Toddler Obsessions, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Elmo

Whether it was the Pacific NW influences, or just our own parenting style, A and I decided that LC would not watch television.**  But like all hard and fast parenting decisions, you have to make compromises.  As LC’s hair got longer, the getting ready in the morning has gotten more difficult.  She has to have her hair pulled back each day or else it will get in her face and drive her crazy.  While she hates having her hair in her face, she also hates having to sit still to have her hair done.  In a moment of frustration one morning, I pulled out my iPhone and pulled up an Elmo video on YouTube.  I didn’t know if it would work because LC doesn’t watch videos and truly has no idea who Elmo is.  Both to my delight and horror, LC was instantly hooked on Elmo.
It may have taken her three months longer to say Momma than it did Dada, but it took no time at all to learn Elmo.  “Al –mo?” she asks every time she sees my phone (and now iPad after the most recent cross country flight.) Her favorite is Elmo and the Ducks.

The adorable side of this is that she thinks Elmo is a cat and will meow at him.  The other side is that I feel pretty guilty about it.  18 months in and I’ve allowed my child to buy into one of the biggest toddler commercial entity out there.  She hasn’t asked for Elmo sneakers yet, but I can see it coming.  And her 2nd birthday?  Oh, I’m sure I’ll have to seek guidance on this Pinterest board
We still won’t allow LC to watch things (other than the caveated items below) on the television – because just as she freaks out for Al-mo when she sees my phone, we don’t want her to insist that Elmo be put on the television every time she passes by it.  There are definitely worse things that LC could be excited by and in the big scheme of things, it is not surprising that around 18 months Elmo came into our lives.  I just thought we’d avoid the Elmo trend, or at least watch it enter our house because of outside influences like day care – not that we would willingly open our door to watch him boogie on in. 
The good news is that I can get LC to sit still for approximately 2:39 each morning as I struggle to do her pigtails.  The bad news is, I have to listen to this while I do it.

**The caveat to this is of course sports don’t count.  LC was watching NCAA basketball before she left the NICU.  Mostly football and basketball, a little baseball.  She loved the Tour de France (she has a things for bicycles) and dressage in the Olympics blew her mind (horses! on tv!).  Tennis does not seem to interest her much. 

Honestly Funny

Have you read The Honest Toddler?  It’s pretty gosh darn funny.  Sure, maybe some of the humor is lost on someone who does not have a toddler of their own running around, but it definitely speaks to A and I at this point in our lives. One of our recent favorite blog entries was “Interviews”, which featured this interview with the toddler’s grandmother:

Me: Hi Grammy Grams

Grandma: I love you sweet baby

Me: I love you, too.

Grandma: You look so skinny. Are they feeding you?

Me: No they’re not.

Grandma: My poor angel.

Me: I know.

Grandma: Do you need cookies?

Me: Yes grammy.

Grandma: What kind would you like me to make darling?

Me: (smiling)

Grandma: Chocolate chip?

Me: You know me so well, gram grams. Come over anytime, we we’ll be here. Not at the park.

Grandma: My poor angel.

Me: I know.

Honest Toddler also tweets about his day.  Some of our favorites include:

Back tapping. Don’t try to rush it. Don’t lean on my crib either. Use your core.

— Honest Toddler (@HonestToddler) July 18, 2012

Toddler Tip: If you don’t like a meal, slowly push the rim of the plate with one finger until it falls off the table.

— Honest Toddler (@HonestToddler) July 30, 2012

Hey sorry, guys. We’re going to be late. For everything. From now on.

— Honest Toddler (@HonestToddler) August 8, 2012

Often things are funny because they are true – and tweets from a toddler about how he refuses to sleep through the night because his socks are just wrong, well its just true at this point in our lives.  So thanks Honest Toddler for getting it.

Cautiously Furiously Angry

LC becomes more and more of a “toddler” every day lately.  From saying more words, acting more like a little person and yes, the dreaded sign of toddler-hood, temper tantrums.

LC is her parents’ child, however, and cautious by nature.  This is seen when we go to the playground, approaching a new person and even in throwing temper tantrums.  Once LC starts to get mad, she will pull herself away from you, or insist you put her down.  Once down, she will lower herself to a seated position, then slowly (and safely) lower herself to the floor.  Once laying (laying? lying?  Who knows.) on the floor, she will roll to her stomach and then, only then, will she begin to yell and express her anger.  A very cautious approach to throwing oneself to the floor in anger.

It is really quite adorable, actually, and like many things toddlers do, hard not to laugh at it.  I don’t like temper tantrums, but this routine at least takes some of the sting of the whole act away.

Learning Curve for Motherhood

There are days where I wonder just how many more months I need to be a mother before I figure this stuff out.  For instance, this Saturday.  LC decided to get up a little earlier than normal, giving us extra time to be “productive” and lead us to decide to go to the dog park at 7:30am.  We dressed the baby, collared the dog, loaded the BOB in the car, and off we went.  (For those not experienced in the act of gathering a dog, a baby and two adults and get them moving in the same direction, we were not in the car until almost 8am.)

We arrived at the dog park, Cal bounded from the back seat, ready to run and play with his puppy friends on the clear day.  A walked Cal into the park and I went about getting LC into the stroller.  As I lifted her from the car seat, I discovered it.  A leaky diaper, threatening to be a very leaky diaper rather quickly.  It was at this moment I remembered a conversation I had with A as we were walking out the door. 

“Do we need the diaper bag?” A asked.

“No, why would we need the diaper bag for a quick run to the dog park.”  I replied.

Sigh.  I took LC over to the dog park gate and held her butt first towards A.  As we tried to quickly decide how to divide and conquer, other parents gave us looks of disbelief – you left the house without the diaper bag??  And so LC and I went back in the car, back to the house, corrected the faulty diaper, loaded back into the car and back to the dog park to pick up A and Cal. 

Sure, it wasn’t a big deal.  We all survived.  We got donuts at Top Pot after the ordeal.  But I just wonder when will I leave the house without realizing that I forgot the diaper bag, didn’t replace the last diaper in the diaper bag, didn’t put a sippy cup in the car, you name it, we’ve probably forgotten it (or just not thought of it.)  We’ve been parents for 14 months.  We have to be reaching the peak of the learning curve sometime soon. (Right??)