Determined Toddler and Pregnant Woman Do NOT a Good Combination Make! | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Determined Toddler and Pregnant Woman Do NOT a Good Combination Make!

I've been a little bit quiet on the blogging front lately. And sadly it's not because I've had PJ#2, its because I haven't! 

Took this the other night. I think the look on my face says it all really!
We've been super busy getting everything organised around the house and celebrating birthdays and what not and to be honest, I've just been exhausted. Free time has consisted of falling asleep wherever my head falls. It's like the first trimester all over again, complete with nausea and the added bonus of being stupidly huge! Plus it's just too damn uncomfortable to sit on the dining room chair at the laptop for long periods of time, and the fitball really is not conducive to working on the laptop, so I've not spent much time online at all (except for what I can do on my phone of course!).

Less than two weeks to go now and I can't wait. I swing from being cool, calm and collected, knowing that this baby will come when she is good and ready, and being all zen about it; To riding waves of hormones and emotions and just desperately wishing and hoping that she would please GET THE HELL OUT OF ME NOW!

Thankfully PJ#2's room is basically finished and all of the other things that we really needed to get done before her arrival have been sorted so that is a huge relief. We had a massive week of cleaning, shifting furniture, painting, more cleaning and cot-building and its basically all done. There is no way we could have done it without the help of our awesome families. They are the absolute best!!!


I am loving PJ#2's room. It's all but finished, with the exception of those final touches of hanging pictures and wall art. I find myself just going in there and sitting on the spare bed, thinking about her and what she will be like. Not really believing that in such a short period of time there will be a new little life in the room. I did the same thing when I was pregnant with Punky. Punky loves her sisters room too and I've now learnt the first lesson of having two children - buying two of everything. Punky has co-opted the cute little owl night light I bought for PJ#2's room and I think I am gonna have to go and get another one!

Speaking of Punky, on the one hand she has been absolutely brilliant. She amazes me everyday, how fast she is learning new words (at least one new word every day), how you can ask her questions and she can answer with actual words (what sound does an owl/dog/pony/car make? what do you want from the fridge? cheese. Always bloody cheese!) and the fact that she has been exceptionally good at letting me lie down and rest when I need to and been happy to occupy herself with her toys, the iPad or a bit of TV. I worry that she is turning in to a bit of a TV & iPad addict but at this stage I am just going with it. Everyone keeps telling me just do what you have to to get through the day, so I am!
Silly morning selfies, complete with swollen, puffy pregnancy face!
What has not been so great though is her determination to never listen to me or do what I say/ask. Punky is, shall we say, a strong-willed child. She is also incredibly curious and astoundingly mischievous! I went to the bathroom yesterday and when I came out I looked around and couldn't see her, but I could hear her talking to herself in the tent in her room. So I sat down at the table to finish my cup of tea where I could see her when she came out.

Sure enough after a few minutes she started to emerge from the tent. As soon as she saw that I was back from the loo and watching her, she put what she was holding behind her back and made a hasty backwards retreat into the tent! Obviously my alarm bells started ringing and I knew she had something that she knew she shouldn't have. I walked in to her, got down on my hands and knees (no mean feat thank you very much!) and stuck my head in the tent. She tried to hide what she had but I was too fast and discovered, by the lovely smell, that she had somehow managed to get my perfume.

I took the perfume off her and the tantrum that followed was pretty epic. There was crying and screaming and gnashing of teeth. The worst part was that this wasn't the first tantrum of the day, nor was it the last. Insert mega sigh here!

I've been reading a little on toddler discipline and there are two schools of thought. One is that most forms of discipline just aren't really effective before the age of two, the other is they are never too young to start. My problem is I just don't know what I should be doing. I've tried different things, the thinking corner, counting to three to get her to do something, I've even resorted to a smack on the hand when what she's done/doing is dangerous (she has been putting things in her mouth and then coming and showing me and running away. It terrifies me as I'm so scared of her choking, especially after her little choking episode in the car the other day when she ended up throwing up after choking on the hair elastic I told her repeatedly not to put her in mouth!) but none of it is really effective.

When I ask her to do something she gives me this look and just flops on the ground and won't move until I pick her up and physically make her do it (like putting away toys, picking up the thing she has thrown on the ground that she shouldn't have, dropping food wherever she pleases). When she is doing something she isn't supposed to she just runs away from me and continues to do it until I manage to get close enough to her to take it off her.
Because basically lying under the coffee table is the perfect place to play with the iPad while Mum passes out on the lounge
I understand that at her age (not quite 20 months) she doesn't really get the concept of danger and that some things just really aren't safe, but she does know when she is doing something wrong, it's just she can't stop the impulse that makes her do it. So I try not to get angry but at 38+ weeks pregnant its so hard to keep my emotions in check and I admit I have yelled at her more often than I am proud to admit. She knows how to press my buttons, and I know she just thinks its a bit of fun, but man, is it ever frustrating.

I am learning to pick my battles, and unless its something really dangerous I try to give her as many options and chances as possible to do the right thing and make the decision for herself. What I wonder though is how other people have coped with this stage. Were you hardcore on the discipline or did you just go with the flow? And what tactics and discipline do you find toddlers respond well too?

I am definitely a bit of a hard ass and I feel that there is no reason why Punky can't learn from a young age to do what she is asked (such as helping pack away her toys, not throwing food or drinks on the floor, not kicking me in the tummy while I am changing her nappy) but how do I get her to do those things without having to repeatedly ask her? Or is this the magic question that every parent asks and there is no real answer? I hate to ask her to do something and have her ignore me and then not follow through on getting her to do it, but I don't want to fight with her or yell at her either.

Am I trying to do too much for her age and expecting too much of her too soon? I just don't know and would love to hear about other people's experiences and what did or didn't work for you. 

Linking up this Tuesday as I do every week for IBOT with Essentially Jess. It's essential blogging!

40 comments:

  1. They like to try your patience don't they? I'm not proud to admit it but threat parenting and yelling happened way more than I'd like during that stage. Thankfully these days he thrives on explanation which makes life a little easier most of the time. Hopefully someone will have advice for you but *sigh* I reckon it's a question we all ask but have no answer to - even the 'experts' can't agree!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whether it worked or not, I don't know, but I figure the hardass is the way to go. If only to make you feel better...

    ReplyDelete
  3. The nursery is gorgeous & you look so well! Good luck for the next couple of weeks. Hope she doesn't make you weight too long. As for the two year old: persistence & consistency. Much easier said than done with a two year old & impending newborn!! I lost (& lose) my bundle all the time but they eventually get the message. Hang in there, from a fellow hard arse. xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. The dynamic between you and Punky seems to mirror that of me and Inky. Inky and I are both incredibly strong-willed so we butt serious heads. I am really strict with her, but sometimes I just can't be arsed ya know? The only "discipline" that has worked so far is using her teddies and toys to tell her to do something. She thinks it's hilarious, gets the giggles and the tantrum is done (for, like another 10 minutes). It's tiring to have to defer to stuffed merchandise all the time, though. Kx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes. It is the magic question. You're right to pick your battle, you'll go bonkers if your strict on everything and in a week or so from now you just won't be able to pick her up on everything.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really feel for you Kylie at such a pregnant stage and trying to wrangle a toddler. My daughter is 8 and still reminds me of punky. She saw me put lettuce on her sandwich this morning and wow, the bottom lip dropped, the tears, the wailing ... And then the arguing and storming off to her room. I hate losing my cool and I tend to do that when I'm under pressure or really tired - like u are all of the time at the moment. Be easy on yrself, there is so much change for punky and yourself, I'd let a few things go to the keeper and just discipline the big stuff, the dangerous stuff as u said. She will learn - we survive, and most of us grow up sound. You r doing a great job so don't worry. So exciting, the baby's room is lovely. Kimx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh yes I remember that time well. I think picking battles is the best advice I was ever given. The room looks great by the way x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am certainly no expert, but what I find works for me is counting to three. You must follow through on your actions though. If I say 'If you don't eat your lunch there will be no story at bedtime,' I have to make sure I stand by my threat and not read her a story. You should also never underestimate the power in your pointer finger. I get down on her level when she's been very naughty and talk to her in a stern, not raised voice and wave my finger at her. She's knows when I do this that mummy is really pissed off. In desperate situations we have the naughty corner. It is hard with a toddler though. They are so volatile and what works one day may not work the other. Your story of the perfume made me laugh. When Smiley was a newborn I was bathing her and Curly-locks was playing quietly in her room ... or so I thought. When I came out she had covered herself from head to toe in Sudocrem. God help us!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The room looks cute as a button. I hope pJ2 does not make you wait too long, it is the worst part.. the seemingly endless waiting. Def pick your battles, things are going to turn on their head soon and you'll have to cut her some slack while she adjusts. She is just so little still.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's hard work some days with a toddler on the rampage! Sounds to me like you're doing all you can & being as consistent as possible & from one hard arse to another I reckon that's as good as it gets. I struggled to keep up with Seth at then end of my pregnancy with Maisie & he knew it & tested the boundaries constantly. I just tried then & now to pick my battles & walk away from other stuff. I'm a big one for time out - works well most of the time. I've also been known (insert shame face here) to lose my shit at times too - yelling furiously - not proud of it, but that's how hard they push. I just try to acknowledge his feelings & apologise if I lose it & we cuddle & make up & try harder next time. Not perfect - but he beginning to understand there's a limit now & that's a good thing!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have no advice on how to handle a toddler as I dont have one yet. I am loving the prints you have for the nursery. I am 38+ weeks pregnant as well so I feel your pain on the pregnancy front.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hope you don't have too long to wait now Kylie, those last days seem to stretch for months don't they? Punky's being a normal todder, testing her boundaries, and P2's room looks gorgeous. xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's hard work!! Can I suggest a couple of things? For starters, don't let her make too many choices (I'd even be inclined to say none at all.) It may be giving her a sense of empowerment that she is a little too little to have. Secondly, go buy these terrific toddler books ASAP!!! They are AMAZING!!!! http://www.terrifictoddlers.com.au/TerrificToddlers/Purchase_Online.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have to say Ky I'm in all sorts of toddler hell right now too! I tell Master 22 months to stop and he holds up his hand and say 'bop' back to me (stop) and then puts finger to mouth and says shussh and then bangs hand on table. I resorted to a wee tap on hand and now he does it back to me. He won't take no for an answer, risks life and limb by climbing on change table, putting plug in bath and running it - ARGHH. And having to do this when you're about to pop - I really really feel for you xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Obviously I have not been in your situation yet, as Lior is only just 18 months, but he seems to be doing similar things. Unlucky for him, I am more strong willed than he is, and he gets left to have his tantrums by himself. PLUS I am not as pregnant as you yet, so I am still a managable size. I am not looking forward to that last month when I am huge and unable to chase after him!!

    I've been reading a book called Positive Discipline, and I really like the ideas in that. Though, it is definitely not a hard ass book, but next I will read a pro-smacking sort of book, and then make up my mind between the two once I'm done. Or at least work out what will work for our particular situation.

    I hope PJ#2 comes early for you, so you don't have to wait much longer! I am praying you guys have a really calm, positive birth experience with her. That you enjoy your doula experience, and that you recover quickly!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. You look great! I have to say (and you're not going to want to hear this) but it got a lot worse for me with my willful toddler after the baby was born. She knew I couldn't follow her places when I was holding the baby so would run and hide - under play equipment at the park for instance. In the end, I stayed home a lot more than what I would have liked, because getting ready to go out and then getting back home again were just too hard. Hopefully it's better for you. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh mate, I've so been there. Not the pregnant part… I've never made it longer than 38 weeks, but the toddler determination that could move mountains with force of will…
    So hard, knowing when to start the discipline/time out stuff. Do what feels right for you. If she's crossing boundaries you don't find acceptable, you stop them. I always said a loud 'NO', from an early age, and despite the 'they're too young to understand' argument she certainly seemed to get it. And push it ;) Then I started time outs, just a minute for each year of their age, in a corner of the same room, once they turned 2. And only then after they'd crossed a slow 1, 2, 3, countdown warning to stop their behaviour. They know the system, and I stlll use it now they're 4 and 5. Won't promise it works! Still pull my hair out daily. But, the best part is, they get older, and easier. Much love xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. We picked our battles with our boy - we have been using time out as a form of discipline since he was 18 mths old. It still mostly works for him now at 3. All the best with finding a solution that works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh I love that owl night light in the nursery, it's beautiful. Honey 2 year olds were sent to check on your blood pressure and resilience factor. If she's always mouthing objects she may be sensory seeking, it doesn't mean something is wrong it's just some people need more sensory input and she may just grow out of it or she may be a chewer! There are lots of products that help one that I have inshore is the children's pendant that's designed for safe chewing from medical grade silicone. You can find it here http://bumpyland.com
    One thing is choose a method and stick with it for at least a couple of weeks and stand firm but don't swap and change each day because you will both be confused and exhausted. It's a journey, one we all walk and so many of us are here to give you a cheer and a cyber hug. Hang in there. Make sure you get time out for YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  20. At least it was perfume- my nearly 21mth old tipped an entire tube of lubricant on the couch yesterday!!! Whenever they're quiet, you know they're up to something. I too struggle with how to discipline. They seem so little- I try time out, but I just don't know that he gets it! He sits there with a smirk on his face. Anyways, glad to hear you're getting some rest.xxx

    ReplyDelete
  21. I spose in the end because every child is so different there is going to be an expert for all of them, but it certainly doesn't help the frustration when you just want a tactic that works! I do however look forward to the day I can reason with her at least a little!

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's what I reckon too, just gotta with what makes me feel comfortable and my instincts in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Nee! I am hoping that at least once bubs is here some of my patience may be delivered with her and that might help in some small way with the toddler!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think that is an awesome tactic! I am gonna have to give it a go! We are definitely both strong-willed so sometimes the stare off is epic as neither of us will budge on our position! Gonna make for some fun times in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's what I figure, some things just aren't worth fighting for/over.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That's what I was thinking, especially for the next few months when life is going to be so different fr her, unless it could hurt or kill her it's not that important in the grand scheme of things!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks Jodi! Still a few more things to do in terms of the decorating but there is no rush for those, they can happen after she's here. I think only put the finishing touches on Punky's room 4 months after she was born.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ha, the pointer finger, I never thought about that, that is definitely a tactic I need to try. I have been trying to use the 1,2,3 and it works sometimes, other times she just laughs but I think she is starting to get the idea when she then doesn't get what she wants or experiences the consequences of not doing it! And so funny you mention the sudocrem, Punky got her hands on ours the other day and came out waving a massive handful of it about!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh I know, the rest of the pregnancy has seemed to go so fast but the last couple of weeks feel like a lifetime! Especially these last few days!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think they do figure out when they are able to really push your limits and they know you can't move quick enough to catch them! I tell ya though, Punky is gonna get a shock when I can move faster than her again, she won't know what's coming! Lol!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks Toni! It's definitely the hardest part of pregnancy, these last couple of weeks hey, they seem to drag on for a lifetime! Good luck with everything, I hope you don't have too much longer to wait!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh yes, the rest of the pregnancy can go so quick but the last week or two seem to take a year!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks Jess, I will definitely check out those books, I've been looking for a couple of good ones to have a read of. I hear you on the choices, I've been trying to limit them and just focus on what the required task is and hopefully that will help and not be too confusing for her!

    ReplyDelete
  34. It must be the season for testing toddlers, they seem to be everywhere! I know we will get through this though. Whether we have to drink copious amounts of wine to do it or not is another story but we won't talk about that (man am I hanging for a nice big glass of wine though, its been so long!)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I tell ya, its like they get to a point where they realise that you can't move as quick as they can anymore and they take advantage of it! That Positive Discipline one sounds good. I've been on a mission to find a few books with different perspectives and tactics to try and arm myself with some knowledge in the hope that I'll find something that works and that I'm comfortable with as well. You'll have to let me know how they go.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh Punky has started doing that run and hide thing the last week or so, she has just discovered she can get in behind the change table and I can't reach her and she has been taking advantage of it. I'm just thinking for the next few months I just have to go with the flow and let her adjust to the massive change coming her way and make sure we get one on one time but that she also gets lots of attention from her aunties so she doesn't feel like she has been neglected. And if worse comes to worse I may just get the swing set off layby early! Lol!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I figure consistency will be key in the long run, and making sure the boundaries are very, very clear, something Dave and I will have to discuss too to make sure we are on the same page! Right now I'm just thinking of that first glass of wine I'll be having once I'm free of the hospital!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks Stephanie! I've tried time out once or twice but she hasn't really seemed to get the concept of it yet but I will keep trying!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks Jules. Oh they certainly are here to test the BP that's for sure!


    Those necklaces look good, I'll have to get one when my PPL comes through and we have some cash again.


    I think picking one method and sticking with it will be the best thing too, I don't want to confuse her by trying too many things and have her just not know what is going on!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh no! That stuff would be so hard to clean up! Ahh, the toddler smirk, its amazing how ones so little can have perfected the smirk, Punky's is way better than mine!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...