Toddlers and Air Travel

The rule about toddlers and air travel goes like this:  everyone loves toddlers at the gate.  It’s cute to see them waddle around, try and offer their half-eaten snack or toy stuffed lamb to a business man. Even the disgruntled United gate attendant will care. But then on the plane it is a different story. No one wants to sit next to you or your family. Not even other parents. Because they, especially, know how it’s going to go, and they would like to distance themselves from you.

A toddler strapped to a chair via CARES Harness in a semi-foreign environment when he has missed his nap window and been offered juice, not cut in half with water, is a nightmare similar to the Shoe Bomber. But in this case he doesn’t know what he wants, and his MO is to push his mommy’s buttons and make her look bad. It’s right about then that some other mom darts a look of utter judgement. There is no sense trying to exert any control over the situation at this point. The only thing to do is to offer chocolate chip cookies and get wine for yourself.

High-Pitched Wailing

Dear Toddler of Mine,

You were fine at bedtime. Now, an hour in, while I am enjoying a beer (because I’m trying to lay off the red wine for a week) and watching a bad Michael J. Fox movie on FX, you are suddenly wailing, and I wish I could figure out what you needed from me. I could go to your room and ask you, you know, in my soft-mommy-caring way, but then you’re going to lift your arms up and say my name in the sad-sad-baby way, and then hiccup breathe with your lips trembling. And you know no mommies can take that.

I do not want to create a cycle, whereby I reward you for your high-pitched wailing, and then you continue to expect my consolation. I mean, learning to fall asleep on your own is a skill you need to develop, right?

Go forth and wail, and hopefully, you’ll simmer to a whimper, realize you’re extremely tired, and go back to sleep.

xxx Mommy


Moms I judge:

1. Wear dress-up workout gear like Juicy Couture sweats, have no intention of working out. These are more like outside pajamas.
2. Breast feed their toddlers. Toddlers are more like kids. They talk, have opinions, use cutlery, like to chew their food. It’s just weird.
3. Use too many acronyms on Baby Center message boards and then (mis)spell out dumb shit.

Usage of Cutlery

Sometimes it’s cute how you try to use your toddler cutlery. Like how you hold a fork in one hand and then shovel food into your mouth with your other hand. Or how when you do use your spoon, you scoop up peas and only one lone pea remains by the time you get the spoon to your mouth. That is probably incredibly frustrating.

Clean hands are very important for this reason. I recognize this practice delays snack times and dinner times, but you can rest assured there is less risk of virus transferred from that other kid’s toy or from ingesting larvae from the stagnant water at the base of the slide that you wanted to “clean” before you came down.

xxx Mommy

Why I Love

1. They store my information, like my credit card and my recent purchases, making it easy to restock in three seconds.

2. When they say tomorrow delivery, they mean it.

3. S**t arrives in one box. Two max.

4. They have additional stores that I can easily navigate to, like or and it arrives together. (See reason #3).

5. I can shop and feel like an attentive mother while I am at work, where I also multi-task, because if I look busy, people think twice about asking me something I won’t know the answer to anyway.

6, Free shipping over $49.

7. It’s like their customer service knows what I’m going through. “Aw, sorry about that [one-time delay shipping that box]. That’s probably the last thing you need to worry about.” Which was an actual direct quote.

8. No one likes going to Babies R’ Us if they don’t have to.

9. They pick up the phone. I don’t have to navigate voicemail.

Toddler Meltdowns

Some poor mom on writes:

“my 18 month old son throws a tantrum by banging his head on the floor wall for the dresser of the couch anything around him he’s constantly got a bruise on his forehead and it’s so scary to me and I don’t know if this is common and if im reacting too much giving him the impresion that this is how to get my attention.i need some advice…”

09.25.2012  |  2:19 PM

So…it’s October 12th, and radio silence–not even so much as a “Hang in there,” and we know how much these moms love to get all Lifetime on these boards and blogs.

I am sending this mom a cocktail and Calgon. Oh, and a toddler helmet. Because I have absolutely no advice for her and I am just thankful that my toddler daughter doesn’t self-inflict pain, even in her most intense meltdowns. Throwing herself on the floor and getting grass stains on her leggings is something I can manage or walk away from if I have to to prove a point.

Bath Water

Let me break it down for you. You poop in a diaper. That poop sticks to your skin. We remove the diaper and clean you off as best as we can, but we can’t ensure that wipes can get rid of all the microscopic poos, naked to the grown-up’s eye. And need we point out, you don’t actually lay still long enough for us to wipe you thoroughly. So then we put you in the baby tub, and that is how we clean you properly. After a few minutes of playing in there, because someone decided that bath time is a fun ritual, and just long enough for dirt and microscopic poos to properly steep into the warm, soapy water, you find it irresistible to drink it from those colorful nesting cups you’ve been playing with. That is really gross.

xxx Mommy


Today you spoke incessantly. I nodded. I engaged. From the moment you awoke–bleary-eyed, hair askew and various bangs growing at different pace (or maybe I should not have attempted to cut your hair myself)– to the moment we were reunited and then all through dinner and story time, you blathered. The cadence was so believable, and yet I could only make out certain words: “Mommy,” “Milk,” “{B}up”, “Bye-Bye.”

What are you pointing at? I’m sorry that I have gotten you addicted to coconut water and that, in my head, it’s not at all like juice, also because I cut it with water.

I am also sorry that I inadvertently taught you to say the word “s**t” yesterday (I mean, I’ve really made an effort to not curse), but you pronounced it perfectly.

Most of all, I’m sorry that I don’t have the imagination to carry on the conversation with you, like I hear other moms doing with their toddlers when they drop them off or pick them up from school. I guess I’m just preparing you for adolescence and, ultimately, setting you up for success. Not everyone in life is going to tell you what you want to hear in the form of positive reinforcement. You will not always have others around you be able to anticipate your needs.

But I love you and love that you’re tracking against beyond 25 words at 18 months. Baby Center told me that’s where we need to be.

xxx Mommy