My daughter is a pretty typical 2.5 year old, but she is driving me crazy when I am home with her all day long. The incessant talking, climbing on me, and general harassment. She very rarely can entertain herself for more than a couple of minutes at a time without having to be redirected or entertained.
I find myself getting irrationally frustrated with her, and the other day I said "Just leave me alone!" And I felt pretty bad about it, especially when she said it back to me later. I don't want her talking to me like that, so I don't feel I should say it either. I have closed myself into my room or bathroom for a few minutes before just to get a break, but then she knocks or beats on the door or cries and it isn't the peaceful experience I was hoping for.
Does anyone have suggestions for polite ways I can ask her to be quiet and stop stop touching me? I know its pretty impossible to reason with a toddler, but both my husband and I have yelled at her a few times lately because she is SOOOO annoying, and neither one of us have ever yelled at her before this and we don't know how to deal with our frustration and get her to leave us alone for even just a few minutes.
Thanks for the great suggestions! I bet the timer would work and be sort of game for at least a few minutes. And she loves to go outside and can entertain herself a little better outdoors but sadly winter is coming and its much more difficult to motivate myself to go outside when it is windy, snowy, and cold
One of the best investments ever for my child is a clear plastic tote/box from wally world that is 7inches deep and 15" x 24" and comes with a lid! That is her sensory box, we still use it daily and my daughter is four! Oh and get an apron too! This will help her keep occupied and help her sensory development and let you have some time for yourself for a little bit. My daughter would normally play for 15-20 minutes when she was 2.5 so you can get some free time!
Suggestions that are more toddler friendly are:
Make a batch of instant pudding directly in it
Fill it with water and a little play boat, measuring cups, funnel, spoon
Squirt some dish soap in it and fill it with water making tons of bubbles!
Make ice cubes, you can add food coloring to make different colors and throw them in there (my daughter would wear mittens because she didn't want to directly hold the ice)
Make a large batch of jello and put it in the box with fun kitchen utensils, like a potato masher!
Give them flour, cinnamon or whatever nice smelling spices you have in your cabinet, give her a little bowl and whisk and measuring spoons (whatever you got in your kitchen drawers) and let them pretend to cook
Cook spaghetti noodles (you can dye if wanted) let cool add tongs bowls cups etc.
I have a little preschool science set with big plastic beakers and I fill them all with different colored water (just add food color) and I let her pour and mix and make new colors! (You could just use plastic cups instead of beakers)
Cornstarch and water makes OOBLECK! It's amazing and fun, when you squeeze it, it becomes a solid, let it go and it becomes a liquid. (Add food coloring to change it up.)
Flour and one of those sifters!
Sand with a small bucket, shovel, sand molds, seashells
They have these water beads which are "supposed" to be nontoxic if swallowed but if your little one is still mouthing things use tapioca beads because those are edible
I make playdough (add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup salt to nonstick pot, then measure 1 cup of water (mix in food coloring directly into water first) then add colored water to pot and stir, heat on medium for a couple of minutes then flip mixture over and cook other side for a couple minutes until its not liquidy, I normally put it in a bowl to cool for a couple minutes then knead to make the texture uniform and done! Store it by rolling in a ball, if you put it in a bag it will turn liquidy
Dye noncooked rice with food color (just put in a large ziploc bag and add food coloring and quickly mix it and then spread it in tub let it dry for 15 minutes and your done, then you can reuse it again and again!)
You can also dye noncooked pasta (For pretend soup: I would add a pot, pretend veggies from her play kitchen, and ladle, and bowls)
Once she's older you can also do things like:
microwaved ivory soap
shaving cream (w food coloring)
slime (the one with liquid starch and glue is really good)
scissor practice with old magazines and ads
fill it with lots and lots of pom poms
or lots of feathers
It keeps her attention long enough I can pay the bills, or load the dishwasher without constant interruptions, I set it on the dining table and let her go to town! Another bonus a lot of the activities let her get out her need to dump and pour in an appropriate setting, and they all help her sensory development.
I love to sew, and have found the times I sit down to do this are great for telling my DD (now 3 yrs old, but this worked at 2 yrs) I was busy and to go play. She resisted at first, and would pester me, but I kept repeating "Mommy is busy, sweetie. Go play." It helped when I made her a tutu and put some music on so she could run all over and dance. Other times, I just told her to go play. At first I felt so guilty and rude, but then I discovered she would enter into the most imaginative play when she was being ignored by me!! It turned out to be the best play time for her!!
Living happily and loving it!
I use the expression "I need some space right now". My daughter has come to use it too, for example when she is going to the bathroom. It's only sometimes successful but I don't mind when she uses it back with me.