Toddler Manipulation At It’s Finest

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Raise your hand if your little one(s) are experts at manipulation when it comes to bedtime? I’m over here waving my hands while jumping up and down. The struggle is R-E-A-L!

My daughter turns THREE in two weeks and has perfected the art of manipulation since she was 2 1/2. It truly fascinates me how quickly little ones learn this devilish tool. It’s to the point where her little smirks and wimpy, fake cries are making me torn between feeling frustrated and wanting to kiss her all over her face (because you know, she’s so dang cute)! I’m not sure about y’all, but each night we go through our semi-structured routine of singing Edelweiss (yep, I’m a sucker for The Sound of Music), reading a book (most nights), and ending with prayer. All goes great (typically, if I can get her to stay stinkin’ still) and then…IT begins…(and not the clown, although I feel like this is a repetitive nightmare haha)…

“Mama, I thirsty.”

“My tummy still hungry.”

“Kiss, please.”

“Oh! I need to go tee-tee!”

“One more hug please.”

“My turn to pray.”

“Daddy needs more hugs”

“I need you to lay right here for 5 minutes” (As if she comprehends time—insert eye roll)

AND as I leave the room, just when I think she’s settled…

“MOM!!!” (multiplied times 5)

The list of excuses to keep me there is on-going and I want SO badly for her to just.go.to.sleep!

It’s easy to become agitated, overwhelmed, and sometimes down right angry, but I often have to remind myself that she will not do this forever.

She will not want to cling to me and do everything in her power to get out of bedtime, just to be near me. She is so fiercely independent yet still loves her mama a lot, even if that means making bedtime like working overtime without compensation. Some nights, even in the midst of what seems like never-ending madness, I find myself sticking around— snuggling with her because part of me will miss her overnight. If I stay a little longer, I pray for her more or I sit and stare in complete amazement of her little beauty. It’s the best! What an internal, emotional battle we face as moms! Cherish those moments mama, even when you want to pull your hair out! It won’t be like forever!

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Natalie is a born and raised Texan originally from Kerrville, Texas who is a hill country girl at heart. She graduated from Texas Woman's University with her master's in Counseling and is in private practice at Waco Psychological Associates as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Natalie married a Baylor bear and was blessed with a sweet little girl in June of 2016 and a son in heaven in March of 2018. We love calling Waco, home! In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, good music, anything sport-related (former soccer player here), and making memories with family and friends. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @natpaigejones

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