Trying to understand why a toddler is upset is often a futile endeavor. Simple daily events that usually go unnoticed can suddenly induce tears, terror, screams, angry outbursts or any combination thereof. Then the same issue will cause no response whatsoever the next time it happens.
I wish grown-up problems were as simple as these. Sometimes you just have to hug your child, while stifling the smile (or laugh) over their shoulder.
These real-life events have induced tantrums, terror, screaming, crying, flailing, tears or downright panic from our little ones:
- Ice cream is not allowed for breakfast, or lunch
- Preschool said to call a diamond a rhombus
- When they demanded food, they wanted a snack, not lunch!
- Their lunch, cooled in the freezer for 10 minutes, is much too hot
- Lunch is on the wrong plate (not orange), and their water in the wrong cup (not blue), and they said they wanted ice
- Said ice, by the end of lunch, has melted in their cup. Mommy, why did you eat it?
- The garbage truck took our garbage
- They have to share [insert ANYTHING] with their sibling
- They have a runny nose. Blowing it is messy so they snort it up into their head, making themselves cough. They cry because they are coughing, making their nose more stuffy. Repeat
- Tonight they have to wear a pull up to bed, like every…other…night
- They cannot find [insert OBSCURE TOY]. There is nothing else to play with (in the entire toy box that is now emptied out on the floor)
- They bit their own finger while eating lunch, again. Chomp!
- Mommy didn’t take any pictures of them so there aren’t any to look at on the computer (after running away screaming they didn’t want their picture taken multiple times)
- They think their potty chair is an actual throne on which to hang out. Actually using it to go to go to the bathroom makes it dirty and is traumatic (and you are the one who cleans it up)
- They want to zip their own zipper but don’t know how. No, you cannot zip it for them
- In summer, they want to wear soft (fleece) pajamas to bed. They wake up soaking in sweat but refuse to change into non-fleece pajamas because they aren’t soft. Repeat tomorrow
- They cannot sleep because of the rain, thunder, lightening, snow, wind, or because it might rain…because there is that one white puffy cloud in the sky, over there!
- The only shoes they like are Crocs but it is subzero outside. They do not want to wear socks, or shoes, or boots
- They are too tired to pick up toys but do not want to take a nap, or go to sleep…they want to play basketball in the basement
- Their snowman melted
- They taught their little sister that knocking down towers is funny. Now she keeps knocking down their tower
- Panic ensues (for them, and for you) when they’ve dug around in their own messy diaper. Happened multiple times…with the same outcome…still, they Houdini out of onesies, snaps, pants, and more until the last resort is putting them in feetie pajamas two sizes too big, backwards, so you can turn the feet around and zip them up the back. And they wanted to do the zipper
- They twirl their hair into a dread-lock and their finger gets stuck in it. Every. Single. Night
- Their special doll, teddy bear, or blanket has to be washed. Seriously. It stinks
- They didn’t tell you they were hiding, but you didn’t seek them
What are your toddlers biggest problems?