For the first year of Captain Destructo's life, she was an angel. If she crawled somewhere I didn't want her to, I simply turned her around and she would crawl away with nary a sound. Then, she turned one.
Now I know she's only one. I know all of you with two and three year olds are saying "oh, just you wait!" I know, okay? But oh, my, gosh. The switch from baby to toddler happened so fast and so completely that I'm still a little bit in shock.
Captain Destructo started walking the week before her birthday. I clapped and videotaped her first steps and was genuinely excited. For about 6 seconds. Then she toddled past my open arms and into the kitchen, and I realized my life was over. We had done our best to babyproof the house but she quickly proved that it wasn't enough.
Whoever designed my house has clearly never had kids or hates all moms, because the switch for the garbage disposal is on the side of the island about 2 feet off the ground, perfect Captain reaching distance. The first time she flipped the switch, I was across the room and heard the sound. "Captain Destructo, no ma'am," I said as I moved her to another room. 10 seconds later, I heard the disposal again. "Captain, NO." I said, and again moved her. You can imagine the rest.....the garbage disposal switching on about 15 more times and me saying no more forcefully each time. This scene happens nearly every day. I've tried taping over the switch (she pulls it off), clapping while saying no (she laughs), and even popping her on the hand (she looks at me, smacks her own hand while saying "no no no"). So basically I am at a complete loss. Now she will walk to the switch, look at me, turn it on and immediately hold her hand out to me, as if to say, "go ahead and punish me, it's worth it."
In my desperation I read the book The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp. Happiest Baby on the Block saved me during her infancy so I had high hopes for this one. The book likens toddlers to cavemen (which I totally get) and encourages you to growl at them to get them to understand no. Umm...ok. Willing to try anything at this point, I growled....and she growled back. The next suggestion is starting time outs at age one. I admit I have yet to try this as it confuses me so much. I was a teacher and a master of time outs for gradeschoolers. But I can't get her to stay in one place for more than 10 seconds, even when bribed with toys and snacks. How do you get an active 15 month old to sit in time out? Really. Not rhetorical.
So that leaves me where I am today. I am trying various mean voices/loud sounds while saying no to try and keep my daughter from grinding my fingers in the garbage disposal. Can't wait for her to turn 2.
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