5 Ways to Cure a Cranky Toddler
Normally, my oldest little will come into my room in the morning at the speed of light with a permanent smile on her face. Unlike her mother, she is a huge morning person, as if her cheerfulness is derived straight from the sun. She does have her grumpy days, though, and I always know because she doesn't want to cuddle on those mornings.
She is glad to force me out of my warm spot and into the freezing spot my husband vacated several hours earlier, but cuddles from mom? No, lady, get away from me. It's those days I get a glimpse of what her teenager years are going to look like. It scares me.
Fortunately, I have come up with a few ways that eventually pull her out of her funk … on most days.
Food is the way to my kid's heart. She's one of those rare toddlers who will actually try anything you offer her. Really, anything. She has tried black olives, guacamole, sauteed onions — things I am just now learning to like. She doesn't always like them (the black olive went in and came right back out!), but that hasn't deterred her from accepting the fork when we offer a bite. Therefore, if I offer her food, sometimes it's enough to snap her out of her grump mood. Cheerios cure all.
Nothing puts a smile on a toddler's face more than making a gigantic, colorful, glittery mess. You don't have to be a professional preschool teacher with a plan to turn some pipe cleaners and paper-towel tubes into a classic piece of art, you just have to say, “Here, kids! Do … stuff with it! Put some glitter on it!” Or, if you absolutely need a plan, there are a million ideas on the web and a trillion on Pinterest.
Glorious, glorious naps. Chances are that toddlers in a bad mood didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. Maybe a dog barking kept them from getting into a deep sleep or they had a harder time falling asleep the night before. Sometimes a nap is something magical, whether it lasts 30 minutes or two hours, and it's like you get to restart the day with your normally happy child!
When in doubt, wear them out. Chase them around the swings, race them up the ladder, have a jumping contest in the sand. Put them through the toddler boot camp of their life, and when they collapse exhausted, happy, and content into their beds at bedtime, smile with confidence knowing they will most likely be out for the night. Which, as you know, is a good indication that they will wake up tomorrow their normal, charming selves..
Is there anything like Mom-and-Dad cuddles?
Nope. Nothing like it.
Have you discovered any special cures for cranky?