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Katy England Katy England
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I second that emotion

March 4, 2014
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Being a toddler is hard. Being a toddler with two other toddlers the same age is even harder especially when they want your stuff. Most 2-year-olds have a skewed sense of ownership. They want all the toys they see, and woe should any other tot be playing with it.

Seeing one of your kids upset we're talking beyond sad, we're talking heart-rending despair, wailing, sobbing, inconsolable because someone is playing with a truck is in turns horrifying, hilarious and well, sad (sorry, only so many synonyms I feel comfortable using).

It doesn't take much to set it off. Can't have all three trucks? Heartbreak. Can't watch 'Mighty Machines' right this second? Beat the breast. Mom can't magically produce more blueberries after you ate them all? The world is ending.

For the sake of clarity, this isn't the fake, whiney manipulation that I have also learned to be familiar with. These are real feelings. They are ludicrous, not appropriate to the situation and truly unnecessary, but that doesn't make them less real. 

The only way I've found to counter the despair is with hugs and distractions. I mean, sure, you can give him a time out for having a meltdown, but it doesn't seem to stop the meltdown. 

Singing used to work. I would feel like a full-on Bard from Dungeons and Dragons you know, where you improve someone's disposition just by singing. That was me, dammit, but for real. Having an epic cry fest? Sing his favorite song tears are reduced to snuffles in seconds.

Not anymore. Now there's wheedling. Asking the same question over and over, only to dissolve into tears when the answer remains 'no,' (and it will, especially when you're asking to stay up past bedtime. Sorry).

Just recently we had friends come over with their son and infant baby. In addition to having a grand time with their new and bigger friend, the kids were in for a delightful surprise. They brought some toys to share they were cars Hot Wheels, figures from the Disney Movie 'Cars' and 'Planes' and more. Readers of my column will know that my kids love cars. Love them with an emotion that is fierce and hot like a sun. And when it was time for their fun new friend to return home and for them to go to bed, havoc ensued. Because love at first sight is real and horrible.  

The next morning, my dude started asking about the cars and his new friend, and when he realized they were well and truly gone well, you can imagine. His own little cars paled in comparison. Mom and Dad are not a cool bigger kid who shares toys, and life can't possibly go on.

Except it does. There's not much a couple hugs and banana oatmeal can't fix. At least for a little while.

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