Monday, July 16, 2012

What Not to Ask the Parent of a Two-Year-Old

Yes, we know you're just trying to make conversation.

Yes, these aren't at all nasty questions in & of themselves.

Yes, amongst ourselves we Parents of Twos sometimes talk of little else.

Nevertheless, unless you want an earful or my patented Icy Glare of Judgment - or worse, the earful/ICJ combo - best to tread carefully around the following sensitive subjects unless Parent of Two asks you for advice or you're in the toddler trenches too:

(Mildly Relevant Sidebar: I'm using "he" here for sake of simplicity and also because I'm parent to a "he"-type, though of course this includes girls too. "I'm Every Woman" and all that, etc.)


- Isn't he potty trained yet? 


- Oh, I see he isn't talking much yet - shouldn't he be doing that soon?


- Oh, I see he isn't talking Spanish / Mandarin / etc. yet - shouldn't he be doing that soon?


- You know what worked for me when my kids threw embarrassing public tantrums . . . 


- (If he's still sleeping in his crib) Is he still sleeping in his crib? Huh.


- (If he's not still sleeping in his crib) Why isn't he still sleeping in his crib?


- You know what worked for me when my kids wouldn't eat anything . . . 


- Has he been admitted to Harvard Nursery School for Unusually Gifted Toddlers yet?


For the record: (1) not even a little potty trained; (2) talking, mostly about trucks; (3) crib; (4) happy. The end.

It's like when someone insults your mother - they could be right, dear ol' Mom may totally have it coming, but unless you're actually family you don't go there. (This analogy would work better if moms also threw embarrassing public tantrums in the cereal aisle, so let's sub in "frosty, passive-aggressive silence" if that helps.)

Have I missed anything here, Parents of Twos? What's the best/worst thing you've been asked?

17 comments:

Mary said...

Very cute. Did you join me? I do not recognize a pic in my followers. Please do.. Cute pup guided by cuter 2 year old.

AEOT said...

Oh, he is such an easy kid.......said 20 min after a 30 min battle in the time out chair. Yes, I love my kid but very few toddlers are "easy". I blame not potty training on the new baby :)!!!! I do know from all the studying we had to do during my np program that toddlers (boys especially) do best when potty training between 2.5-3 years old. Some will be earlier, some later, but that is the general guidelines.

Beach Bum & Baby said...

OMG Spot on friend. Spot on.

Let's just sum mine up with:

People asking him "What's wrong?" as he's throwing a COLOSSAL fit.

In my head: who the heck knows, he's almost two, the sky isn't purple... he doesn't like where we are.... he'd rather be at the park... he wants a snack... or maybe it's because some stranger is in his face asking him WHAT'S WRONG....

So I just smile and say "Oh ha! It's nap time." Even if it's 9am.....

Worthington said...

He is so cute. Wish people could have common sense when it comes to asking non-friend parent questions!

[diane] said...

I agree with all of those but also the opposite. I think my kid's cute but he IS NOT so cute when he doesn't get his way. Some sweet old ladies ignore the tantrum and talk to him like he's just sitting there quietly. I guess I should just thank them but I can hardly get a sweet "thank you" and a smile out when I'm trying to discipline my boy.

Gretchen Ruether said...

I totally agree with all of those! My little girl just turned 2 a month ago, and I am so sick of people asking if she's potty trained yet!

Rhiannon said...

I'm not even close to this stage yet, but we get "Is he sleeping though the night?" an awful lot. I have just taken to lying about it. "Yes! Since birth, actually!"

Erin said...

Oh, girl.

"She can't say her 'R's very well...have you thought about speech therapy?"

Call me crazy, but at 24 months, I think the W-instead-of-R thing is still pretty stinkin' cute :)

The Preppy Princess said...

As a non-human parent these are still amazing. I never cease to be amazed by the utterly tasteless and inappropriate comments people make. One I have heard that seems so out of line, "You don't really let him do that, do you?" while observing a certain behavior.

Catie said...

This is dead on! My 2 year old is not potty trained and not even close to being ready and apparently this drives people nuts. Look people, you're not buying the diapers and/or changing her so why do you care?! :)

Whitney said...

Although L is only 19 months old, I'm going to contribute as an Almost-Parent of Two. L has slept from 6:30/7PM - 6:30/7AM since she was 3 months old. It's a great routine that works really well for us. While at the beach with family a few weeks ago, she was having trouble falling asleep at her normal bedtime of 7PM in her pack-n-play, not to mention, a new environment. A family member (whose child goes to sleep at 10PM) looked over at me and said, "Don't you think that if you put her to bed a little bit later, she'd go down better? And wake up later? She *is* 18 months old, after all. She's not a newborn anymore." How do you politely respond to that? With something like, "Thanks so much for your concern, but this routine works really well for our family and you are more than welcome to do what you want with YOUR children. My husband and I enjoy our down time together after she goes to sleep at night." Too bad I just mumbled something along the lines of, "Maybe you're right..."

Perfectly Imperfect said...

People with the questions. It never ends. I need a business card that simple says "she's two. The end.", which I can then hand out when she's screaming because the wind blew or when she's throwing her fruit snacks across the store or pulling her underwear down in the store (that's new and not at all embarrassing).

Amy said...

It sounds like someone needs a little blessing of their heart! (Totally talking about the awkward question asker that doesn't understand the icy glare!)
People are always going to ask dumb questions and two year olds are going to always do whatever they please.

Just give them the Jenna Marbles "face" and if you don't know what that is, please youtube it! You will die at the thought of doing that to ignorant question askers! lol

allballsitch said...

I think you should round-house kick them in the face and say "Oh, dear, did you get a boo-boo?"

Courtney said...

That's hysterical! I hated potty training questions. No one likes free advice do they? Love your blog, makes me laugh:)

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

Thankfully I haven't gotten any questions that I can remember that turned me off. What I have run in to that makes me sad is the mom that gets down on her own kids for not reaching milestones on HER timeline. During Nate's sports class C & I sit in the play area and a mom there was telling her son (17 mo.) to watch C walking like a big boy. If it starts then I don't want to imagine the rest of their childhood. Sad.

Karen said...

So yeah I know about your lady bits, as you've mentioned their status often, however, you should blog about what not to ask a pregnant lady. That would be hilarious as well.

As a new Mom, who see's my future, in your Mom of a 2 year old self, I LOVE THIS POST! Thanks

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