1) You can't control the bewitching hour. But you can beat your kids at their own game. Every night, starting at 5:30, when I'm trying to tidy up and start dinner, Niall becomes a "Stage 5 Clinger"-- whining incessantly and clinging to my leg, howling "MaaaMaaaaa!!!" Toys don't work, but letting your kid "do the seasoning for dinner" does...
**Note: be sure the caps are tightly screwed on... another lesson learned
2) Some kids are just injury prone. I've stopped getting upset when we have to change our plans to go to the doctor's almost once a week. I just try to leave some room on the calendar to pencil in "urgent care" every 10 days or so. If Niall isn't struck with illness, he's massively injured himself. From splinters that take days to pull out... to stitches in the lip... to an entire side of the face mangled from falling at the park... you just have to hope that people believe you when you swear that you are not beating your kid.
3) Sometimes it's not worth a fight. Even though I usually end up with 3 less credit cards than I started with, I have learned that when Niall is in one of his... "determined" moods, it is easier to let him tear our wallets apart than to tell him he can't have it.
Sometimes he wants to play with a stick that is bigger than his entire body... and though my first instinct is to say "No, no, Niall" and explain why he can't have it, I say "Sure, cowboy, you show that stick who's boss." I try to give Niall boundaries and I think I do a pretty good job, but sometimes you just have to give in.
That's all I got for now. Do you have any secrets for raising a toddler??
Niall loves your votes!