Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Ways I try to Rationalize with My Toddler


Okay, if I could start the process all over again, I would have taught Lil' Lewie to sign, and I probably would have bought him those 'Your Baby Can Read' videos.  In the end, I'm sure it would have helped me communicate better with my two year old, and perhaps, it would even have helped me explain to him why certain rules exist.

In any case, I feel like I'm constantly telling my two year old what he can and can't do.  I try to rationalize with him, and when all else fails, I even try to bribe him.  Whether you refer to them as the "terrible" twos or the "terrific" twos, you have to admit that this is an interesting age.  They're old enough to get into mischief but still too young to understand why they're not allowed to do certain things.  In my house, I sound like a broken record as I repeat the rules over and over again.  (Can you imagine?  Our children aren't going to understand the meaning of this phrase unless any of us have a record player at home.  I feel old.)

If anyone has a toddler right now or remembers the toddler years, this top ten is for you.

10.  "No.  You can't flush the toilet anymore.  What did I say?  Yes, there has to be pee pee in the potty.  Uh, did you flush it again?  That's it.  No more bathroom for you. Common we're done.  March, march, march."

9.  "Books are our friends.  We're gentle with the pages.  See.  Look how nice Mommy flips the pages.  Okay, if you're not going to be gentle, Mommy's going to take it away!"

8.  "The stove is HOT.  No, you can't go near the stove while Mommy is trying to take out our dinner.  What did I say?  No, you can't come here.  Okay, let's sit in Mr. Highchair (or Mr. Booster-seat), okay?"

7.  "Mommy has to get ready for work, okay?  I can't have you touch the HOT curling iron.  Come here.  Let's watch some TV.  Let's see--how about Little Bill or Ni Hao Kai Lan?  There.  That's much more fun for you."

6.  "No, you can't have Daddy's potato chips.  (Stern glare at Daddy from me.)  Come with me in the kitchen.  Hmmmm.  I see something yummy.  Why don't we have this banana?  No?  Yes, bananas will help you grow big and strong.  Common....Um, look Mommy just took a bite of the banana.  Mommy loves bananas..."

5.  "No.  No touching the buttons on the TV please.  What did Mommy say?  Right, Mommy said NO!"

4.  "No throwing things.  We don't throw things in the house.  Look your toy is your friend.  You don't throw it.  Now give your toy a kiss and tell him you're sorry."

3.  I said you can't touch that water cooler.  Alright Mister, if you touch it again, you're going into time-out.  That's it.  Off to time-out we go.  You know Mommy said no, right?"

2.  "Please eat these last few carrots for Mommy. only have three more to go.  Here let's count them while we eat.  If you eat them, Mommy will let you have a yummy treat....maybe you'll get a cookie."

1.  "Please stop screaming in the car.  I know you're tired.  We're almost home.  I can't concentrate with the screaming.  Please.  Okay.  Okay.  Here, I'll give you some of Mommy's snack.  Please stop screaming..."

Bonus:  "What did Mommy say? Yes, if you're a good boy in the store, Mommy will take you to the park.  Yes, we'll go on the SWINGS (emphasis) and SLIDE, and you can play with your SCOOTER.  We're going to have a good time.  Mommy just needs to get a few more things.  Yes, you have to be patient!  Please be a good boy, please."  (Desperation at its finest...)

Still, no matter how many times I say these things throughout the day, who can resist a little munchkin like this?


  1. Oh boy! Nate is a full year younger than Little Lewie and I already feel your pain. I hate saying "NO" all day long. It sucks. But I am not above bribery. How horrible is it that I'm excited that he's old enough to bribed with a cookie? Clearly there is a long road of NOs ahead of us...

  2. What a great list, mine is not a toddler anymore but, sure enough even if she understand we are still having similar conversations over and over. Happy Tuesday!

  3. Happy to be your newest follower from TTA!


  4. following you from the tuesday blog hop
    I hope you get a chance to check out my blog

  5. Annette, I hate to break the news to you, but even after the toddler years your sweet little baby still won't listen. Ha! I think this lasts until well past the teen years. Ugh! Hang in there! I hope you are doing well! Have a great day!

    Mama Hen

  6. LOL! Uh oh, Avery's not even two yet and I already say all of those things to her! I've done number 1 so many times...and number 5...and number 8...who am I kidding I feel like I do all of them all the time! Ugh, I can't imagine what she's going to be like when she's 2!

  7. Ugh, when my daughter was 2, she LOVED time-outs!

  8. Oh my, I could totally have written a few of these myself! What a fun post, I may have to borrow, okay steal, this idea for a post soon too! Hope you are having a great one. Rationalizing with wee ones is fun isn't it?! :)

  9. Hello!
    I'm your newest follower Mrs. Goldilocks from the Tuesday Follow Me Back blog hop! I would love if you could visit my blog and follow me back too! Thank you so much and i hope you have a splendid Tuesday!

  10. Oh my sound just like me, about 15 years ago! I did the big EMPHASIS on words that were IMPORTANT, and talked so much to my little ones....
    Funny post!

  11. love the post. two's were a love/dislike age for me.... anyway... your newest blog hop follower. happy tuesday. would *love* a follow back. you can find me at:

  12. LOL, I can so relate to this list and my oldest is almost four! I honestly don't think the "broken record" part ever ends when you are a mom! Kids just naturally don't want to listen. Sure they will but that doesn't mean they want to! Thank you for the good laugh! At least you know you are not alone!

  13. I love him! And seriously, why do people call it the terrible twos? Two wasn't so bad for us...three is bad. Scotty is stubborn and so hard to reason with at times! I've gotten him to the point now where I usually just have to ask him "do you want me to be nice about this or mean?" and he'll behave. That's just a small portion of the time though :) They get away with murder because they are so darn cute and hard to resist...


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