Funny Thing About The Ebb And Flow Of Toddlers

My sister, mother of two boys, is notorious for finding the coolest kid stuff. Though,  with her boys being eight and nine, she's had a few years of practice. That being said, she never misses a chance to spoil my toddler with cool off the wall things. Of course, nine times out of ten, the things are packed full of candy, or have some candy component. Which, usually leaves me asking her if she hates me.

Needless to say, my kid goes nuts when "Aunty Jen" comes to the door.

Two days ago, she showed up with the Claw Cup. A seemingly innocent cup, with a yellow plastic claw glove attached to it. I have to admit, the Claw is pretty cool. But no way did I expect my kid to love it so much.


He refuses to eat or drink anything unless it is nestled happily in the claw. His snacks go in the claw, then when he needs a drink, he pours the snack out, plops his drink in and takes a sip, then takes the cup out and puts the snack back in.  Rinse. Repeat.

His love affair with the claw cup is so bad, the claw goes where we go.

Yes, I know it's a skeleton hand, but he refers to it as a claw, which to me, is much less creepy.
Over the years, my kid has been given enough cool stuff to teach me that when he latches onto something, getting him to let it go will cause great psychological damage to all involved.

This goes for just about everything. The kid will get stuck on a bad behavior, bad word or object, and nothing I can do will stop the insanity. Then, one day, he stops on his own. The behavior, word or object have lost their luster, usually due to learning a new bad behavior, word or getting a claw cup.

Such is the ebb and flow of the toddler.

Toddlers learn something awesome, burn it out by overdoing it, then move on to new awesomeness. It's almost as if they have completely forgotten the word, behavior or object. They get so focused on whatever is new, that they forget what is old.

This predictability has kept me going in those moments where I'm sure I'm going to lose my shit before the word 'shit' loses it's luster.

Then, eventually, all is right in the world again. Until, of course, he learns the word butthole from his oldest nephew...  (IT NEVER FREAKING ENDS!)

I do think it's weird how toddlers get so wrapped up in something, only to forget about it overnight.  I can't help but wonder if one day it all comes back? What if my kid wakes up, says shit, moons me, grabs the claw cup, blows bubbles in his milk, then takes off running, barefoot, out the front door, alone. You know, like a Toddler Tsunami where he starts doing all the shit he's ever done that made me crazy, all at once.

Thanks to all this ebb-and-flowing, I'm starting to understand my kid better. Making it much easier to rationalize why he is the way he is. I just wish there was a way to channel his drive for knowledge, independence and cutting his own path in the world, while questioning everything, into something much more productive then diving me crazy.

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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