Tag Archives: toddler ocd

Toddler Feng Shui

After the recent acquisition of a toddler bed and a load of kid furniture from IKEA, Rose’s room was looking ridiculous. Both kid rooms were so full that we couldn’t even unload the IKEA furniture from the car so I could start building it. I drove around with that stuff in my van for a week. Operation Room Share had to take place whether Rose was sleeping well or not.

Rose's room seriously stayed like this for 2 months!

About 3 weeks ago, we moved the full-sized bed and crib out of Rose’s room and into Lily’s room and we moved Lily’s twin-sized bed into Rose’s room. I still had some IKEA furniture to build, but the girls were officially room sharers. Believe it or not, they were actually very excited about the change and Rose and Lily slept just fine in their beds for the next week before I finally got around to building some furniture. Rose’s bed looked like this.

The next week, I built Lily a wardrobe.

When I first saw the IKEA Mammut collection, I couldn't figure out if I was crazy or brilliant for wanting to buy it. I've decided brilliant.

Rose was ok the first few nights after we moved things around, but then she started showing up in our room a lot in the middle of the night. Since she was ok the first night the wardrobe was in the room, I didn’t think the new arrangements were upsetting her.

The next weekend, I built Rose a dresser.

If that quilt were centered, this would be the perfect ladybug room, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Within a couple days, she absolutely refused to sleep in her toddler bed anymore. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. We could say it was the changed furniture, but she really loved her dresser and the wardrobe. She seemed to like having Lily in there with her.

What was particularly odd about this was that she preferred sleeping in Lily’s OLD room. True, the beds in Lily’s old room used to be Rose’s, but it’s not like she was used to sleeping in there. She had LOVED her toddler bed when we brought it home and slept in it every night up until this point. I just couldn’t figure it out.

She wasn’t adjusting to things If anything, every night things were getting worse. She wasn’t even sneaking to other rooms anymore. She wouldn’t even touch her toddler bed anymore.

Finally, my mother suggested that maybe Rose felt insecure with her bed being perpendicular to the wall instead of parallel to it.

And so, I turned her bed back three nights ago. It looks completely stupid.

No longer Better Homes and Garden-worthy.

Not only did she agree to sleep in the toddler bed again, she pretty much jumped in it and refused to get out. She’s slept the whole night through in her own bed every night since we turned her bed back.

Apparently, Rose’s feng shui was off when her bed was perpendicular to the wall. In order to get a good night’s sleep, she needs to be parallel to it. I guess.

Or it’s just another case of Toddler OCD raising its ugly head.

The room looks insane now and I may need to unbolt the furniture to rearrange it again and expose the ugly drilling mistakes we made trying to get things right (we fail at tools), but Rose is happy and sleeping again.

I guess that’s all that matters, but my own amateur design eye flinches when I see the room the way it is now. I guess anything is better than what was going on when we had a full-sized bed, toddler bed AND crib in there and were stuck in limbo waiting for the room swap?



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Sensitive Soul

I just had photos developed and I swapped out some of the old pictures I had hanging in the house for new ones. Among them was one of my favorite pictures of Rose of all time.

That’s right, it’s a picture of her crying. I’ve posted it here before because I think the photo is hilarious. It’s the ultimate ironic picture of a child. Her shirt says “Guaranteed to make you smile” while her face is all dramarama tantrum. The tantrum was about a pair of sunglasses that weren’t cooperating with her. I assure you she was not needlessly suffering. It was just a terrible two moment.

Anyway, I framed the photo even though it is a picture of a kid crying. I love this photo that much. It always makes me smile.

Rose apparently feels much differently about the photo.

She first noticed the picture two days ago. Every time she passes it she stares at it and says “Oh no! Rose is crying!” At first, this was amusing, then yesterday she came up to me with a very sad face and crawled in my lap.

“Rose is crying,” she said.

“You’re not crying.”

“Yes, there,” she pointed to the picture and looked very sad.

“Does that make you sad?” I asked and her eyes filled with tears.

And I felt like the worst mom in the world.

Apparently Rose is not old enough to appreciate the irony of the “Guaranteed to make you smile” crying picture. Seeing herself cry makes her sad. She apparently really feels for herself… it’s way more sympathy than she shows when her sister is crying. So, the picture of Rose crying is coming down and the old picture of our Korean wedding ceremony is going back in its place. If I had known the picture would upset her so much, I never would have framed it!


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If you couldn’t tell from the museum post, we just got back from a week-long trip to Dr. Toy Warden’s parents’ house in St. Louis. Sorry posting this week was on the light side! I will make up for it next week.

During this trip, Rose spent a lot of time with her same-age cousin, who was staying in the same house as us. She got VERY possessive of me. Whenever he was even in the room with us, she would run to me, stand in front of me, put her hand out and say “NO! THIS IS MY MOMMY!” as if her cousin would try to take me.

The defensiveness has extended to other toddlers. She doesn’t care if I hold a baby, but if a toddler walks near me in public she yells “NO! THIS IS MY MOMMY!”

I guess I’m an item to be coveted. No sharing allowed. Other parents just sort of chuckle when this happens and I shrug my shoulders and tell her the other kid wasn’t trying to take me and she shouldn’t yell… but I have to admit: I kind of like it.

At the very least, it’s funny.


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Cheeto or Carrot?

I love Cheetos, but I almost never buy them. In fact, I probably haven’t bought them in a bag for home since the kids were born. I’ll eat them occasionally at Subway, but I never bring a big bag home. The other day I was craving them so badly that I couldn’t resist temptation at the grocery store. I came home with a family-sized bag.

I offered one to Rose and she yelled “NO! NO I DON’T WANT A CARROT!”

I never realized before how alike baby carrots and Cheetos look.

I can see why she got confused, but she was denying herself delicious junk food over fear that the Cheeto might be a carrot. She usually likes carrots so I’m not sure what the problem was there! I tried to explain that it wasn’t a carrot, that it was a Cheeto and that it was delicious. As I was doing it, I wondered why the hell I was trying to convince my child to try junk food she didn’t want. It would probably be a good thing if she never realized what wonders Cheetos hold.

I was reminded of this time in the waiting room of my OB/GYN when 1.5-year-old Lily asked for an apple because she was hungry for a snack. I didn’t have an apple. All I had was 100-calorie pack Lorna Doone cookies. I told her I didn’t have an apple, so if she was hungry she’d have to eat cookies. She threw a fit while I tried to talk her into eating cookies over eating an apple. I felt like the worst mom ever because clearly an apple was a far better choice, but I was trying to force cookies on her! It was because she was hungry, but STILL. Why didn’t I have an apple? (Because they are a pain in the ass to carry in a diaper bag without bruising or turning brown, that’s why.)

She eventually did try a Cheeto, but didn’t seem to like it much. An hour later, she threw up. It was probably unrelated, but maybe I should listen the next time my kid tells me she doesn’t want junk food– even if the reason she doesn’t want it is because she mistakes it for health food!


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Friday Funnies: An Underwear Tale

I got Lily underwear for Hanukkah. Wait! I swear my intentions were good! I know it sounds like the worst possible presents– like one of those horror stories of what your parents’ got you as a present– but I swear I was given a million not so subtle hints that she really really wanted new underwear.

Now, Lily’s pre-existing underwear were fine. They still pretty much fit her even though she’s been wearing them since we started potty training. Despite this, every single time we were in a store near underwear, she’d seek it out and declare her lust over it.

This happened REPEATEDLY. For months. She wanted Tinker Bell, My Little Pony and Disney princess underwear more than anything. She would go on and on about how she would get this underwear when she grew a little and was bigger. She could not wait to get this underwear.

So even though her old underwear still pretty much fit, I upgraded her a size and bought her four packs of new underwear for Hanukkah: Tinker Bell, Rapunzel, My Little Pony and classic Disney princess underwear. I gave them to her all on one night– it was one of our more expensive nights because each pack of underwear was about $10. Because of all pre-Hanukkah excitement over underwear, I imagined we had viral video material when she opened these things. I mean, who the hell thinks underwear is exciting but a 4 year old? Or a Victoria Secrets designer?

This is what I thought would happen when she opened it:

And this is what actually happened when she opened it:

After all the hype in the store, this was pretty disappointing.

I mean, you’d think she’d be at least a little bit excited about something she’d been asking for with enthusiasm for MONTHS. I began to question my judgment as a mother. Did I really just get my daughter underwear for Hanukkah? Am I THAT mother? Surely I can do better than that. I wouldn’t have gotten it for her as a gift if I didn’t think she REALLY wanted it.

I was sort of glum for the rest of the night as she enthusiastically helped her little sister put her new puzzle together. Later when I took her up to bed, I finally got a hint that she did indeed want the underwear. She went through her drawer and looked at each and every pair of new underwear, proudly announcing what she would be wearing on her butt later.

And then, the next day she said something that confirmed I was not crazy after all.

I knew it! I KNEW she wanted underwear for Hanukkah.

I just wish she’d given us that viral video when she opened it.

Hope your gift-giving garners more initial enthusiasm than mine has.


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The REAL Hanukkah still doesn’t start until tomorrow, but here at the Toy Warden’s house we are going to celebrate night 6 of Wheneveryouwannukah tonight. This makeshift Hanukkah is going great, though we did skip a night of candle lighting due to a late nap butting up to a Christmas party we were supposed to go to. Oops. Seriously, it is hard to find time for the ritual eight nights in a row. I mean, it’s great to have a long celebration, but in the real world when you aren’t that religious and the rest of the world is another religion (not to mention it’s not technically Hanukkah yet), it’s very difficult to hit every night right.

This year, I’d hoped to make Lily understand that most people do not blow out their Hanukkah candles every night. In fact, you are supposed to let them burn out. That’s why Hanukkah candles come in packs of 45.

It was not to be. The second my girls see lit candles, they want to blow them out. Considering that this is what happens at birthday parties, I can’t say I blame them for thinking this is what is supposed to happen. The fact that we sing while we’re lighting the candles and we open presents after certainly adds to their feeling that candle blowing MUST happen.

The not-so time-honored tradition of blowing out the candles.

So every single night, we light the candles and then we blow them out. It might be sacrilegious, but it makes the kids really happy. It also solves the fire hazard problem of leaving candles burning for an hour with little kids who desperately want to touch them and are really too young to be trusted to follow fire safety guidelines.

Maybe someday we’ll let our candles burn down properly, but for now, our candle-lighting ritual ends birthday-cake style.



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Friday Funnies: Prison Break

Ever since we put 4-year-old Lily in her big girl bed, she’s acted like there was an electrified force field around it. She never ever gets out of bed by herself. Ever since we potty trained her, I’ve been begging her to get out and go to the potty in the middle of the night. She won’t do it. She won’t come out in the morning, even if I call her from downstairs and ask her to do it. She will only get out of bed if I am in the room with her.

Two-year-old Rose has been in her big girl bed for several months now. She seems to have figured out that there is no force field around her bed. Or maybe she found the button to turn hers off.

Whatever the case, she does not always stay in her bed. At first we had a baby gate on her door, but she learned how to open it so we took it off. So, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we don’t hear her if she wanders off somewhere she doesn’t quite belong. Now, most kids would figure out pretty quickly that middle of the night means Mommy and Daddy are in their room. Not Rose.

One night, I woke up at 3 am to hear screaming coming from Lily’s room.

I think it was a shock to her that everyone was still asleep.

About a week later, I woke up in the middle of the night to hear crying. I had to look for Rose a long time before I found her in our living room on the first floor. She walked downstairs in the dark, walked down the hall and got to the living room before she freaked out and realized she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Where was I at 3 am? How could I not be awake and playing in the living room? Isn’t that my job?

Stuff like this happened for a while until this week, when she finally caught on and this happened:

I was about to kick what I thought was Lumpy, our dog, off my feet. Luckily, I looked down first to discover Rose.

Amazingly, thanks to the force field in Lily’s room, this is the first time I’ve woken up to discover a child has put herself in my bed even though I’ve been a parent for 4 years. There were times when I was nursing at night that I claimed that a baby must have jumped out of her crib and put herself in bed with me because I didn’t remember going to get her, but this was the first time I know for sure I didn’t put the kid there myself.

And because this was the only force field deactivation event that didn’t end in tears and my having to be awake for at least an hour, I’ll take it. A king-sized bed would make tolerating this turn of events a lot easier, but I can deal with being crowded in bed over being forced to watch an hour of 3 am cartoons to calm down a traumatized child.

I have to say, though, I much prefer having a child without a force field to having one with it. In the morning, Rose comes cheerfully downstairs by herself to get her breakfast. Meanwhile, getting her 4 year old sister out of bed still requires the amount of effort on my part as it did when she was a baby.

Oh, Lily, when are you going to break out of your force field? I’d REALLY like to stop buying pull-ups. Among other things.


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Friday Funnies: Bananas

My kids pretend like they LOVE bananas. When they see that we have bananas, they freak out and demand to eat them.

I would split a banana between them, but neither one of them wants a banana that’s cut up. They both insist on starting a banana from the top while it’s still in the peel. All other forms of banana are absolutely unacceptable. Apparently, they taste horrible if you eat them from any other point than from the top. So I give them each a whole banana even though I KNOW it will be a bad idea.

No matter how excited they were to see the bananas, no matter how hungry they claimed to be, I always get the banana back like this.

That’s right, all that excitement about a banana, but in the end, a good 90% of the banana ends up uneaten. And my children will only eat fresh whole bananas.

Often after I get this abused, neglected banana back, they will ask for another snack. I will direct them to the wasted banana. I mean, I guess I could eat the rest of the banana, but sometimes I’m not hungry. Besides which, I only vaguely like bananas. I have to be in the right mood to eat one. I could save the banana, but I really have no use for it later. The kids won’t eat it because it already has a bite out of it. It doesn’t matter that it’s something that particular kid bit herself, neither one of them will eat it. I guess if I were really ambitious, I would cut the bite off the banana and save it in a plastic bag until I had enough to make banana bread. That sounds like an awful lot of work to me.

And so, our garbage can becomes a banana graveyard. It’s ridiculously wasteful.

As of this week, I have instituted a new rule with Lily. If she asks me for a banana, she has to eat at least half of it or the next time she asks for a banana, she won’t get it. This rule seems to be working well. Her bananas are far more respectfully eaten than they once were. Unfortunately, this isn’t a rule that works well with a 2 year old.

Me: Eat more of your banana please.

Rose: NO!

Me: You have to eat more of your banana or I won’t get you one next time you ask. Eat it.

Rose: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! *screams*

So… yeah. We waste a ton of bananas at our house and it drives me crazy. I suppose I could stop giving them bananas, but bananas are so good for them and sometimes they eat the whole thing. It’s just so hard to tell when I hand over a banana if it will actually be eaten or if it will get wasted.

Wow, I just said banana a lot.


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That One

Rose’s eyes are too big for her stomach. After Thanksgiving dinner, I took her up to the desserts on the counter and asked her which one she wanted.

Me: Do you want apple pie?

Rose: No! I want that one!

Me: Chocolate cake?

Rose: Yes, chocolate!

So I picked up this piece of chocolate cake and Rose started screaming.

Rose: NO! NO! NO! That one!

Me: Which one? It’s chocolate cake or apple pie!

Rose: I want that one!

I started pointing at each piece of dessert and she said no until I pointed at…

Almost 3/4 of a GIANT rich chocolate cake.

Rose: Yes! That one!

Obviously I couldn’t let my 2 year old consume one of the biggest, richest chocolate cakes I’ve ever seen. I mean, a ton of other people at Thanksgiving hadn’t had dessert yet. I’m sure if left to her own devices with a giant cake, she’d end up covered in chocolate from head to toe and when I’m traveling I’m just not equipped to handle such a disastrous mess. And I’m sure that type of overeating, somewhat on par with a hot dog eating champ’s consumption considering the cake was as big as she is, would result in Rose becoming very sick after the fact.

Me: Oh! Well, you can’t eat that BIG cake. You can have a piece of the cake like this one.

I tried to hand her a small piece of the cake again.

Rose: NO! I want that one!

Every adult in the room was cracking up at this point.

It turned out that Rose’s wee little toddler brain couldn’t comprehend that the first piece of cake came off of the giant cake. When I cut her a new piece of cake, as brilliantly suggested by my mother, she was as happy as a clam. She needed to physically see the piece of cake come off the big cake to accept that she was eating the same thing. Nothing we could say about the first piece of cake could convince her that it had anything to do with the big beautiful cake she wanted so badly.

Though she worked at this piece of cake a long time, barely any of it was consumed. Can you imagine what would have happened if we gave her the giant cake?


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Baby Clock

For ages, I’ve been searching for a reasonably priced clock for Rose’s room. It had to have red hearts on it. It had to be less than $20. It had to not make a ticking noise. I was held up by the ticking noise thing for some time because nothing in any product description has ever revealed if a ticking noise is involved. Finally, in a fit of whimsy, I bought Rose a $10 heart clock at Meijer the other day. I don’t have a picture of it, so let’s pretend it’s this one.

It wasn’t this one. I wish it was this one. This one is so much more perfect, though I’m insulted amazon describes it as a silly gift. It makes me question my tastes. Not a good selling point. I mean, yes, red hearts and ladybugs are obnoxious, but I’ve convinced myself that they are adorable in Rose’s room. And they are. Right? Right.

So I put the wall clock in the cart and Rose AND Lily start freaking out that they don’t want the wall clock. They want the “baby” clock. Let’s pretend it was this one.

It wasn’t this one. I wish it was. This is why we need a smartphone.

I tried to take the clock out of the cart and/or away from a kid, but every time I did, everyone got very upset.

“No Mommy! I don’t want the mommy clock! I want the baby clock!”

The clock was for them so it was hard to argue with them. But I really didn’t want the baby clock. First of all, Rose doesn’t have a dresser in her room so we don’t have a surface where it could sit. Second of all, I knew if Rose could reach the clock, she would mess with it constantly and it would never tell the real time. I wanted a wall clock in there so I could see the time and Rose couldn’t mess with it.

But they REALLY wanted the baby clock.

“What’s your problem? Get them the baby clock! We need more clocks anyway.”– Dr. Toy Warden

I didn’t want to spend that much money, but since Dr. Toy Warden is the maker and manager of the money I listened and we came home with two heart clocks.

Guess what’s been happening with the baby clock? Has it stayed on top of any dresser/bookshelf? Has it kept the right time at all? No, because small children have been playing with the dials constantly. They’ve also been setting off the alarm constantly and giggling wildly over it. This is why children should have wall clocks only. But whatever. Best $10 toy in a while in their book. Loud nightmare in mine.

Aside from the noise the girls didn’t know the baby clock made, I still don’t get why the baby clock is so superior to the mommy clock, but either way mommy clock is hanging on Rose’s wall displaying the correct time.

Unfortunately, both clocks making ticking noises that are only audible in the kids’ rooms AFTER you’ve thrown out the packing and the receipt. The ticking noises are so loud you can hear them on the baby monitor. Why, clock makers? Why must these clocks make noise? Is it an evil plot to annoy people or keep them awake? Why?

In any case, we now have $20 worth of clock we might not be keeping. Oh well.


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