Life after toddlerhood

After running errands the other day my husband turned to me and said, “When will we be able to leave the house again?”

It was an especially trying outing with our almost 2-year-old. Attempts to get a handful of things from the store included several meltdowns, thrown items, tears and screams.

But of course, we did it again soon after and will continue to do it. Miles needs to get used to being out and about and to put into practice the manners we are attempting to teach him. And we have to continue to live our lives.

Michael jokes that for us to leave the house takes about 20 minutes just to get the arsenal of things ready. I figure we need to have sufficient reinforcements to head off boredom, tantrums, hunger, etc. Once the bag is completely packed we load up the car and are off.

Toddlers and eating can be a messy proposition. This was from Thanksgiving. (Note, he tore his bib off!)Sunday we ran a couple errands and then headed to Eastland Mall so Miles could ride the train. He’d seen it one other time and was dying to do it. He was so excited but the moment the train started he clung on me and started to whimper. About three-quarters of the way through he finally started to enjoy it, hopping off of my lap and going to the tiny train window waving at people walking through the mall.

A stop at the play area was in order and then dinner.

“Are you sure you are up for this?” Michael asked. I nodded bravely and we were off, bag full of goodies in tow.Toddlers and eating can be a messy proposition. This was from Thanksgiving. (Note, he tore his bib off!)

We’ve got some strategies down — he loves to drink our drinks so I’ve started ordering him his own cup (water of course) so I don’t have to get baby backwash in my own. I lay before him crackers and Craisins and he is occupied for a few moments.

As he bores with one thing another comes out, toys that are special for when we are out, not the things he plays with regularly in the house. I’ve got a clementine orange, a sippie cup with carrot and apple juice and, for those worst case scenarios, a pacifier.

Things went pretty well last night. There were no tears, only a few things thrown to the floor and no broken dishes. I’d call that a success!

So when Michael or I say in exasperation after a not so successful outing, “When will we ever be able to leave the house again?” I’ll remind myself of good times like this one and say, “Tomorrow, and it will be better!”

What are your

strategies for going out with your toddlers? What is the best distraction for those fussy times?

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