Why? – Strange Things Toddlers Do

I was introduced to the world of professional wrestling, WWF (World Wrestling Federation – later) at a very young age by my uncle (shout out to Uncle P!). I was the first grader walking around demonstrating the signature moves of D-Generation X, in particular, Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley). If you have no clue, YouTube it and you’ll see the amazingness that is this mid-90s to early 2000s group. My adoration for the athleticism and performance of these individuals often left my teachers and parents saying – “Why?”

“Hannah why are you pretending to jackknife [XYZ person]?” My answer would always be, “Why not?”

Now that I have two kids and one has discovered his true toddler sass, I hear the phrase “why not?” on loop. Also, as a boy mom, I hear this more often than most – at least I’m assuming mothers and fathers of boys are always walking around looking puzzled because their son(s) has decided to do something crazy.

Along with questioning my children’s (keep in mind they are three and one) need to have an impromptu wrestling match like that of the classic Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant from Wrestlemania III in the middle of the living room (YouTube it), my list of “why” based moments is extensive.

Here are the top ten most recent reasons I’ve had to say “why?” and slowly shake my head in confusion.

  1. Mom – Why did you aim your penis at your face when you went to the potty?
    Three-year-old – Because the pee wanted to go up!
  2. Mom – Why are you chewing on the baby teether?
    Three-year-old – Because the baby teether is for people not babies!
  3. Mom – Why are you licking the wall?
    Three-year-old – Because I needed to mom!
  4. Mom – *Gives son a new toy* Where are you going?
    Three-year-old – To hide it!
    Mom – Why?
    Three-year-old – Because the worms will get it!!
  5. Mom – Why did you flip over the play kitchen?
    Three-year-old – Because the whale shark was coming, and he wanted popcorn!
  6. Mom – Why are you rubbing petroleum jelly all over your face?
    Three-year-old – Because I can’t breathe! *He thought it was vapor rub*
  7. Mom – Why is your play grill in your bed?
    Three-year-old – My blanket was cold!
  8. Mom – Why are you standing on the coffee table?
    Three-year-old – Because I need to dance!
  9. Mom – Why are you screaming at the drain?
    Three-year-old – The orca won’t stop yelling!
  10. Mom – Why are you not wearing underwear?
    Three-year-old – He needs to breathe!

So, here’s what I know, he watches too much Octonauts (which I secretly love), he’s extremely tactile, and he has a strong understanding of his body. With this said, all I can say is “WHY????”

What is something your kids have done or said that left you at a loss? Let me know in the comments below.

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Toddler Time – Children’s Encyclopedia – The Book that Explains Everything

“Mommy what is that?” “Mommy what is it?” “Mommy! WHAT IS IT?”  We have finally hit the stage of development where my child has questions about anything and everything. His level of curiosity has taken off like a rocket headed straight for the moon (to quote my son “what is a rocket mommy?”).

I probably spend 90% of the time with my son answering questions about animals, food, colors, and so much more. I can appreciate his interest in learning. This new phase in his life is exactly where he should be. My toddler is finally clicking into the world outside of his own bubble, but goodness gracious it’s a lot for this mama to take on.

Fellow parents, I have found a tool that answers all of my son’s questions and can do the same for your child. DK Publishing’s Children’s Encyclopedia – The Book that Explains Everything, is a resource like no other. This hardback, 300+ page encyclopedia has information reaching from Africa all the way to zoo! With beautifully illustrated images and photos, this book makes explaining the concept of sinking and floating, for example, easy to do.

The other weekend we took a special trip to the Renaissance Festival. We make a point to do special things with each of our children, and that day was all about our two and half year old. We had been talking up the event with our son describing the delicious food, arts and craft, and the royal joust. When he asked what a joust was, I was able to look towards the Children’s Encyclopedia to help explain in a way that my son would understand. We flipped to the page all about knights where we found a definition for jousting. Seriously, this book has everything.

A wonderful feature of this book that I would like to highlight is the “see also” box where you are referred to additional pages throughout the book with similar content. For example, if you’re on the page about spiders it will tell you to also see animal groups, animal homes, food chains, insects, invertebrates, and sight. These helpful tips allow for additional thoughtful conversation and exploration.

Now that we have the Children’s Encyclopedia my son has more confidence. He loves to flip to the pages of his two favorite things: dinosaurs and sharks. He will sit there and talk to us about our prehistoric and under the sea friends. He even loves to bring his little figurines and read to them, sharing facts about dinosaur fossils and the great white shark.

The Children’s Encyclopedia by DK Publishing is one book we will be keeping around. This book is one that will grow with my child. Head on over to >> https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/558275/dk-childrens-encyclopedia-by-dk/ << and get your copy today! This is one you will want in your child’s bookshelf. Trust me!

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Toddler Capsule Wardrobe for Season Change

The feeling of fall has recently made its appearance, at least in North Carolina, which means the changing of my kid’s wardrobe is essential. I love the crisp fall air, the autumnal smells, apple cider, and the warmth of a bonfire, but it sure does stress me out. The reorganization has to happen, but it’s easier said than done.

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When you’re in moments of transition between seasons, the weather can be unpredictable. Not only are you equipping your kids with clothes for every situation, you are also giving yourself a moment to deeply assess their ever-changing and ever-growing wardrobe.

Here is my toddler’s capsule wardrobe for season change check list:

10-12 t-shirts
4 long sleeve shirts
2 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of long pants (khaki, dress, etc.)
4-6 pairs of shorts
4 pairs of pajamas (2 short sleeve; 2 long sleeve)
8 pairs of socks (you could probably get away with less, but my kid has sweaty feet)
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of sandals
1 light-weight jacket
1 sweatshirt
1 heavy jacket

Of course if you have a daughter, you’ll want to adjust this checklist to reflect her needs, but it’s a matter of an easy substitution. Change out the additional long pants for dresses and add some leggings. Her closest will be all set!

If you want to feel really adventurous, you can take the same steps with your wardrobe. I’ve already started the process and I have a feeling it’s going to take me a little while.

What are your tips for seasonal change? How would you adjust the wardrobe checklist? Let me know in the comments.

4 Ways to Address the Loss of a Loved One with Your Toddler

Losing a loved one is never easy. I lost my best friends when I was in college and my Nana, also known as THE Nana in my family, last year. To say they were/are two of the most important people in my life would be an understatement.

I still mourn the loss of my loved ones, but as an adult I am able to process my emotions and understand what it means to lose someone that I love so much.

My Nana was a fighter; she battled through four, yes four, types of cancer. She is quite possibly the strongest person I know. I was able to spend the last minutes of her life with her and watched her battle until the very end. She never gave up! Her strength, hardworking attitude, and commitment to her loved ones are attributes I want my boys to have as they grow and develop into young men.

Wedding Day with Nana and Papa

My oldest was one and a half when my Nana passed away, but she had a very active part in his life and I was able to tell her that I was pregnant with my second son. I am so lucky that my oldest son was able to spend time with her, even if it was for a short period of time.

The girls and Rorie

When she passed away, I thought to myself, how am I going to explain this to my toddler? He has no understanding of death and what it means to have a loved one pass away. Here are four things I learned during this process:

  1. Speak in simple words – get as basic as you can, terms that well, a toddler would understand.
  2. Keep their memory present – Photos of my Nana are all over my house and my son will often go over to the pictures and point to her and say “That’s Nana!” She also gave him a number of books and stuffed animals. He knows that Nana gave them to him and he cherishes them deeply.
  3. Share all the love – Kids are so aware of our emotions. When we are sad, they will often become sad as well. When I was/am feeling sad, I go in for the hugs, kisses, and extra snuggles. It comforts both of us, not to mention, it’s one of my favorite things to do.
  4. Take care of yourself – We can’t support or little one(s), if we are not taking care of ourselves. Self-care is the most important thing you can do!

If you have lost someone special in your life, please know I am sending all of my love, hugs, and positive thoughts in your direction.

How have you explained this life process to your kids? Let me know in the comments below.