Friday, April 17, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Toddler Life

Olive is quickly approaching the big TWO.
She is at such a sweet, challenging age.
People warn you about the 2s and 3s, but the 1s can be hard, too.
She's completely endearing one moment and completely hysterical the next.
Everything she does is BIG - big laughs, big smiles, big tears and big hugs.
She's communicating more and wanting to make her opinions known more often.
It's sweet and hard all at the same time.

This week seemed a little extra challenging in toddler land.
Nothing terrible, but just lots of exhausting moments.
I figured I'd document it for to read again when she's a teenager and laugh.
I talked with moms of teenagers yesterday and they assured me that they'd trade toddler problems for teenager problems any day :)

The Highs and Lows of our week:

High: Olive loved seeing her teachers at church this week.  She ran to them, played her heart out and every time I picked her up she was doing something fun - hopping around the room like a kangaroo, gluing polka-dot circles on a paper fish or playing with her friends.

Low: We have had MANY tantrums this week.  Public and private.  Tears from everyone.  Meltdown at Toys R Us because it was time to leave - picture Olive laying on the floor of the store and me carrying a wild, flailing toddler out of the store in the pouring rain and barely being able to strap her in her car seat, melt downs of epic proportions at home when I say it's time to go to bed, come inside or to stop playing to eat.  She flops on the floor, crashes her head into things and is completely beside herself.  I try to distract her with her favorite snacks, books, toys and Daniel Tiger.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  It always passes, but it's exhausting for both of us.

High: Olive really enjoys running errands with me some days.  She waves to everyone we see, talks to the cashiers and is a people magnet when we are out and about.  It's so fun to take her places when she's enjoying herself.

Low: Many days I'm not as patient as I'd like.  I get frustrated too easily and am not always as calm or neutral as I'd like.  I find myself include me in our prayers at meal or bed time.  Pray that mama can be more patient, listen better and set a good example.

High: Bath time can always be looked forward to as an enjoyable time of our day.  She loves her toys and loves splish splashing around.

Low: No, No, No + scowly eyebrows seem to have become a favorite response as of late.

High: She's learning new words like crazy.  Yard words this week: shobel, hammer, bucket, flower (which sounds more like flower and less like fwhy), bee, bug, car, bike, water, etc.  If she gets upset, she'll tell us that she's better when she recovers.  She'll also say I wike it to anything she likes.

Low: She's working on some new molars and she's irritable, easy agitated and not sleeping great.  She's also kind of congested so she's coughing in her sleep which means neither of us are sleeping great.  She doesn't have an ear infection, but has been fevery off and on.  She's skipped a few naps this week and that makes for long days when we both could use a mid-day break.

High: My MIL came in town for a visit and we had a nice time together.  She got to see Olive in her element and thought everything she did was darling.  She even laughed through the tantrums saying Olive is just like her daddy.  I was an easy kid so I like to tease Kevin that Olive is his mini me when she's being a hand full.

Low: My bed time reading has switched from reading for pleasure to reading parenting books - Happiest Toddler on the Block is the current one.  I guess I'm hoping to read some bit of knowledge that will help make the coming days/weeks easier.

High: I keep reminding myself that her emotions will change and she will not be so upset just a few moments from now.  She'll often recover and ask to wuggle or say wuv you mama just moments after losing her mind over something trivial.  It's a very sweet way to erase unpleasant memories.

Low: Olive's decided that throwing things is also a fun addition to her tantrum routine.  She launched plates of food, toys, a box of crayons, etc.  How do little people think up these things?  We also designated a time out spot recently. 

High: It's almost the weekend and Kevin will be home with us.  He was out of town for a good portion of last week so I know the 2 to 1 parent to kid ratio will definitely help my sanity.  He's also great at being silly with Olive and keeping her laughing.

We are thankful for our toddler, thankful for the moments together and 
love the highs and lows with our sweet Olive. 
We also wouldn't mind if next week was filled with more highs than lows - haha :)

Anyone else living through toddler drama right now??
Surely, I'm not the only one :)


  1. Oh girl! I feel like I could have written this post myself. Madi is having the exact same highs and lows right now. Best of luck to us both and I will be praying for you and Olive!

  2. The Toddler Years are just exhausting, but such fun too. We managed to make it through today without a meltdown... but there is always tomorrow. I find myself praying for patience too. Sigh.... it will pass.... right????

  3. You are right about in the toddler years everything being BIG. My mom said just today that everything with Jack right now is a hassle. He throws the biggest fit when we come inside. He shoves his plate across the table when I know he is hungry just because he thinks he is going to get to run up and down the hall. Even though the toddler years are work and exhaustion it is also so much fun.

  4. That's a nice list of highs and lows! I have a 10-year-old and an almost 1-year-old, so I've been through this stage once and am heading for it again.

    With tantrums, sometimes the most helpful thing is to show that you understand why she's upset (if you do!) and you understand that Big Feelings are hard. Say something like, "You wanted to hug the cat. You are mad that the cat ran away. You are stomping and screaming to let the mad feelings out!" Here is some inspiration from Mister Rogers. Sometimes I need this reminder as much as the kids do! Thinking about the gentle voice of Mister Rogers and the way he seemed to understand everything makes me feel comforted and gives me a role model for being patient.

  5. One is hard. It's definitely not just you. We do a lot of praying for mama's patience here too. Being able to see the highs along with the lows is important - you're doing great :)

  6. Oh goodness, I could have written the same thing. It might be that Olivia is in daycare half day, or the fact that I'm 100% a different person since having her, but I do have a bit of patience. It doesn't help the embarrassment when were in public. I know it's only going to get worse, but I feel like Olivia has been like this since the day she was born. This chick would PITCH A FIT at like 6 weeks if we weren't walking while holding her. Once she could move her arm in a direction we had to walk her in that direction, all over the house, wherever she wanted, or she would SCREAM. This girl has given me a run for my money since the beginning, and I couldn't love her more. I love Becca's comment above. But I just keep thinking about how she's learning about the world. And testing. And trying to figure out whether she'll get the same response on time 1000 as she did on 999. Isn't easy, but I don't want to wish away her little years either. I so feel you!


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