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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 62: Wrong Side of the Bed

Problem: Your little one wakes up with the attitude of a hungry bear. He's cranky, grumpy, tantrum-prone and just an all-around treat to start off your day. You've tried singing to him, letting him wake you up, waking him up, doing things and letting him sleep, reading to him, playing with him. You've tried being super happy, being super calm and gently, being ambivalent, nothing works. Your toddler wants to start ruining your day first thing in the morning.

Solution: Ignore him. Completely ignore him, and I'm not even joking. Let him get up and do his own thing. Don't be fooled if he says "Mommy" sweetly. It may be a trap. Go over, of course, to see if he's ready to converse with you, but if after that mommy you see a sour little face, walk away. He was just kidding. He was just trying to get you in there for your daily beating. Don't let him.

I know with my girls, I've been so used to starting my day with them, inundated with them right off the bat, that it took me a while to figure this out. When babies wake up, they need things. Diaper changes, milk, cuddles. Toddlers don't. Trying to bust a move with them and force them to get dressed and go to the bathroom the second after they wake up will end in tears...for everyone. If I even acknowledge them in the mornings before they are ready to talk to me, I will regret it. I will be treated to tantrums and illogical madness. While my kids are never particularly good at logic, in the morning they are in rare form.

They'll usually creep out of their room and dare me to look at them, talk to them, try to play with them. If I can avoid that first trap, they'll chill in a corner and start to get interested in their toys. Eventually, they'll play by themselves enough to shake the morning cloudiness and forget that they're supposed to be grumpy bears that eat my head off. Usually they'll come up to share a toy discovery with me. Then I know I'm in the clear and I can start getting them ready for the day. It usually only takes about 15 minutes, and, honestly, in that 15 minutes I get to have some adult time, too, and everyone starts the day better. On their own terms.

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  1. Great post! I have one of those fit-throwers! My third can scream from sun-up to sun down, but putting her by herself does seem to help.

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for stopping by following you back and can't wait to to read more I love twin mommy blogs!!!



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