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the secret to taming the tantruming toddler

Sunday. 8:23 a.m.

I was preparing the family for our journey to church. Yes. Journey. Everything is dramatic where there are children involved. I had managed to wrestle the wiggling infant into a clean set of clothes and convinced the adolescent that wearing sweatpants to church was not acceptable. Everyone was ready to walk out the door and we needed to be leaving within 7 minutes.

Oh, but the toddler. He’d manage to pout his way into watching more annoying YouTube videos on my cell phone. That’s right – this is one of my secrets to taming the toddler. I give in to his pouting and let him watch his videos on my phone because then he isn’t following me around the house as I try to get myself and everyone else ready to go.

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The notorious pouting toddler

But then comes the point where I need to take the videos away and get him ready to go as well. This shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Getting him to go potty so he doesn’t have an accident on the way to church… check. Convincing him to put undies and clothing on – not without having to actually wrangle him into his clothes and nearly get a black eye in the midst of it…. but check.

“Ready to go Gabe? Let’s get our shoes on.”

“NO!”

“Okay, let’s get our boots on.”

“NO!”

I pick out not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR different pairs of shoes/boots for him to choose from. I’m exasperated and he is screaming. Finally, I throw my hands in the air and tell him to pick out his DAMN SHOES already.

What does he do? Thankfully he grabs two boots. Unfortunately, they aren’t the same boots. One is a light up Woody cowboy boot and the other is a cow rain boot. I try to convince him to pick just one pair – that isn’t going to happen. Screw it. At this point it’s now 8:37 and I NEED to leave so that we’ll get to the early service so we can make it to the Puzzle Room in time. So on go the mismatch shoes. At this point I realize he’s eating an apple… hmm. At closer look it’s definitely brown and likely been sitting out since yesterday. G LOVES to hide apples in places and eat them later. I’ve convinced him to wear a jacket – a raincoat but it’s something – and trying to fight that apple away from him is at the bottom of my list of priorities. I mean, it’s fruit, right?

Another way I tame the tantruming toddler. I let him wear whatever the hell he wants because the fight just isn’t worth the time. He wants to eat an apple that’s been sitting out since the day before? Go for it. At least it’s an apple and not chips from inside the couch.

Seriously though. Sometimes when it comes to the irrational minds of toddlers, the easiest thing you can do is JUST GIVE IN. Because what it comes down to is your own sanity. Mismatch boots with a rain jacket? At least the kid has shoes and jacket on. Seriously.

And yes. We were late to the service. The rest of the day was filled with more toddlerish behaviors as well… stealing a car from the toddler room at church, peeing in his carseat after I asked him FOUR TIMES if he needed to use the potty – like literally peed before I even got my own seatbelt on, throwing his lunch all over the floor because he wanted to watch more videos… the list is never ending. Sometimes you need to stand your ground and make it known what’s okay and what isn’t. But sometimes, like I said, you’ve got to give in so you can survive these years.

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