The latest toddler games

The following games are apparently the latest thing in toddler-world. Not sure I understand but I guess you have to be a toddler to enjoy these games.

  • Throwing coasters and cards between the sofa and the wall. Then move the sofa and sweep them up. Climb on sofa and do it again as often as needed. When finished leave all coasters and cards behind the sofa or on the floor.
  • Quickly make a drawing and cut it up immediately after it’s done. Then throw all the little pieces of paper on the floor (toddler 1). Or (toddler 2) wrap the pieces up really small, paper in paper in paper, and give it to mommy and yell: ‘present for you!’
  • Throw all stuffed animals in bed. Climb in bed, throw all the animals on the floor. Repeat often until it’s time to throw the sheets and duvet out too. Then leave the bedroom as messy as possible.

Beware! Beware!

Beware! Beware!

Toddlers’ ears are everywhere

They hear everything and more

especially when you think they snore

And when you least expect it, they repeat it aloud

preferably in front of a big crowd

embarrassment ensured

and don’t think that the ‘not-listening’ is somehow cured

everything you want them to hear

they ignore, that much is clear.

 

(c) 2018 Carien Touwen

You can’t do anything right…

Raising toddlers is a challenge and you have to have a strong mind in order not to doubt yourself. Otherwise you will very quickly feel that you can’t do anything right…

This is what I heard this morning, all before 8:30 am.

-No, I don’t want warm milk today, I want it cold.
-No, not that sweater mommy. I want the one with the dinosaurs. (It’s in the laundry sweetie) WEEEEH!
-No, I want those pants. (points to the pants that his brother is wearing)
-I want the other shoes! (the ones that are from last year and too small) (how did he find those!?)
-I want to wear slippers to school.
-No socks today! (and he takes them off again)
-Nooo, not honey on a sandwich, I want it on a cracker!
-I want to wear it upside down (his jacket)
-No mommy, papa should take us.
-No banana, I want an orange. (throws it away)
-(Finally outside, on our way to school.) No wind mama, it’s not nice, stop it! (sure sweetie…)

I think that not getting depressed over so many negative remarks makes me a supermama. 😉

The first sunny day of the year

Yesterday it was the first sunny day of the year in Brussels. Blue skies, freezing cold but loads of sunshine. We took the boys to a park and WOW, they could not be happier. While we sat in the sun they ran around, putting their hands in the sand to make piles and throw them over again. They found little stones and flowers to show us. They found sticks and leafs to play with, ran up and down on little hills, felt the trees and plants and looked at ducks. Time flew and we did not feel the cold at all. We go outside everyday but they usually don’t last that long. It’s incredible how much a little sunshine can do. It was like a whole new world outside had opened up to them.

Candle light dinner

No this is not a post about a romantic evening. This is about getting your toddlers to eat. Our latest success formula starts with candle light! Read and learn peeps, hopefully this trick can be used on all toddlers 😉

As the days were getting darker due to winter times I decided it was time to light candles more often. I also thought it was a good idea to make the boys a bit more aware of fire and especially the dangers of it, as many people we visit in winter have candles in their houses. So I put two candles on the dinner table and explained our boys about their use and dangers.

They were mesmerised. Not specifically by the pretty flickering light, but mainly by the idea that they could blow it out. Of course I did not want them to do this yet, I had just lit the candles. So I said they could blow out the candles, one each, after they finished their dinner.

This resulted in them eating quicker than I’ve ever seen. Their plates were clean before I had the first bite of my dinner. Wow! Of course I kept my promise and they could blow out a candle each. It was not easy, as they had hardly ever done this, but they managed. Next day the same happened. And the next. And the next.

It  has been weeks now and every day they finish their dinner in order to be allowed to blow out a candle. Nothing makes them happier, they even ask for candles at lunch now haha.They have gotten really good at it too and it only takes a few blows before they succeed. So when they will turn three later this year, they can actually blow out the candles on their birthday cake, another bonus. And they behave very carefully around the candles, are very aware of its danger.

So all in all this was a great win. But the biggest bonus of course is a relatively hassle free dinner with two toddlers.

Stormy weather

Very stormy weather in the Netherlands and Belgium today. Cold, rainy and really hard winds. Definitely not weather to go outside. I hate it and I know the boys are quite afraid of the wind blowing hard.

But of course they want to go outside. And trying to reason with them and explain they don’t like the wind does not work. So I get them their jackets and hats and tell them they can go outside. I open the back door and don’t even bother to put my jacket on. I take them to the windiest point I can find. My point is made within seconds.

“Mommy, want to go inside,” they cry after the first gust of wind.
Mommy smiles.

Twin politics…

The winter months bring a lot of rain to Brussels. This means I get soaked a lot because waiting for the rain to stop and only bringing your children to school when it’s dry, is apparently not done.
The boys also don’t like the winter weather. They especially hate strong winds. ‘Make it stop mommy,’ they tell me. If only I could. So often the boys are under the plastic cover to keep them warm and dry.

But twins would not be twins if they did not have different opinions. So one of the boys always wants to be under the cover, the other one often does not like it. ‘I want to be in the rain,’ he yells in frustration while trying to kick the plastic off.
Sigh, so what do you do here as a twin-mom? I tried to explain many times that they had to work this out, seeing that we only have one big cover and one of them really does not want to get wet, but somehow their debate skills are not up to that yet.

In the end I tried to compromise and fumbled around with the plastic until I had a solution that satisfied them both but looks very strange.
Not to mention the look on the faces of many passers-by, wondering why one of my kids is getting soaked in the rain. Guess they never had a determined toddler…

The Styrofoam incident…

So last Sunday morning we were quite tired after having some friends over for an end of the year-party. But as anyone with children knows, sleeping in is not likely. So when I heard one of the boys waking up, admittedly only around 8.15, I was really not ready to get up yet. I gave him his milk and tried to convince him to sleep a bit more. But he wanted to play. So I turned on the lights and the heating and told him to enjoy himself with the toys in the living room. I would be 3 meters away, in bed, if he needed anything. He seemed all right with that.
I heard him play nicely with the Duplo and my mind quickly faded into sleep. Around half an hour later I suddenly realised it was too quiet. And too quiet is never a good sign.
I got up and found my son in the hallway, very happy and surrounded by something that looked like white snow. I rubbed my eyes, what was this? The snow got thicker and thicker towards the Christmas tree in the living room and there the whole floor was covered in white stuff.

Then I realised what had happened. He had taken one of the decoration gifts from the Christmas tree and opened it. And then he had taken the Styrofoam block inside and crumbled it into a thousand pieces. I did not know whether to cry or laugh.
I managed to get the next block out of his hands just in time to prevent an even bigger mess. Of course this is when our other son woke up and wanted to play with all this cool white stuff on the floor.

Lesson learned: even the most gallant toddlers can not be trusted. And another one: the sound of the vacuum cleaner is not what you want to hear first thing in the morning, before you’ve even had your morning tea.