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Ok, I have a toddler dilemma . My sweet angel has turned in to a little pisser (not all the time but often). It seems that nothing I do can make her happy, except be willing to be an on call drinking fountain at her majesty's pleasure, which obviously I cannot and will not (sometimes I do but I do have a life outside nursing my acrobatic toddler ). Anyway, I understand that interactive play is important for her, so I do often try to sit down and engage her in play, such as with the shape sorter, reading a book, stacking blocks, singing songs, etc. I am not tremendously creative, though i am working on it. So, when I sit down to try to play, she sometimes plays for a second, then either: wants to nurse, because clearly sitting means that , get mad at me for unknown reasons, or wander off to get into something. People have said "Make one room in your house that she can do whatever she wants". Fine, our living room is very safe and child friendly, and has most of her toys in it; but does she want to stay in there and have a nice calm play time, noooooo! Does she even want to PLAY with her toys? Noooo. And she says noooo to me a lot, which I rationally understand is utterly normal and to be expected, but it drives me up the WALL! I know she is frustrated with wanting to do so many things and not being able to communicate, but I feel so helpless, and am starting to not really enjoy her anymore . She does pretty good with daddy and others, and apparently is the delight of mother's day out and other nursery situations (church, gym, etc.). But I make her shriek and fume. Sigh, what can I do? Oh, and she has been doing a lot of teething lately, which I know is part of it. But right now, she is very happily playing with daddy on the floor <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: . Thanks!
 

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How old is she? Does she get enough exercize? Does she get oudoors?<br><br>
Maybe she doesn't like toys. Is she old enough for coloring? How about playdough?<br><br>
Don't worry about sitting to play with her if it ends in chaos. Not worth the effort.<br><br>
How about reading to her?<br><br>
How about involving her in housework? Does she have a toy broom?<br><br>
Depending on her age, I found that my toddler need a predictable nursing time. So that I wouldn't just be saying "no" or "later." I could say, "We nurse after lunch."<br><br>
Good luck. She is the hardest with you because she trusts you the most! Seriously. She is just being herself with you, because she knows you love her unconditionally.
 

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She is 13 months old, so a bit young, maybe for playdough and coloring, though I can't wait to be able to do those things with her. She is involved with housework to the extent that she is sometimes in the sling with me when I do it, and intently watches me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> . I will look into a toy broom, or maybe just let her play with the swiffer. But this is what happens if I try to do housework with her out of the sling: she attaches herself to me like a limpet demanding to be picked up, she attempts to climb into the diswasher (we have a very cute pic of her standing up on the door of it when it was down <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ), opens the refrigerator and eiether tries to climb into it or pulls food out and goes off with it (or asks to be fed yogurt, which I sometimes comply with). Tries to open the latched cabinets and gets mad if she can't. There is one cabinet with safe stuff in it that she can open, btw. The others have either cleaning supplies or heavy dangerous pots and pans. Giving her lightweight pans and mixing bowls works for about ten seconds, but I could give it another go. In addtion, our house is very small, so my sanity can only take so many messes to clean up in addtion to all the other things I often don't get done <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:. She is now in a mother's day out program once a week, and accompanies me to the gym child care facility I work at, where she plays and interacts withother kids (but is still very demanding of me and the nursies when she gets frustrated and overwhelmed there, but that's another story for another time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ). Honestly she doesn't get outside as much as she should because it has been so unbelievably hot that no one can stand it for more than a few minutes,w hic h is never enough for her. Thank you all so much for the suggestions; any other advice is more than welcome!
 

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Maybe I'm off base, but it sounds to me like she has a sudden need for exersize -- getting those wiggles out! What about music and dancing? What about swimming?<br><br>
The behavior in the kitchen sounds totally frustrating. What about giving her a shallow pan full of soap suds to play in? I fill the sink with bubbly water, and then skim the suds off the top and into a pan. I set it on the floor with cups, funnel, spoons, etc...<br><br>
I'm sorry things are hard right now. They do get easier. She is going to be such an ambitious and successful person! She is so energetic and motivated about the things she wants.
 

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Try adding humor to the situation. I am terrible at humor but have had to force myself to use it for my dd's sake. For example she doesn't want her dirty filthy shirt off. I start to pull it off with her kicking and screaming and then I say, "Oh no, it's stuck! Your shirt is stuck on your head!" and she starts giggling and running to look at herself in the mirror. It's so HARD to be humorous when you have a grumpy toddler and are not in a good mood either, but it really helps break the power struggles.<br><br>
At 13 months, she has found her freedom but doesn't have the control over her impulses enough to listen to you, stick by you, etc. Just contain her best you can. My dd is very spirited and the leash/harness when going out was great for both of us. She didn't have to hold my hand, but would gladly hand me the harness to put on so she could walk along by me with no power struggles. She knew it was either the harness or the stroller. That was her only choice.<br><br>
I gave up for awhile with her sitting in her highchair to eat. She wasn't happy doing that anymore so I just fed her on the run. They don't have much attention span for the shape sorter, etc. just yet. 2 shapes and they are done, and they may get frustrated if the shape doesn't just fall right in. It's a HARD age, and I can sympathize.<br><br>
Taking walks in a confined space like a school playground after school gets out is a good thing. Wagon/stroller rides, water play, sand play. I used to just sit on the toilet seat and run the tap in the tub, give dd some cups to pour in and she was happy for a long time. Or make an oatmeal "sandbox" out of a big plastic ccntainer filled with oatmeal, on your kitchen floor while you cook. Just scoop it back up when she's finished. Painting with colored water is a good activity.<br><br>
Good luck and know that this too shall pass.<br><br>
Darshani<br><br>
edited to add: you can buy generic clip-locks for the fridge and dryer in the child safety section. I had to lock both of mine, as both can be very, very dangerous if she can open them. Esp. the fridge-- she could suffocate in there. I have cabinet locks on everything but one cupboard, it helps with the mess. Even have locks on some of the dresser drawers as she was pulling them out and then trying to use them as stairs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">
 

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This was such a tough age for me! I really had a hard time with 12-15 months. I feel for you!!!! My daughter is also quite spirited and it was difficult for us to learn to understand each other. I want to try something different than the others have suggested. Have you tried sign language with Sophia? I understand that she is still a little young for a lot of signs but something as simple as teaching her the signs for more, eat, drink, sleep, etc could be really beneficial. You did say that she seems frustrated with her inability to express herself to you. That seems to be the consensus with children of that age. Maybe teaching her a few signs will help her "speak" to you when her words fail her. She seems to want so badly to speak to you yet she doesn't have the words to yet.<br>
I understand small living spaces. I'm a single mom living at home with my parents, my sister, and our 100lb. dog in a CAPE! It's SO small!!!! I also cannot just let her run rampant in the house making messes because my mother gets upset. So at that age we did of lot of swimming in the kiddie pool in the shade and playdough in the high chair, and painting in the bathtub(chocolate pudding makes a wonderful edible finger paint that washes easily). Look at the crafts and activities thread up above for some really wonderful ideas for kids of all ages. Definitely let her "help" with housework. If all she does is tear one lettuce leaf for salad, that probably will entertain her for a few minutes and let you keep your sanity. Give her child-sized cleaning utensils. I give my dd a spray bottle of water and a cloth while I clean and let her wash the walls. I'm also not too creative though I try very hard to be. I find that if I start cleaning or reading a book(reading, what's reading???!!!), my daughter will want to play with me more. I am not allowed to just "take over" the activity. I must do as she directs me to. But that makes her happy. But if I try to actively sit down and play with her, she balks. she gets pissed and runs away. Maybe just interjecting a little here and there will make it easier on both of you. For more activities out of the house try playgyms or the library or even go to McDonalds' to use their outdoor play equipment. Even walkign through the mall on a weekday morning is better than sitting in the house going crazy all day. Take her to a fountain to throw some pennies in. Head to a lake or the beach for some playing in mud or at the water's edge. Do you have a YMCA there? They offer subsidized(and often free) memberships to people who couldnt' otherwise afford them. I don't know if that's a problem for you but I have a free membership for my daughter and I and it's been a blessing. We can't afford their membership costs otherwise. The Y is great. They have all sorts of activities and swimming lessons and such. My daughter loves to swim so we go there or to a friend's pool 5 days a week. Helps me get my exercise while entertaining her a little. Even dancing around the house to some catchy music keeps us entertained during the day. I like the "toddler's busy book" for activities. Can't remember for the life of me who wrote it but it's a great book for some cool activities. Also, as I mentioned before, definitely check that thread above for crafts and such. there are a lot of creative moms on here. Best of luck to you.<br>
Meg
 

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All theese wonderful ladies have said it all, so I will just give a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">....... And tell you that my DS was exactly like your DD at that age. Its soooo hard! But it does get better, I promise..
 

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I second the signing!! Dd, fourteen months, knows a few signs. Her favorite is help, seriously she uses it constantly. When I help her with what ever she needs she laughs. i really think that she is sooo happy to get her message across.
 

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my suggestion is also to teach her some signing.. i started teaching my ds at about 8 months, he picked up the signs for eat, more and fan in particular.. he liked the signs and used them, but he was a talker and started saying everything instead of using signs so they never were something he continued with... but the best part about signs is that children will learn them and not only can they communicate, but they can kind of command you to say things they *need* to hear over and over until they learn to say the word.. then they slowly lose the sign as they gain the language... i used a book called Baby Signs which is simpler than ASL and they encourage you to use signs that make sense and even to make up some of your own that make sense to you so that you can remember them... its a great book and she has many ideas and pictures of her kids using the signs as babies.
 

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There is a really great website signwithme.com that shows adults and children actually doing the signs as well as the descriptions of how to do them.<br><br>
I am also going through a tough time with my 10 month old DD. I wonder sometimes if she just gets bored being around me all day? Add teething on top of that and lookout!! Motherhood is a real test of patience among other things. I am sending you a big<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I don't have any solutions, but I am right there with you. My 13mo dd is the same way with me. In some ways, all her new abilities are great fun, but its also a very challenging stage. Her attention span is about 10 seconds per activity. I'm trying to get her to start dancing, but it seems like the only time she wants to is if she is standing on top of something she is not supposed to be on (celebration dance, I think). She doesn't seem to care for sand, she's not much for being in the kiddie pool, but she does like to hold the hose and water things (sometimes the cement, but hey it keeps her happy for a minute). She still pretty much wants to eat crayons, but I might give edible finger paints a try. She loves to climb, so you would think she would like the outdoor climbing toy we bought, but no. Not the same adrenaline rush as the bookshelves I guess....<br><br>
Lisa<br>
Carina 07/22/02
 

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Goo is also 13 months, but what I've noticed is to cut slack on what I say no to.<br><br>
We go to the park and I let her chose the big kids or little kids section. We go where she wants and I tell her 5 minutes before we leave when we are leaving. She climbs all over stuff that she isn't supposed to (according to other moms). At home, she can climb ONTO furniture, but only if she sits on the chairs. She is very excited because we won't stop her from getting on or off the chairs, we just stop her if she stands on them.<br><br>
I am lucky in that Goo will study something for 20 minutes or so (yes, I am serious. she will play with her toys for up to 20 minutes without asking for one of us)....<br><br>
I wish I had more advice, but that's the best I can give you
 

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Ha ha,<br>
Don't flame me folks, I'm Sophie's playdate <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Lydia, you can borrow my "sign with your baby" book. Rowan did learn a few signs, like "airplane" and "pain" and of course "nurse" (milk) I waited so late to really start teaching her that in many cases she could say the work we were signing.<br>
The "help" sign could be very useful. She'd probably enjoy learning something new.<br><br>
They do eventually get over the super meddling stage. I thought I would go completely NUTS with her emptying the bookcases in the computer room constantly. Now, she rarely bothers them.<br><br>
btw - I tried for teal and got spruce - darn koolaid!
 

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Dd gets irritable if she's tired. You might want to look at how much sleep your Dd is getting. I could write lots on irritablity, but what I really want to address in the moment I have, is the testiness that is for you only, while she has charm for everyone else. Her mood is generally good, and I agree with others that signs probably account for less frustration than I might expect.<br><br>
But still, Dd is much more particular with me than anyone else. There is always complaining, though short lived, about one thing or another, when we are together. I work downstairs from our living area, and my mom babysits. Sometimes I can hear what's going on upstairs, and there is very little upset while I'm gone.<br><br>
Dh overheard the playing today, and commented on it. But Dd has always been like this and Dh has always had a good perspective on it. He says that I'm her mother and she knows I'm special, and her expectations are higher. He also thinks that because the understanding that a baby is separate from it's mother takes years to occur (is it 3?), she gets frustrarted with me more easily, because she thinks that I should know what she wants just because she thinks it.<br><br>
Toddlers have lots of frustrations, but I think they are all bigger when sleep is short.
 

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at that age was not interested in toys either.Let me give you hope that these are hard months and it gets better when they can communicate and and improve their motor skills they are so frustrated right now.<br>
Music works wonders...dance and run around the room.any physical game.The I'm gonna get you game and then incorporate various stuffed animals.My DD is 19 mo and still never tires of this.Hiding amongst the couch cushions and find her..any peekaboo game with blankets. toys,etc.<br>
The baby genius videos held her attention for 20 min or so and this is a lifesaver to get a shower of do some quick cleaning.Puppets are a lot of fun.Get one that mouth opens so it can kiss and eat and nibble on bellys.I almost forgot...BLOCKS they are too little to be into building but they sure love to knock down something that you have built.If they even let you build it....hehehe.My DD also found her love of books about this age.Just the board books or squishy ones.She would sit through a whole stack if they were not very wordy and bright pictures.Not too long after she discovered lift a flap books which are still a passion.<br><br>
Just a few ideas...hope I helped !!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Linda
 

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we just discovered the mall thing. It works great. There is lots of space for dd to wander as long as we are just window shopping. She's so excited she sometimes can't decide which way to go first.<br>
I also take dd to the park a lot and I do let her climb on whatever she wants. I just follow right behind. I hold her in my lap to go down slides though.<br>
Water park... we've done that lately. Sandbox, whatever you can think of. I did let dd splash in the kitchen sink the other day while I tried to make dinner. Don't make the same mistake as I did by giving your baby a big cup. She was shoveling water out all over the dog while I wasn't looking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I agree about the sign language. Dd can at least tell me "up" when she wants out of her highchair.<br>
Hang in there. There's a thread about a book by Wolf which you might be interested in that talks about why your child will "misbehave" more with you than others. It's totally normal and does NOT mean that they don't like you. Just the opposite.
 
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