taming the toddler

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November 2, 2014 by Ellen V

Even on the weekends, when we’re man-to-man at the V house, it seems like we’re struggling to keep it together since Sidney has been home. We’re giving ourselves plenty of grace–it’s not even been three weeks since she was born–but something’s gotta give! This baby isn’t ready for a schedule yet, and we’re only going to get so much sleep right now, so we’re trying to focus some energy on toddler behavior.

Jane is generally a pretty sweet girl, but she’s got some serious energy, and she’s been cooped up a lot more than usual. Not only do we have a brand new babe in the house, but the weather has turned chilly even here in Virginia, and the visitors and excitement of the first two weeks has tapered. Halloween (which included candy and a late night) only hurt us in the “get Jane back on track” department.

Our efforts for the weekend have included generous time outs, more than a couple head-to-head “Jane is not the boss” conversations, and, most recently, the removal of about half of her toys from easy reach. The latter was a mutual decision reached by Eric and myself as well as Jane. She seemed to welcome it, even. My summer reading of Simplicity Parenting continues to have a pretty strong effect on my parenting style lately, but I continue to be amazed at how a simple activity like cutting down on available toys (or what types of toys are available) seems to make a world of difference.

My sweet Jane is not suffering from lack of attention, I promise, but she is definitely transitioning to a new way of life, as we all are. Watching what is helpful to her is helpful to me, too: we all need some structure, some routine, some quiet time, some one-on-one attention, some good meals, some generous sleep, and some grace as we ease into this!

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