He is a Toddler, GET OVER IT!

To all of you people out there shaking your head in the grocery store at the parent with the crying kid, annoyed that a family is sitting next to you in a restaurant with a young child, or rolling your eyes at the mother in the mall for letting her kid cry or run around... Get over yourself! To the parents embarrassed by your toddler for freaking out, do your best to get over yourself too. This too shall pass...

Toddlers are not robots, therefore no, they cannot always be “controlled”. There is no “ON/OFF” switch.  He is going to be loud, stubborn, out of control, and vocal at times. He is going to throw a huge fit when stopped from, or kept from doing something he wants; but in order to keep him safe, that meltdown is a going to have to happen, even if it is next to you in the checkout lane. So, if you do not want him to cry, or run wild through the store, than you are out of luck, because chances are it's going to have to be one or the other. 

I admit, before I became a mother, I too was that girl in the grocery store shaking her head at the mom who was clearly not capable of “controlling” her son. I was also the server in the restaurant who tried desperately to give up the table with the family of four sitting at it.  I was the girl shopping at the mall wishing the mother and her screaming child in the oversized stroller would just go home. I was that childless bitch with no patience for out of control kids that I am talking to right now. 

Plain and simple, Toddlers are nuts. Toddlers need to explore, and talk, and test boundaries. Yes, they are sweet, and wonderful, and full of smiles and laughter, but they will scream and cry and throw tantrums the second you try to keep them from doing something they are determined to do. Now, I do know mothers who insist that with tough love and perseverance, the unruly toddler will calm down, be quiet and stop with the tantrums, but that is a process, so right now, that is not my 18-month old toddler. 

I am trying to "control" him, but dammit there is only so much I can take in a day! There are only so many No’s! I can shout, there are only so many times I can pick him up only to have him push away with such force I think he is going to crush my throat and chest. There are only so many times I can have him screaming in my ear as I redirect his attention. I pick my battles and do my best. 

I am officially at a point where I want to wear a shirt everywhere I go that says, "He's a Toddler, GET OVER IT!" The shirt would be both for me and for the people shaking their heads during a meltdown. I want to stop feeling so embarrassed by my son's behavior. I cannot be so hard on myself anymore! There is only so much I can do. Yes, I can stop him from running around, but if I do, then he is going to cry, and at this stage, I cannot stop him from both.  Ollie is not even that bad. Sometimes he is absolutely wonderful, and sometimes not so much. He is a Toddler, unpredictable. 

I try to be the best mom I can be. No, in fact I am the best mom I can be.  I trust my instincts, put my foot down, and try to "control" my son as best as possible. Parenting is a delicate balance, and worrying what other people think throws that balance right off. 

I want to have that perfectly well-behaved child I envisioned during my days of being a know-it-all childless bitch.  I want him to be all smiles in the store.  I want to go to the grocery and not open things to bribe him with the get through without a complete meltdown.  But dammit, I am the mother of an 18-month old toddler, meltdowns happen!

My son can only communicate through laughter and meltdowns at this point.  Yes, he knows a few words, but not enough to have a rational conversation where I can explain why he should not be doing something, and he gets it. I know that this stage too shall pass, and as much as I wish it would be in the near future, I know I am far from it... The "terrible twos" have not even hit yet! 

So again, to the childless judgmental people out there annoyed, GET OVER IT! Babies and toddlers are sweet and wonderful, but at the same time they are trying to figure out this big world, and sometimes that will include running, screaming, crying, laughing, smashing things and meltdowns-sometimes all within 30-seconds.  Trust me, you did it too, so before you want to call me out, call your mom…

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com