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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe I just need to vent, because ultimately I have to do what my heart tells me, but some advice/insight would be great!!<br><br>
Our daughter is 21 months and high-needs/spirited, she's so much fun when I stick to her agenda. However, if I try to do anything for more than literally 5-10 minutes (sometimes less) she comes up to me and says "Take" and reaches for my hand. This means she wants to take me somewhere. Before I engage in whatever (e.g. making dinner) I make sure she has something fun to do and other stuff in the room to move on to.<br><br>
When I explain to her I need to make dinner for all of us and as soon as I am done we will play together (or ask her to help me make dinner), she has a tantrum. I've tried to ride out the tantrums (reassure her, stay near, stay far but handy, etc.) but it keeps going and going. On top of it all, DH is a WAHD and doesn't have a door to his office. Makes it tough to concentrate, be on a conference call, etc. with a screaming toddler.<br><br>
So what's your input? Keep to her agenda because this too shall pass or set some limits and how??<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Kim
 

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How about this, "Come on, we've got to make dinner now. Here's your pot, stir this up" (getting out pot and spoon for her), "What are you going to make? Alligator stew? Mmmm, sounds delicious. Okay, now let's set the table. Can you put these big spoons on? They're pretty heavy, do you need me to help? Wow, you carried them all the way to the table, you are STRONG!"<br><br>
We do this with almost everything. Granted, it takes a lot longer when you're trying to move wet clothes from the washer to the dryer and you have to pretend each item is kids at the carnival getting off the ferris wheel and onto the carousel and you have to take a ticket from every single one and make sure they didn't get sick and then open the gate and buckle them in...well I was going to say it was worth it, but now I'm not so sure :LOL<br><br>
Anyway, maybe that could help. If you had already started and you saw her coming in to get you, head her off at the pass. Before she takes your hand and says, "Take." you could say, "Oh good, I need someone to taste this, thanks for coming, come up here and see what I'm doing" and distract her. Then she'll feel involved and probably think it's pretty fun.
 

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I thought NateandSarah had some great suggestions! They do really extend how long it takes to do something though.<br><br>
I just wanted to let you know that my dd is 3.5 years old, and it does get easier. They do get better with age at having fun on their own while needing less of your undivided attention.
 

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OK, well here are two thoughts:<br><br>
(1) TV. 30 minutes a day while you get dinner might do the trick.<br><br>
(2) A wrap, mei tai or other carrier (put her on your back). Sometimes that's the ONLY way I get anything done.<br><br>
And, I can totally see that a WAHD situation puts extra pressure on you, mama! I say that whatever you have to do to make THAT easier, do it.
 

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I have to say that Sarah took my advice right out of my mouth. :LOL I've found that with my dd (almost 4) it's less about doing something fun with Mommy than it is doing SOMETHING with Mommy. Getting her involved in what I am try to accomplish is often the only way to do it when she's awake. Even now. I hate to disagree with Wugmama, but for us, it has gotten *worse*, not better as dd has gotten older. Now that she's older she wants to know what I am doing, how I'm doing it and ALWAYS wants to be involved. It's now less about doing something with Mommy and more about just doing whatever Mommy is doing.
 

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I don't do anything without dd (23 mo) at my side, 'helping'. There are times she might toddle off for 5-10 min and play, but generally she needs to be by my side. I think 21 months might be a little young to expect much solo play.<br><br>
Dinner is an adventure, that's for sure. There was another thread around here somewhere about this very thing. (I will try to bump it, if I can find it, it's over in Toddlers.) Some things that have worked for me are:<br><br>
- let dd stand on a chair and play with cups and warm water in the sink<br><br>
- give her the broom and let her clean the floor<br><br>
- put her on a chair next to me and give her a small bowl of flour and spoons<br><br>
- wear her in a sling and let her help<br><br>
Needless to say, we are singing songs and talking the ENTIRE time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><br><br>
It's definitely more challenging, but as a result she's usually a pretty happy kid that time of day.
 

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My dd is this age and like the above pp's mentioned- I involve my dd in EVERYTHING I am doing - otherwise I'd get nothing done either. Sometimes I do the 30 minute video thing too. I also have started to keep 'kits' of things she'll be heavily interested in kept up for me to pull out to give me 20-30 minutes of time while she explores - some kits are building blocks, some are foam letters, some are plastic animals. I also have a box of toys that are kept up to pull out one every once in a while to have something new to facinate her when I need some time.
 

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I have.had 4 of those children. I set up a little art area in my kitchen. There are small baskets of playdough, water colors, glue sticks and paper to tear etc.<br><br>
When they were really tiny- too small to sit comfortably at a little table and chairs, i had one of those chairs that hooks to the table. I always had a ton of good luck with glue sticks and paper. But water colors work, too. But you can't be worried about mucky colors. And playdough- very fun for a 21 mos old.<br><br>
The other thing that always works for me--even with a 6 yr old, is to pull up a stool and let her wash dishes in the sink. The floor near the sink is super-clean. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> You can also put a plastic tub of water on a towel in the kitchen- add little cups, funnels etc. My kids could play there for an hour or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions!<br><br>
I am going to try to be more creative in our "play" (natensarah, I loved your stories!!). Maybe it will help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I feel better knowing that I've already tried a lot of the suggestions, because it means I'm not a total failure here. I think it's just her spiritedness, which I really love about her desipte the challenges. She has a Learning Tower, so cooking (whatever I'm working on or several bowls, spoons & flour, etc. to play with), washing measuring spoons & cups at the sink, play doh and snacks are what get me the 5-10 minutes! :LOL I've tried to do the container of water on the floor thing, but she always manages to dump the whole thing (and the kitchen is carpeted, what were the previous owners thinking??).<br><br>
She likes one carry position and one only in a carrier - front & center, forward facing. You should have seen me doing dished when she was an infant. It looked like I was in some weird yoga crane position or something! It's only been in the past 6 months or so that she lets me carry her in my arm on my hip. So either way, not a safe place for cutting or stove-top work.<br><br>
ETA: I've tried TV, it's in the room next to the kitchen but unfortunately up 3 stairs. Anyway, I've recently tried it since she is starting to get some impulse control with the stairs. Shortly therafter I always hear "MAAAAAAH - MEEEEEEEEEEE" (you know the call :LOL ). If I stay there with her, she can watch quite awhile. Maybe I could get a TV setup in the kitchen? Not that there's any room in there!<br><br>
But I will try to head her off at the pass, the glue sticks & paper and just be more creative/imaginative. Thank you again so much! I knew I came to the right place. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I started self-doubting that I maybe should be setting limits, even though my heart didn't say so. So thank you mamas, thanks for the reassurance! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat">
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe I could get a TV setup in the kitchen? Not that there's any room in there!</div>
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If it works, I think it would be totally worth it!<br><br>
And for us, things DID get easier when DD hit 3.5 yrs. Even at 3, she wanted to be with me but NOT helping . . .now she cooks dinner happily with me! (Of course, now I have to put DD2 on my back while I do it!)<br><br>
Maybe this is the time to stock up on some frozen dinners/"heat up" . . .just as a contigent plan in case nothing worse!
 
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