Tag Archives: 27 month old toddler

Toddler Friends — She’s Just Not That Into Him

Girl trouble already. Sigh. Aren’t we a little bit young for this?

Spencer and I went out to breakfast this morning with some of my mom friends (yay! Mommy time!). One of them, C., brought her 3-year-old daughter M. and a little girl she watches, 2-year-old Ch. The two girls, who spend one morning a week with one another are clearly toddler friends and sat next to one another during the meal. Spencer sat next to me in the corner so I could minimize any damage, noise, floods, tornadoes, etc. that a toddler could cause in a small restaurant.

When we were finished eating, we gathered up front to say our goodbyes, the two toddler friends holding one another’s hands. Spencer, keen on anybody his size, toddled over to the girls. “Hi kids!,” he said, smiling. Wanting to part of the toddler friends action, he stood next M. and tried to take hold of her free hand. M., just a toddler herself and in a “boys are yucky” stage, was having none of it. She didn’t tell him no, but she wouldn’t offer her hand up to him and she kept turning her whole self away from him. (She was probably unimpressed by his syrup-stained M&M shirt [orange today] and his sticky fingers.)

Apparently Spencer is not a good reader of body language, because he kept trying. Unfortunately, M. kept rebuffing him. My friend C. was embarrassed. “M.!” she said, “Hold Spencer’s hand!” When M. still refused, C. moved on to Ch., but she wasn’t interested either.

I felt so bad for Spencer. He didn’t understand what was going on. He wasn’t upset or crying or anything, but the look of bewilderment on his face just made my heart break. He just wanted to be part of the crowd. When you are two years old, everyone is supposed to be your friend. Everyone likes you. How do I explain to him that sometimes it doesn’t quite work that way? (And that sometimes, girls can be very silly?)

We left not too long after, me happily taking my little guy’s hand as we headed back to the car. He looked up at me brightly. “Hi Mommy!” he said, smiling once more. “We walk together?”

Awww. Who wouldn’t want to be toddler friends with someone as sweet as that?

Want to learn more about Spencer? Check out Shock and Aww on Facebook and my other parenting blog, We Are Both Right. Also, I’m on Twitter too. (Because I have all this time on my hands.


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Family Outdoor Activity — Fore! I Mean, Touchdown! I Mean, Gooooaaaaal!

We had a family outdoor activity day yesterday and spent it playing a great game — mini-golf. Well, T., C. A. and I played mini-golf, Spencer played a brand-new hybrid game I like to call mini-gobasebaskethockfoot. (Coming soon to a stadium near you, no doubt.)

Have you ever played mini-golf with a two-year-old? We did 18 holes yesterday as part of a family outdoor activity dayand I can honestly say I never have. Sure, Spencer had a club and a ball and there were all sorts of cute landscaped holes that we walked around, but whatever it was he was doing, it was not mini-golf. Not even close.

“It’s like playing with a walking windmill,” T. groused as he watched me line up the ball in an attempt to avoid not only the stable hazards that the landscape designers had put on the course, but the toddler one that had arms and legs and affinity for causing trouble. Despite not playing the right way, he sure had fun —  he would grab the ball (not necessarily his own, sorry people behind us) and hit the ball and kick the ball and toss the ball, not to mention the club — swinging it like a bat and a hockey stick and a sword.

A few times, when it was Spencer’s actual turn, as opposed to the time he just decided to hit the ball on his own, he was content to stand with T. and let his dad show him the right way to do it. Still, when the instructional period was over, he was happy to go back to playing his rules, his way. (And once again, people behind us, I’m very sorry.)

Our family outdoor activity day was also spent riding go-karts, something Spencer was totally content to do the right away. C. is big enough to do drive one on his own and A. rode with T. so that left Spencer and I to tackle the road together. I drove much slower than the other drivers, purposefully, but he didn’t seem to notice. He sat in the car, a big smile on his face, giggling the entire trip around the track.

We capped off our day with grilled cheeseburgers, a trip to the playground and T. playing whiffle ball with the kids in the yard. Of course Spencer didn’t play whiffle ball, I think he calls it whifcricktrackandfield, but at least he had fun!

What type of great family activities does your family like to do?

Want to learn more about Spencer? Check out Shock and Aww on Facebook and my other parenting blog, We Are Both Right. Also, I’m on Twitter too. (Because I have all this time on my hands.

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I Never Knew Picking Out Potty Training Underwear Would be So Complicated

So I guess we are all in — no turning back now. After Spencer’s success on the potty yesterday, I wanted to keep the momentum going. This morning after breakfast I put him on the bowl after he started whining that he had to “make poopy! I make poopy!” but no luck. Still he tried, and I’m hoping that he will begin to associate that feeling with going to the bathroom.

We are also now the proud owners of 14 pairs of “big boy” potty training underwear, as we went shopping this morning. That was quite the trip. Since it was just Spencer and me, and I didn’t need a lot, I decided to let him walk. Our destination was Kohl’s. Next door a brand-new Petco was celebrating their grand opening. Outside was someone dressed in a big red dog costume as part of the festivities, so of course we had to go say hello and give hugs. We wound up going inside and saying hello to the real dogs, which was a lot of fun.

Up until we met with those furry, four-legged friends, Spencer was really enthused about going to pick out some potty training underwear. When it was time to go, he was not as thrilled with our original plan for the day. “DOGGIES! I NO SAY GOODBYE TO DOGGY! I STAY WITH DOGGY!” Eventually we made it next door and lo and behold, what were they selling for $5 right on display in the front of the store? Stuffed Clifford the Big Red Dog dolls. Score! Everyone was once again happy.

We headed back to the underwear department, our new cartoon friend in tow, all set to browse. Spencer had a big decision to make. In his size they had Mickey Mouse and friends big boy underwear, Sesame Street big boy underwear, super hero big boy underwear and Cars big boy underwear. You can see why he’d get overwhelmed. Not to mention he was very interested in the Elmo and Zoe big girl underwear, wanting those instead. I think it’s because the package was much brighter than the boy one, with lots of cheerful colors. We had quite the debate over it. Let’s just say it took us a long time to get out of that department.

Once he decided (Cars and Sesame Street — the boy kind), we headed back to the register. I was happy because he no longer wanted to hold Clifford, but his underwear instead. That’s a good sign, right? And when it was our turn to pay, he proudly put one of the packages on the register counter.

We haven’t put the potty training underwear on him just yet. We went to the park after our shopping excursion and then came home and ate lunch. We have a full afternoon planned when he wakes up from his nap, so I suspect we won’t try them on until tomorrow, when things are calmer.

Let’s hope he doesn’t mind that they aren’t pink, but blue instead.

How does your toddler like his potty training underwear?

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Toddler Potty Training — Exciting, But Not for Facebook

My favorite type of blog post to write are the milestone-based ones. Not only does the story tell itself, but it means we are celebrating something (most of the timeimportant in Spencer’s life. This post, my friends, is definitely celebratory in nature, no doubt.




Woot! How tempted was I to make that my Facebook status? Incredibly, but then I realized I’d probably lose about 96 percent of my friends so I held back. (You are welcome my high school class of 1992.)


I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that our toddler potty training efforts are finally getting somewhere. For the past week or so he’s sat on the potty, but nothing else. Just a lot of sitting and a lot of eating of the reward M&Ms we use to bribe, er…coax him onto the bowl.


Not today though. He had woken up from his nap dry, so I sensed it would be a good time to once more try some toddler potty training. Not as easy as it sounds, he’s not always on board with our toddler potty training initiative and immediately post-nap, even less so.


Still, even though he was fussing, he remained on the seat while I turned on the faucet and hoped for the best. Not a minute had passed when I felt some wetness on my leg. He was going! On the potty! Sort of! He had lost his positioning a little bit as he was squirming around on the seat, which caused his plumbing to become misaligned, but we quickly righted everything and he finished up the right way.


I was yelling praises, C. and A. were dancing and he was completely confused. Now, a few hours later, he will proudly tell you that he made “pee pee on potty, I big boy,” and show off the red Hot Wheels motorcycle he chose as a prize. (We are actually recycling all of C.’s toddler potty training rewards for Spencer. I must have a bin of over 200 cars that we gave to C. when he met with potty training success. Now it’s Spencer’s turn to earn them.)


While I’m not certain he completely understood what was going on, I’m hoping he’ll remember what happened and how it felt. I don’t want to push him, but I feel like he’s a smart enough kid to grasp the concept, he just needs to be ready. I told him that we would go shopping for underwear this weekend and he seems enthusiastic, asking for Elmo ones.

And yet another fun Facebook status update passes me by.

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Toddler Manners — Not An Oxymoron!

The words are loud and direct (and the speaker is clearly annoyed):

“CHA CHA! CHA CHA GIB (give) IT TO ME! I HAB (have) IT! CHA CHA GIB IT TO ME NOW!” (Pause. Long pause. Very loooooonnnnngggg pause.) “Please!”

Spencer is working on his toddler manners. In the above example, he was asking big brother C. for a book. How do you think he’s doing?

Honestly? That he’s even aware of the word “please” makes me happy. At this point if his toddler manners are accompanied by a lot of shouting, that’s OK. At least he’s trying.

Spencer is actually a fairly polite kid. For a long time now, he has been saying “Welcome” after one of us sneezes. And he will randomly say “thank you” for no real reason. Lately though, as we are working on his bad case of the toddler “gimmees,” we’ve been introducing toddler manners to him.

It’s a process for sure. Earlier today, C. was eating ice cream and Spencer wanted some. Badly. His first attempt at toddler manners were non-existent. He was hitting C. and shouting at him and seriously, giving the concept of the terrible twos a run for their money. After I scolded him, I told him the question I wanted him to ask:

“C.? May I have some ice cream please?”

He actually did a really good job at repeating it. In response, C. rewarded him for his efforts. I thought maybe he had learned his lesson.

Yeah, not so much.

The second attempt was the same as the first — lots of hitting, lots of shouting, lots of “GIB ICE CREAM TO ME!” Same with the third and the fourth “requests.” By the fifth time I was pretty convinced that implementing toddler manners was going to be a near impossible task. And then, without prompting:

“C. you gib me ice cream. Pleeeeease?”

Hooray! The problem is of course, is that ice cream is not an never-ending treat and C. soon came to the end of the container. Spencer didn’t understand.

“Sorry buddy,” C. said. “The ice cream is all gone!”

“No.,” Spencer said stubbornly. “You gib me ice cream. PLEASE.”

“Sorry Spencer,” C. said, showing Spencer the empty carton.

“No all gone. PLEASE.”

This went on for a good minute before I finally intervened. (I might have been laughing a little.)

I guess the next lesson after toddler manners will have to be in three-dimensional spaces.

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Sadly Saying Goodbye to Family Summer Fun

I have a confession to make.

I was not looking forward to C.’s and A.’s summer vacation. At all. In fact, I’d venture to say I was dreading it. Dreading. It.

Who says such terrible things? They’re my kids! I’m their mother! I love them! I should be so grateful to be spending a huge chunk of time with them. Not to mention, they worked really hard all year, keeping up some pretty awesome grades, participating in numerous after-school activities and just being all-around good kids. They deserved some family summer fun!

And yet, as June 24 inched closer and closer on the calendar the pit in my stomach grew deeper and deeper.

I guess it was becuase it was my perception that the long school break isn’t always family summer fun. In fact, for me it is usually a lot of work. My kids are great, but they aren’t the best at keeping themselves entertained. In fact, they are pretty terrible at it, C. in particular.

I always find myself joking at some point in the middle of summer vacation that not only am I not a camp director, I didn’t even go to summer camp (save for one week of day camp one year when I was nine or ten), so how can I be expected to come up with dozens and dozens (and dozens) of activities designed to keep these kids busy all day?

And speaking of work, I’m a work-at-home mom. I have enough trouble trying to squeeze in my assignments when they are out of the house for seven hours at a time, much less when they are underfoot. But I have to work, because you know what else I don’t like about summer vacation? It costs a lot of money! Sure, there are lots of free or inexpensive things to do, but there are many activities that aren’t so much with the cheap. And even if we stayed home all day, summer just seems to cost more — we eat more food and use more electricity and water and just spend more money. It makes me crazy (and worried).

So yes, summer vacation was approaching and I was pretty grumpy about it.

And then June 25 dawned and our family summer fun began. I’m happy to report that I was completely wrong.

We went to amusement parks, the aquarium, the beach, the zoo and the public pool. Spent a few nights in a hotel or two. Saw lots of fireworks, a magic show and a baseball game. Cheered on the brave knights at Medieval Times. Celebrated the birth of a new cousin. Spent countless hours going for walks and bike rides and at swinging and sliding at the playground. We even survived a hurricane!

But it wasn’t even the activities that made summer so lovely. We’ve just had a great time, spending time together, laughing and making memories. I feel closer to my kids than ever before. They feel it too.

“Mom, this was the best summer vacation ever,” C. told me today. “Thank you.” All I could do was hug him back, the tears welling up in my eyes. How could I have been so mistaken about something so wonderful?

And now, as September 7 inches closer and closer on the calendar, the pit in my stomach is growing deeper and deeper.

How long until their first vacation?

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Carnival Amusement Rides are the Ultimate in Toddler Fun

So yesterday was a good day for Spencer. No, we didn’t go to Disney World or Six Flags as per his usual requests, but he did spend a decent amount of time on some carnival amusement rides.

First off he hit the vehicle ride, which was simply a menagerie of different types of cars, trucks and motorcycles that rotates 360 degrees. Pretty standard as far as carnival amusement rides go, but it’s easy to see why. He loved it. He really liked choosing which type of vehicle he wanted to ride on, socializing with the other kids sitting next to him and of course, the ride itself. He rode on a couple of race cars, including the Batmobile, KITT the Knight Rider car and a Porsche, but by far his favorite to ride on were the motorcycles — he hit them at least three times.

He also got a big kick out of the swings — they simply spun around in a circle, but my little adrenaline junky made them more fun by rocking his swing back and forth as the ride rotated. A bunch of the other kids followed suit, causing Spencer to be scolded by the young teen who was running the ride. The look on the face after the ride operator told him to stop was a riot. Even funnier, was that whenever he was out of sight of the bossy teen, he would continue his naughty behavior. (I mean that wasn’t funny at all. A misbehaving toddler is no laughing matter!)

 Rounding out our day were a some other carnival amusement rides including the merry-go-round, a few carnival games — he won a SpongeBob inflatable paddle ball which he yells “Hi-Ya!” while playing with it and insists is “golf” — and a large ice cream sandwich that he ate in lieu of dinner. Also fun, we were joined by Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt M. and nearly three-month old Baby J.

The hardest part of bringing Spencer to the amusement park was getting him to wait his turn — obviously C. and A. wanted to go on their own, larger rides and while they were having fun he would have to sit in the stroller. Still, he was able to amuse himself with the aforementioned SpongeBob game and just soaking in all the atmosphere.

Leaving all of those fun carnival amusement rides was also a bit of a bummer for him, although he was so wiped by the end of the day, it wasn’t as much as a struggle as I expected. I loaded him into his car seat and he was asleep in minutes (after a quick stop for a real dinner of which he ate nothing). When we got home I brought him upstairs, changed his clothes and his diaper and he remained asleep — something that never, ever happens.

Hmm. Maybe there is something to bringing him to the amusement park every day after all.

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