Uh – Oh: Toddlers Come With a ‘Tude

Everyone said the first weeks of parenthood would be the hardest.

I’m not so sure. My baby girl is technically a toddler now, and the first lesson I learned was this: Toddlers come with an attitude.

I’d trade 4 a.m. feedings for temper tantrums anytime.

I thought the toddler phase would be great — walking, talking, new discoveries every day!

Now I am longing for the days when CeCe couldn’t distinguish one word from the other. When “no” had no meaning.

Now, “no” is a cue to throw herself on the ground and yell.

I wonder if this new attitude is a permanent part of her personality. People start describing their children’s personalities when the babies are still in utero. “Based on his ultrasound picture, we can just tell he is precocious.”

“In the 3D sonogram, she looked so coy.”

I was guilty of trying to determine CeCe’s personality based on her raspberry blowing skills or the distinct tone of her cooing in the first few weeks.

But this stage is when I see her adorable (and annoying) little traits shining through.

CeCe is fearless, friendly and likes attention. She also does not appreciate it when you take some-thing away from her, and likes to challenge authority.

When she was yanking on the curtains in her bedroom, I pulled her hand away and gave a firm, “No. We do not pull on the curtains.”

Her response was to keep glaring eye contact while she very slowly reached her hand out for the curtain again.

Her chubby fist even hovered for a moment before grabbing the end, like she was daring me to stop her. “Your move, Mommy.”

Toddling means time for discipline. When you Google “tips for disciplining your toddler,” you’ll find everything from positive reinforcement campaigns to pro-spanking advocates.

It can be hard to know what will be effective with your child.

We are adjusting to all of CeCe’s new skills and abilities, just like she is adjusting to this new “mean” side of Mommy.

Although she can’t even say her own name yet, you can bet she will soon recognize one phrase around the house: “Lose the ‘tude, kid.”