Sydney has never been an easy child.  I think the only thing that came easily to her was sleeping, and for that, I am thankful.  She was a hard baby (yes I’ve refered to her as ‘angry‘…if you had spent a goodly amount of time with her you would have too), and is proving to be an even harder toddler.  I know all toddlers are ‘hard’ but Sydney is defiant to a point of insanity and is this way…often.  Too often.

I returned today from my first parent-teacher ‘incident’ conference as it seems my difficult child has taken up biting at school.  On top of learning more about all the biting episodes, I also got to hear about how she throws fits when told ‘no’, throws her self screaming on the floor if she doesn’t want to do something, and how her first response to a teacher asking her to do something is always a snotty “No!”.   I’m…let’s say…not proud?  Nor surprised.  I’ve been dealing with all of this at home for months.  Hearing it for the first time from daycare was oddly reassuring (yay!! it’s not just me!) but also so so very frustrating (why can’t she just cooperate?) not to mention I feel like I completely failed mother.  Yes, I know these are all typical toddler behaviors; but typical toddlers also typically act ‘good’ for teachers and typically follow instructions if the rest of the kids in class are following suit.  At least they confirmed that her cognitive development was on par with her classmates, it’s her ’emotional’ development that is the cause of concern.

I try, I do, to give this kid all the attention and structure and respect this world has to offer.  I treat her kindly when she is treating me like shit.  I think I’ve used my mad-yell (like really yelled) at her twice in her little existence and once was when she was in the car and couldn’t even see the rage in my face.

Before Ingrid arrived I only got help with Syd’s routine when Royce was home, and for that I’m grateful, but he has a more lax discipline structure than I do so she loves her Daddy (and pretty much hates me).  This summer I hired a nanny so that she could help with Sydney and I could focus on Ingrid.  But Sydney hates her too, mostly because she isn’t Daddy (the nanny doesn’t discipline and basically does what ever Syd wants so really Syd should love her too).  Daddy isn’t home a lot though, he is here, then not, and his schedule is hap hazard so when he isn’t home, the nanny picks up what he would do to help with Sydney.  The first thing Syd says when she sees me (or the nanny) is “where is Daddy?” or if something doesn’t go just right and I put her in time out — she starts screaming “I want my Daddy!!”.   Ya kid I get it — Mommy sucks.

Since I don’t have enough to do already, I now have to turn my focus back onto Sydney.  Start doing the routine stuff again that I did before Ingrid arrived (which Molly and Daddy were helping me out with) so that it ‘appears’ I’m spending more time with her than Ingrid and I have to start playing with Sydney more so that I can be associated with ‘fun’.  All of this in addition to the sticker charts and hopefully, consistent, discipline from both Mommy and Daddy.

So this is where we are at:

  • a toddler who won’t poop
  • a ‘fun’ Daddy who is here one day and isn’t the next
  • a new infant (who is here to stay)
  • a toddler biting classmates at school
  • a toddler who will not follow instructions (from parents or teachers)
  • a nanny who won’t discipline
  • a mommy who needs to spend more time having ‘fun’ with toddler
  • a mommy who needs to feed a baby
  • a mommy who needs to get some sleep
  • a mommy who hired summer help, and now can’t figure out how to use the help because mommy needs to do everything…


Oh and any tips to get your child to stop biting other children are welcome in addition to the standard “you’re not a bad mother” commentary.


  1. I guess boarding school at the preschool stage isn’t really socially acceptable in America, is it?

    • No kidding! Is it bad that I’m eagerly awaiting the age where sleep away camp is in the realm of possibility?

  2. Oh, Julie! Well, first of all, you’re a terrific mother!! 🙂 Sydney sounds a lot like my niece, Evie, who spent most of her two’s defiantly in time out. And my sister admits to drinking a lot of wine then, lol. She didn’t go through a biting phase, but she’s always been an independent girl, and while that was terribly frustrating for her family when she was two, she has grown into an inquisitive, remarkable four-year-old. So there is hope! I’m sorry this all came right when Ingrid was born. I’m sure that’s making it more difficult than ever. But there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. Already at three and a half, Liam is so much more emotionally mature than he was at two. It didn’t happen overnight, but it certainly started when he turned three. Just four more months!

    • Thanks for the hope Amanda! You are not the first to tell me this… Wish I could put the next few years on fast-forward sometimes! Also good to know that spending a year in time-out has no untoward effects on future personality traits. ; D

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