Picking Your Battles

We are up to our eyeballs in toddler over here. We thought Evangeline was bad after we brought home Reuben. I don’t know if it’s the knowledge that yet another new baby is coming or if she’s just entering a new phase, but her irrational toddler behavior has definitely reached a new level!

I feel like my whole day now is closely monitoring and adjusting her environment trying to keep her in her happy place. But the thing is, there’s no telling what will make her upset. We try to be consistent with what’s expected and what consequences and reactions we give. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve switched up her eating schedule to help her mood swings. We’re also trying to re-incorporate nap time because “rest time” just ain’t cutting it anymore. More than that, though, I’m finding that I just gotta ease up sometimes.

I think remaining consistent is one of the best things a parent can do, especially for a toddler who is figuring out how the world works. Being that 4 of us are shut up at home all day most days, having a routine and order helps everyone’s mental health. The girls know what’s going to happen each day and they know what they’ll be expected and allowed to do. I try not to let one thing be ok today, but not ok tomorrow unless it’s a “treat”. But when we’ve been crying and screaming for an hour because Evangeline wants to eat her lunch in the living room and I don’t want peanut butter or jelly on my new rug, sometimes it’s just better to let her eat in the living room.

There are somethings that just can’t be compromised on — no you cannot eat glue, no you cannot sit on Reuben — but the day to day stuff is becoming more flexible. There is a new theory that says “toddler behavior” is due to the literal development of the brain. When a child is two to three years old the part of their brain that filters impulses is still developing. Their rationality or ability to process their reality isn’t fully formed yet. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it becomes pretty clear when Evangeline’s not in a rational mind; she has one idea fixated in her head and can’t get off of it. It’s those times that I can tell a compromise may be in order.

Hopefully we can get the kinks worked out with Evangeline, so by the time Felicity gets to this point we’ll already be rockstar parents and have all the answers. Oh who am I kidding, Evangeline is the compliant one! I shutter to think what challenges little-miss-independent Felicity has in store for us! In the mean time…

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This stuff is cheap and worth the peace of mind of a toddler.

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