Toddlers Know When You Need Space…

… And they are not likely to give it to you. At least not my toddler. The more we ‘need’ space, the less Aiden seems willing to play independently. He will cry and tantrum for movies, for books or for playing with one of us. He becomes completely incapable of independent play.

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Such common times for this are when we are cooking, when Mommy is working or even during the day if I’m tired and ask for him to play. The more we ‘ask’ for independent play, the less it seems to happen.

As the pregnancy progresses, I find myself in need of more ‘me’ time, being both tired and a little wary of my two-child future. I’m finding I would like a little more ‘freedom’, even if it’s just 5 minutes where I’m not explaining something or reading a book. I spend even less time at home just so that Aiden is encouraged, by being out, to play on his own.

When independent play happens at home, it’s awesome and it can last a long time. But I have learned that it cannot be asked for.


“Mommy Pick Up”

Three little words. So sweet in concept. So overwhelming in practice.

Aiden wants to be carried. All. The. Time. If he’s offered the stroller, he’ll usually take it, but the stroller isn’t always an option. For example, we have daily struggles walking to and from the garage. Most days I can coax him to walk it, but other days turn into huge tantrums.

Now, I’m not averse to carrying Aiden sometimes, and he knows it. If he’s tired and it’s close to a nap, I don’t even try to get him to walk. However, when I put my foot down and tell him he has to walk, I don’t back down. Ever. Sometimes he doesn’t either, and that results in me sort of carrying him limply under the arms since he’s really not going to budge otherwise and I refuse to carry him the way he wants.

Aiden likes to cuddle, and I think his desire for carrying comes from that. He appreciates the closeness. But with all my injuries, I just can’t handle carrying him all the time.

Aiden doesn’t throw many tantrums, but almost all of them are around wanting to be picked up. If I limit his times out of the house to his non-tired times, I can usually avoid an argument over walking, but sometimes he still tries to put his little foot down.

“Mommy pick up” is a phrase I hear dozens of times a day. Sometimes he says it quietly, testing me and not really caring what the answer is. Most of the time, it’s said in a complete whine: “Mommy, pick-ahhhhh up Ahhhhhhh”. OMG, it makes me want to pull my hair out. It’s become his phrase for attention even when he can’t be picked up, like when he’s strapped into his car seat.

Do your kids have phrases that drive you up the wall?

Backpack Adventures

Aiden has not ridden in a baby carrier for about a year. He loved the carrier as a very small infant, but not so much as a toddler. Any attempts to use the carrier by myself or Ianiv resulted in a crying child who wanted to be carried instead (which is the same thing, right?!). I tried a couple of times this summer once again, but the attempts failed.


Anyway, in an attempt to get back into hiking, something we love, we started pointing out backpacks to Aiden to encourage him to see it as something exciting. We took him to a store to try one, resulting in one of our loudest meltdowns to date. After that, we decided to test drive the process.

First, we tried the Ergo again. Not super comfortable with a 27lb child, and Aiden couldn’t really see, but he did ok. He tried to fight it when done and he definitely wasn’t ready for a long hike, but it was progress. Next, we borrowed a pack from a friend. This was much more of a success, and Aiden was very excited to go in the pack. He seemed very comfortable for the duration of the hike.

Our final step is to decide on a backpack to purchase. The problem is, we don’t think Aiden will be ok with trying them in the store. Wish us luck!

Playground Pet Peeves

I realize that not every playground or park can have a bathroom, and that not every playground will have play structures for kids of all ages, but when playgrounds are built with obvious oversights, it kind of drives me crazy.

A parent decides to fix the ‘toddler’ play area with a log in lieu of a stair

  • Offering too many climbing structures and not enough for other types of play
  • Having toddler ‘rocker’ toys that are several feet off the ground (inaccessible even to good climbers)
  • Toddler play areas that don’t have stairs at toddler height
  • Water parks that don’t offer one ‘gentle’ spray area (Kilmer is the best for this)
  • Not having a single garbage can. Really?!
  • Having metal toddler slides (tend to be too fast in some brands)
  • Having new play structures that are flat and wooden (they become dirty faster and don’t encourage early climbing with the metal holes)
  • Having only high railings across bridges
  • Sand in a shady park. It always feels damp
  • Placing the foot of the slide too high for a toddler to hop off

Playgrounds often follow the same pattern these days, which is a bit of a pity. I like the playgrounds that incorporate different toys, such as musical toys or teeter totters or tunnels, but they are few and far between these days.

Sure, I could go on about my pet peeves for other kids and parents in the park, but that’s a whole other post ;)