Just Help Yourself, Eh? Ottawa, August 2014
Just Help Yourself, Eh? Ottawa, August 2014

“Daddy! Daaaadddyyyy! Daaaaaa–…”

“Daddy’s flown across the ocean. Leaving just a memory. A snapshot in the family album. Daddy, what else did you leave for me?

« Daaaadddyyyy!”

“Gee, Mark… Your middle name is Floyd, you should know the song. Dad went out to get the mail. Seriously, he’ll be back.”

Yes, this is Mark’s latest trick. Whenever “daddy” steps out of the room, Mark screams as if Feng had abandoned us. Feng is flattered. I’m annoyed because I have to deal with Mark’s tantrum. Besides, I’ve been taking care of him too—but no, he doesn’t scream “mommy” when I step out. Ungrateful brat.

Okay, on some level, I know most toddlers go through a phase where they prefer one parent.

Still. It sucks when you are not that parent.

Mark isn’t two yet but I think the “terrible twos” started. He throws tantrums for no reason, gets frustrated easily and plays tricks on us. He is testing limits. Constantly. For instance, I don’t want him to drink coffee (well, duh). If I have a cup in hand, he will nag me until I finish it. If he wants something, he just digs into my bag or grabs it on the table. He throws things around when he is mad and you’d think he is the most unhappy child around—until he gets distracted and forgets why he was crying.

In France, my family taught him a few new tricks. My grand-mother “taught” him to unbuckle his stroller belt (merci beaucoup for that one!), my mum taught him to say “non” (again, merci) and my dad taught him to kiss (okay, that one is nice). He also picked up words from classic nursery rhymes, such as “bateau” (“Bateau sur l’eauBateau sur l’eau, La rivière, la rivière…”) and “au pas” (“À cheval gendarme, joli bataillon…”).

Well, he was so busy learning new stuff that he forgot he was supposed to sleep once in a while. The afternoon nap is now a distant memory—Mark doesn’t sleep from morning to night. This makes days exhausting, not to mention that Mark is whiny when he is tired—and he most definitely is even when he refuses to nap.

He says a few words very distinctively in all three languages: “maman”, “non”, “bateau” in French, “door”, “moon”, “bye bye” and “banana” in English and “mei” (“no” or “no more”) and “nai nai” (“milk” or any drink) in Chinese.

He loves playing with other kids at the park, he can kick (and throw) a ball very well and when he doesn’t eat sand just to piss me off, he enjoys the beach. I have to use the stroller again, though, because he no longer follows me quietly—he wants to go wherever he likes and he runs away when something catches his eye (a dog, a truck, a store, etc.).

We haven’t started potty training yet (I should!). It will be the next big step, I guess. That, and keeping him busy all day long… oh boy.

All in all, Mark is a fairly normal toddler.

I think.

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  1. Holly Nelson August 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I find it so interesting that some children so need that nap in the middle of the day and are straight to sleep, where others fight and fight even though they need it just as bad and they never sleep! I have worked in a toddler room at various stages of my life and have seen it many times! It does sound as though Mark is heading into the terrible twos! It doesn’t last long though 😉

    1. Zhu August 12, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      I hope that it won’t last long. I’m hoping that since it started before two, it can end earlier… right? RIGHT???

  2. petite yaye August 13, 2014 at 5:38 am

    My 3 years old niece didn’t wanted to go for a nap. She deosn’t sleep during the day since she’s 20 months. She was crying, yelling, bothering, throwing everything all the time… terrible two, terrible three, no end ! when my sister left us, I forced my niece to have a nap. She refused, cryed, yelled but I kept my position for one week. And at the end of the week she fell asleep by herself, for 3 hours naps and night time went to bed at 8.15 without trouble instead of 7.30 and 1h30 of troubles and I even wom 30 minutes extra bonus sleep in the morning too !… children need to sleep, even if they fight against themself, their behavior are the way to express it. I don’t want to give big lessons in saying that, of course easier to say than to do it on our own child… ah ah ah ! Happy 22monthsday mark and welcome in the talking community 😉

    1. Zhu August 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Oh, trust me, I’d rather him to nap. However, nighttime sleep is my priority and trying to get him to nap when he refuses to is exhausting… so I’m choosing my battles. Maybe it’s just a phase…?

      1. petite yaye August 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm

        Yes I can imagine how much you would prefer him having a nap… I guess every parents have to choose some battles and let some others for his dreamed unreal life… I wish for you it is a phase !!!

        1. Zhu August 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          C’est juste que j’en ai marre de m’épuiser à le faire dormir. La seule chose qui marche, c’est si je l’épuise toute la matinée, mais je m’épuise en même temps… non, sérieux.

          1. petite yaye August 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

            Non, sérieux !!! Je sais que ce n’est pas drôle, mais ta réponse m’a donné le fou rire !!! S’il est aussi infatiguable que michoco (ce que j’imagine aisément…), je compatis à 389796 % ! du courage…

          2. Zhu August 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm

            Entre nous, on l’appelle le Lapin Duracell. Sauf que je sais pas enlever les piles…

  3. I Say Oui August 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Now he just needs to learn “Yes, maman”!

    1. Zhu August 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      I wish…


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