March 21, 2006

Five Toddler Tips

1. Put a shower curtain under their chair, especially if they're still in a high chair. After Kid Cyclone is finished, dump the food into the trash, and if KC has been really entertaining, take the curtain outside, wash it off with the garden hose.

2. Wind all your electrical cords around furniture legs: lamp cords around table legs, clock-radio around the nightstand, etc. Kid Cyclone has less chance of thinking the cords are something to pull, jerk, jump rope, ....

3. Start teaching the tot about cooking early by letting him help fill ice trays with juice, and then helping him put the cubes in his cup later; having him put the paper muffin cups into the pan, watch you pour in the batter, let him look thru the oven window as they bake, and let him pull the paper cup off the fresh, hot muffin when it's done; help him to put individual grapes in the freezer and then let him take them out later as a snack on a hot day.

4. Have an "Eat-Out" bag in the car, containing crayons, paper, and small toys which the tot is allowed to use only at the restaurant. Make these things exciting for the child, so he's happy-happy that he has the opportunity to play with these treasures. Clue: he gives lots of push to keep them with him afterwards, he bugs to get to play with these items at other times. Eating out at a restaurant is BORING for kids. It's your job to make it enjoyable for your tot -- you, your spouse, your tot, and your fellow diners will thank you.

5. Always have a spare set of clothes in the back of the car, neutrals that match lots of things. Shoes, too. Things happen. Remember to replace them when you use that spare, too.
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