’s what I love about him.

What are your ‘better half’s sweet or quirky moments? Tell me about them, I’m curious.

Linking up with Multitasking Mama for her meme ‘It’s what I love about him’. Hop over and check out some more sweet, funny, weird, ???, moments of our partners in life and crime.

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A donkey with earplugs and blinders

Our ‘Timan’ is approaching his 3rd birthday with giant strides, he has just a little less than 2 month more to go and I really don’t see an end to those ‘terrible twos’. But I’m not talking about tantrums in this post. No, I’m talking about something else: My little monkey is rather a little donkey with earplugs and blinders.  He’s defiant strong willed, doesn’t listen is very busy and doesn’t pay attention has his own opinion.

But I found some strategies that work actually pretty good sometimes with my tot to make him listen and do what I want him to do:

  • A short, simple and clear message that tells him what I want from him. No long sentence about the why’s and if’s. He would probably just getting lost and forgets what I told him to do.
  • Lock eyes, even if I have to force him to do it by going down to his level or lift him up and restrain him from kicking.
  • Talk with a calm but firm voice because now I’m much to close for a loud voice anyway. 😉

And not to forget:

  • The Smile: My chance to get the message across and ‘Timan’ complying is much better when he can see that I’m not angry with him. Even if sometimes it is a forced smile to be honest. However the importance is not to turn the whole situation into something funny, otherwise my authority is gone in the flic of a second. Depending on the situation I’m waking actually a fine line with this smile.

And this one works like a charm most of the time:

  • Let him choose so he can completely be in control of the situation in questions of clothing, meal choices or things he has to do (Mommy is doing one of his tasks, he’s doing the other one, but he can choose which one he wants to do).

But sometimes the situation is just not for choosing, so I do:

  • The counting: I count to the magical number 3 and when I’m finished he better does what he’s supposed to do, or else … . This works absolutely perfect but I have to follow through with the thing I threaten to impose on him. It took a couple of tries and he really got it. 🙂 This is actually my #1 tool.

If nothing else works, the next one is my absolutely very last trick (but I really don’t like it at all and I never ever do it when we are in a shop):

  • Buy him, bribe him offer an incentive: Who says little kids can’t be bought?. ‘Timan’ wants something, he’s getting it. But only if Mommy is getting her way. But I’m afraid if I’m doing this too often I might end up with no other tool and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.

And I have to admit, sometimes I’m doing this:

  • Yelling: One shout and very loud. It actually works when something is at stake or dangerous, i.g. he’s about to run into an approaching car. This is getting not only the attention of ‘Timan’ but also of the whole neighbourhood. Ugh. 😦 But if I’m yelling at the tot on a daily basis because he’s being naughty it is getting us nowhere. He is just closing his ears and I end up to be the one who is frustrated.

And even this I’ve done:

  • Spanking on his hand when ‘Timan’ is trying to grab something after I told him several times over numerous days not to do it and he still keeps doing it. Like i.g. snatching something off the cutting board while I’m cutting or trying to grab something out of the hot pan on the stove. I don’t regret these spanks because the message came through and he never did it again does it less often. Mission accomplished.

But let’s be honest, at the end of the day this one is cheering me up every time in those very desperate situations ;-):

Sometimes we have good days, life is wonderful and everything goes well from the time we open our eyes until we fall asleep at night.

But still, we have days nothing seems to work. The whole day is just terrible and awful, ‘Timan’ is not listening to anything and one naughty behaviour is followed by the next one. As I mentioned before, please don’t get me started with his tantrums. I could tell you about them with no end in sight. Sigh.

And then again, ‘Timan’ is a sweet and cuddly tot and the best awesome little boy in the whole wide world. I love him to the moon and back. And he’s my son, my mini-me. 🙂

What are your strategies when your kids turn a deaf ear to everything you are saying? Or do you really have the miracle words that make them do what you want them to?


Linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood, hop over and link up your favorite post of the week:

It’s only good (a.k.a. fun) when you can throw it

And IT can be anything in this case. Seriously. 😉

A long time ago it started with the normal toddler behavior of throwing food off the high chair. We used to have a covered wooden terrace where ‘Timan’ was taking his meals. This was easy to clean for me and ‘Timan’ always had company of a whole ‘lizard tribe’, waiting under his high chair for pieces he dropped, like faithful dogs. He threw them down and the lizards learned to eat carrots.

Later we moved to a different place and unfortunately he kept doing this habit even though there were no more lizards. Short of his audience, he started to throw the food behind the fridge, very skillfully, I have to admit. This had to stop of course. A new seating arrangement was necessary for ‘Timan’.

However, after moving to the big table, ‘Timan’ was in charge of a brand new territory. Getting off the chair and covering everything in his reach with Weetabix was done in no time.

But luckily he moved on to different objects. Don’t get me wrong, he is not throwing his toys around, he’s not smashing them on the wall like his little friend did. Somehow I managed to make him understand that his toys tend to break and he’s not getting new ones, so he better takes care of this toys. Mommy: task accomplished, ‘Timan’: lesson learned, sort of. 😉 But tell me, what’s so funny about throwing empty household towel tubes in the air, or his soft stuffed animals? Or other toys and household items for instance? Just to see them falling down, look for them and throw them up in the air again?

If I ask him to give me something in his reach, he doesn’t put it into my hand. He’s throwing it to me, accompanied by a smile and a “hop”. At the beginning, the first couple of times, I thought this was funny and cute.  But it isn’t, believe me. He’s doing it with everything, all the time. I had to put an end to that. Well, I still try to, it’s easier said then done. Sigh.

I realised I have to give his throwing skills a new direction. What is the best item to throw?  A ball of course. And ‘Timan’ has many of them.

He loves to play football, but he also loves to throw his football in the air. And this he can do as he pleases, as long as he does it outside.

With little balls we also have an indoor throwing version for rainy days.

At the beach he likes to throw sand into the waves. There is a lot of running back and forth involved and we are very lucky there are hardly any people on our beach during the times we go for a swim.

But there is another thing that is really bothering me and I can’t get ‘Timan’ to stop doing it. When he goes to the toilet for a BM, he doesn’t simply pull down his pants, no, he takes them off and throws them in the corner of the bathroom. I don’t think little girls are doing this.

So I started asking myself, is this whole throwing issue a male thing? Do girls throw everything in the air as well?

But in the end there’s only one solution:

‘Timan’ has to throw the towel with the whole throwing habit.

Am I the only mother with a tot without pants on the throne? Am I right and this is a male thing? And what about the whole throwing issue? Is this going to outgrow on its own? Any tip to help me cutting this habit is very appreciated. 🙂


Linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood, hop over and link up your favorite post of the week:

Bhuuhuu, I’m scared, so scared …

… of the clock.

Just picture this , it’s mid-afternoon, ‘Timan’ is peacefully napping since about 1 1/2 hours, everything is quiet. But all of a sudden:

‘Timan’: “Bwaeeee, mommy, mommy”

me (rushing into the bedroom because it sounded like he got stung by something, or fell off the bed): “Oh honey, what’s the matter?”

him: “Bwaeee, mommy … bwaeee … I’m so scared.”

me: “But why, there is nothing to be afraid of and I was just in the room next door. What happened?”

him: “I’m sooouuu scared, bwaeee …”

me: “My love, tell me, what are you scared of?”

him: “The clock, (sobs), over there,(sobs again), at the wall.”

me: “Yes, I can see the clock, it’s been there since ever, and it’s actually broken. It doesn’t even make tic-tac. Now it’s more a picture than a clock. There’s a flower in the picture, do you see it?”

him: (stopped crying) “Yes, it’s a nice flower, and it’s yellow.”

me: “So tell me, sweety, what happened, what made you cry?”

him: “Mommy, you know, I’m just so scared of it.”

So I was taking the clock off the wall, gave it to ‘Timan’ and he could have a very good and close look at it and his world was ok again for this day.

But this scenario did not just happen once, it has happened several times during the last month. Always with the same clock, that’s hanging on the bedroom wall and doesn’t work since almost one year.

Sometimes  ‘Timan’ is waking up crying and telling me he’s scared because he felt someone pressing his belly. He possibly just rolled over and ended up lying on his hand.

Over the last month or so I realised ‘Timan’ is more aware of the world around him than I thought he is. He’s taking in everything that’s happening around him like a sponge, he thinks about events he saw or he deals with them subconsciously in his dreams and he’s talking in his sleep sometimes. He is beginning to have fears and anxieties that I have a hard time to understand. There are some things he doesn’t quite understand and therefore they frighten him and he’s scared of them:

  • imaginary threats: the clock at the wall or his own fist pressing his belly during the sleep are transformed in his vivid imagination into things he has no name for (yet).
  • forces that cannot be controlled: the waves at the beach all of a sudden can turn into grasping hands pulling him into the ocean. Last week he was playing for hours joyfully in the waves (and did not fall down), now, after arriving at the beach he doesn’t even want to go close to the water (with no waves at all), not even to rinse his sticky fingers.
  • animals: the dogs, sometimes young ones, that just want to play. For a little one they are probably wild beasts that are trying to bite him (he’s just seeing the teeth, I guess) or simply want to run him over. He’s ok playing with one of our neighbours’ dogs that has the size of a cat and doesn’t bark, though.
  • unfamiliarity: strangers or unfamiliar people and places, which makes him appear rather shy.
  • unfamiliar loud noises: He’s aware and not afraid of thunder and lightning or our neighbours in party mood, but sometimes there’s an explosion when people blast a big rock that’s threatening their house or a new road is being built somewhere on our island.

All these fears I’m trying to take away by rationally explaining the reason behind them, by explaining what he can do to see for himself the things that are giving him the scare and there is actually nothing to be scared of. And by giving him hugs and kisses and telling him that mommy and daddy love him, no matter what.

But I’m aware, maybe this is just the beginning. In the future there might be some ghosts or monsters lurking under the bed or in the closet at night or the daily separation from mommy in the morning when he’s going to preschool next year. Or maybe not, maybe these things won’t bother him at all. Or there will be something else I can’t even think about right now. We shall find out and deal with it when the time comes.

What are your tots so terribly afraid of? How do you deal with those fears as parents? Please tell me.

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