Toddlers Without Tiaras

… tales of my threenager

Mommy … I Stuck

This is a short post to share one of my favourite pictures. Three times last week, in the saddest little voice, Lil’ Sis called me from Lil’ Bro’s room.

Mommy ... I stuck

Mommy … I stuck

“Mommmmmmy. ….. I stuck. I stuck Mommy.”

“Helllllp me Mommmmy. Help me. I stuck.”

Every time I found her she had wedged herself behind Lil’Bro’s crib. Her forehead carefully positioned between the crib slats. The first time I quickly rescued her. The second time I chuckled. The third time, well, the third time I took this picture.

Thu, October 27 2016 » Uncategorized » No Comments

No one bite me today mommy!

No one bite me today mommyTomorrow is the Kindy Celebration at Big Sis’ school. I can hardly believe she has almost finished Junior Kindergarten.

Each day I look forward to her return. She still looks so little when she gets off the bus. I love the days Miss J (the wonderful bus driver) tells me that Big Sis fell asleep on the bus. It reminds me how young Big Sis really is.

Once off the bus, I love hearing about her day: what she did, who she played with, and what her teachers said.

I need to share my favourite story. During the first week of school Big Sis came home on the third day and said “Mommy, a girl bite me today.”

Sure enough, in her communication book, the teacher left a very detailed account of what happened and how the situation was addressed. The name of the biter was not disclosed. I was not overly concerned. In a class of 30 three, four, and five year olds, I was not surprised there was a biter. Big Sis was not happy about the incident and told me she did not want to play with the little girl any more.

The next day I asked her how her day was. With a sad voice she said “Mommy a boy bite me.” My heart broke. Why was my little girl being bit at school, especially 2 days in a row. I checked her communication book. It was empty. The teachers were not aware of the incident.

The fifth day of school ended. I nervously asked Big Sis about her day. This time I was relieved. With a huge smile on her face she said, with pure delight,

“No one bite me today mommy!”

If this isn’t a way to measure the success and impact of our education system – then I don’t know what is!

Happy end of school year everyone!

Wed, June 22 2016 » Uncategorized » No Comments

… May I have the envelope please

The results are in!

I will begin by thanking those who participated in the survey, and those who follow and loyally read the blog. It is refreshing and encouraging to know I am not alone, and that I will survey the toddler years.

I would like to thank the readers for nominating their own favourite stories. While not included in the survey, honorable mentions are extended to:

And now the results:

5th place: I hate naps!
3rd place (tie): Just Happened … Maybe and 8 Signs your Newborn needs to learn Self-Defense Skills
2nd place: The Extremely Unpopular Potty Training Method

And the winner, with 64.7% of the votes is:

… And Then The Social Worker Pulled Up

Reprinted for your amusement:

Such a beautiful day.  I've got this under control.

Such a beautiful day. I’ve got this under control.

Picture this. It is a gorgeous, sunny, Tuesday evening, right around dinner time. My partner in crime is in Ottawa for business. As such, the responsibility to take out the garbage falls to me. My youngest is in the swing. My oldest is playing with her dolls.

I tell my 3-year old to keep the doors closed because we don’t want the dogs getting out.  Normally,  she follows this instruction. Unfortunately for me, on this particular evening, she decides she really wants ‘to help me!’  Thus, just as I am putting out the second bag, I hear the door open.

Before I could respond, my daughter starts to walk down the driveway and the white fluff ball, Scout the dog (aka Regret the dog) bolts out of the garage and across the street.

This is not the first time Scout has done this.  He is a puppy.  We are still in training.  Usually my soccer skills, gained from playing defense, allow me to corner him before he gets off the property. Not this time.  I wasn’t in position. Time for Plan B. I run in to the house, grab a leash and a treat, run back outside, and attempt to lure him back in exchange for a walk.

Scout - aka Regret the Dog

Scout – aka Regret the Dog

Scout is now running around my neighbours lawn.  My neighbour bends over and pets him.  As a repayment for his kindness, my dog lifts his leg and pees on his flowers, in front of him.  Fantastic!  (Although this is an improvement from last fall when I am positive my dog tried to pee on him).

Happy Kid enjoying the sunshine! #Embarrassing

Happy Kid enjoying the sunshine!

Adding to the chaos! #EvenMoreEmbarrassing!

Adding to the chaos!

I’m feeling anxious to get both Scout and my daughter back in to the house.  The Threenager is giggling, while she watches the entertainment from our lawn.  Her hair in pigtails.  Her pink cros on the wrong feet.  She is happy as can be.

and then the Social Worker pulls up and stops her car in front of my house!  I can see she is looking at my daughter, questioning the situation.  Then she looks over and sees me frantically trying to catch the dog.  She bursts out laughing.  Full disclosure … the Social Worker is my friend.  I frequently tell her all of my stories are better because I get to say  and then the Social Worker came over. I’m not sure about you, but, while I have great respect for the profession, Social Workers scare me a little bit.  While I know I am a good parent, I always fear that situations will unfold where my parental skills will be questioned. This instance was no different. It’s all about timing!

You see, the other important detail omitted until now is that, aside from the pigtails and the crocs, my Threenager was sporting her birthday suit.  That’s right!  She was walking down the sidewalk in all her glory.

Time to go shopping! #Priceless

Time to go shopping!

And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, she runs back in to the garage – not to go in the house – but to grab her shopping cart.  With some negotiation, I was able to persuade her that we should go back in the house, quit opening the doors, and perhaps give clothes a chance!


Wed, July 1 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Vote for your Favourite: Happy Birthday Toddlers Without Tiaras!

Toddlers Without Tiaras is 1!

The first post, Tastefully Decorated, was 1 year ago today. The post which started it all; highlighting the transformation of my adorable little girl, into a food-throwing Threenager. Since then there have been 33 more posts, with 1938 visitors and 3940 views, in 20 countries!

Visitors and Views

Visitors and Views

Viewers around the world

Viewers around the world

Thank you for making Toddlers Without Tiaras a Success! Vote for your favourite story today! [Click here to access the survey]

The candidates for top post are as follows:

Check back July 1st for the results!

Mon, June 15 2015 » Uncategorized » 2 Comments

Calling My Bluff … The Half Nap

So similar ... but yet so different.

So similar … but yet so different.


At first the two images may look very similar. There is a key difference … The upper-image results after a lengthy battle of wills, screaming, kicking, and repeatedly returning Big Sis to her room for a nap. The lower-image results after a short, well-mannered negotiation, and verification of positions in which Mom and Big Sis agree that Big Sis only needs to have a “Half Nap”.

For those unfamiliar with a “Half Nap”, it is the latest in our nap time negotiation techniques. Now that she is a self-appointed “Big Girl”, she no longer requires naps like Lil’ Sis. Instead, she only needs a “Half Nap”, where she will nap for half the time.

Note: there is a parental loop-hole in the “Half Nap”. The length of time for the “Full Nap” and the “Half Nap” is never discussed. Thus the length of the “Half Nap” is never specified. Remarkable, the length of a “Half Nap” is surprisingly similar to that of the “Full Nap” (with an added bonus that Mom does not feel exhausted and feel the need to nap herself after getting Big Sis down for 90 minutes of peaceful bliss!)

Another point for the ‘Rents! (take that Minions!)


Wed, June 10 2015 » Tantrums, Uncategorized » No Comments

Just Happened … Maybe

On the way home from swimming lessons today:

Big Sis was asking when Nana would return from her trip (she is in Africa visiting my Lil’ Bro). I told her she would be back soon.

“Okay” said Big Sis.

Then Big Cuz, the older – wiser – 7-year-old cousin, joined the conversation.
From the far back seat I heard “Maybe.” (said in a very casual, matter-of-fact tone.)

“Maybe?” I reply; very curious to find out where this conversation would go.

Me: “What do you mean maybe?”

Big Cuz: “Well.” [pause] “There are lions.”

Look out Nana!

Look out Nana!

The End.

(Mom – if you are reading this – I wish you a safe return.)


Mon, June 8 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Threenager Logic

If you have been following the Tales of my Threenager, you will know that Big Sis loves Naptime and Bedtime.
(If you need a refresher visit: Swiper the FoxI hate naps!, or The Bed Swap)

Each day Big Sis and I exchange animated quips pertaining to the merits, necessity, and down-right reality of her pending sleep.

She says ‘NO!’ — I say ‘YES!’
A cyclical exchange occurs.

I offer a never-ending array of reasoning, bribes, incentives, and phone calls to either Swiper or Santa.
She rebuts with defiance, negotiations, tears, and tantrums.

You can imagine my surprise the morning she had a meltdown over the fact that it WAS NOT time for bed. For your perusal and amusement, I present you with Exhibit A: Threenager Logic …


Fri, June 5 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

The Blessing

As a way to foster language development, we encourage Big Sis to say ‘Grace’ before meals and ‘Prayers’ before bed. I remember the moment of pride the first time she said:

For what we are about to receive …

Jointly, we would rehearse the following lines. Eventually her confidence and independence grew. If I tried to help her she would stop, look up at me with her big brown eyes, put her hand in the air and say “No. I do this!”

I remember the first time she did this in front of my mother. He thrill of the incorporation of Grace before a meal quickly turned to a questioning expression of ‘Are you seriously going to let her continue and not correct her?’

Big Sis’ Grace went as follows:

For what we are about to receive
May the Lord Bless
Nana, Popa, Mommy, and Daddy, and Lala and Coco and …

Instantly, it reminded me of the scene from Christmas Vacation when Aunt Bethany leads the family in the saying of Grace before Christmas Dinner. The family gathered around to share a moment together. Instead of Grace, Aunt Bethany recites the Pledging of Allegiance to the Flag, the USA and the Republic. (See Aunt Bethany’s Grace here.) The look on Clark Griswold’s is almost identical to the expression my mother had during Big Sis’ Grace; the expression on Aunt Bethany’s face, similar to that on Big Sis’ (filled with pride and satisfaction).

Big Sis’ continues to incorporate aspects of Bedtime Prayers into our mealtime Blessings. Eventually we will work out the kinks; for now we will leave her work untouched. This strategy ensures we will continue to have stories to share and brighten your day. Alas, I will end this post with my favourite Grace: 

Grace by a Threenager

For what we receive
No bugs bite

For what we receive
No bugs bit
(The blending of Grace, Bedtime Prayers, and the nighttime tuck in … Night Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t let the bed bugs bite.)

Mon, June 1 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Chew Toys Don’t Blink

Last week, after returning from a trip up North, the girls and I were in the kitchen enjoying a leisurely breakfast. Their father was in his office on a conference call.

The Furry Beasts missed us when we were away, being extreme cuddly and quiet on our return. This only further contributed to my confusion when the two dogs started growling and fighting over a chew toy. Annoyed, I stood up and walked over to the door. Just as I was about to tell the dogs to “knock it off!”, the chew toy blinked. Startled, I froze, and looked again.


I repeat: EYES AND FUR!!!

Being a responsible, caring, and protective parent – I screamed (in a panicked, hyperventilating, operatic tone) and ran out of the room. I spent the next 3 minutes, unsuccessfully, trying to go back in to the kitchen for my children.
I did not know what I had seen, but I knew it was furry and was blinking.

Squirrel? Mouse? Meerkat? – I didn’t know – I just knew we had a problem.

Disturbed by the distressed chaos outside his office door, Dad came out to investigate. The conversation went like this:

Dad: “What is going on?” (In an irritated, why are you making that noise manner.)
Mom: “Ah Ah Ah” [point] Ew Ah [whimper]

Clearly this bunny did not read Peter Rabbit

Clearly this bunny did not read Peter Rabbit

Dad walks into the room, and to my delight squeals in a high pitched voice “EEEEEEE”.

Clearly more composed than I, he suggests I removed at least Big Sis from the room. (Lil’ Sis was in her high chair, and amused by the excitement.)

Reluctantly I returned to the kitchen and brought Big Sis to the living room where I mustered up the energy to sit on the couch (instead of stand, which was my natural reaction).

I like to imagine myself a composed and fearless person. Once, attending a conference when a mouse entered the room, everyone scattered, while I, the fearless one, grabbed a cup and tried to catch the mouse. Outside of my home, I will come to your rescue. Inside my home – you are on your own! (Or at my sister-in-law’s as she periodically likes to remind me of the Alligator Lizard incident of 2013).

In the end we all survived. The Furry Beasts had caught a Bunny. A very thoughtful and disturbing ‘Welcome Home!’ gift. We reassured Big Sis we had released the Bunny in the front yard where the dogs would not scare it anymore; under our breaths adding the end note “to spend time with its ancestors.”


Wed, May 27 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Calling My Bluff … The Bed Swap

Big Sis is a bed hog. I know I could force her to sleep in her own bed. Unfortunately I am a sucker for her dimple.


One night I tried to outsmart her. (I should have known better. She is too smart for me.)

At bedtime I went to her room. I got in to her second bed (the bed we call her cousin’s), and I waited.
I could hear her in the halls, “Mommy?… Mommy? …Mommy? … Where are you?” Eventually she wandered down to her room.

Night Night Sleep No bugs bite!

Night Night
No bugs bite!

“Mommy?” she said in a curious and confused voice.
“Yes” I replied.
“Mommy? Why are you here?” that is LaLa’s bed.
“I’m going to sleep here tonight.”
“No” “You need to hug me”
“Well I am going to sleep here. and Daddy is going to sleep in your bed”
“No. You need to hug me. Daddy needs to hug me.” (An interesting request, as the little bed hog does not get hugs at night. She sleeps on an angle, legs and arms spread like a starfish. Good luck even trying to get close.)

The conversation continued for 10 minutes. Finally, still standing in the door frame, her little silhouette shrugs, closes the door and walks away. Right before the door clicked shut I hear “Okay. Night Night. Sleep. No bugs bit.”

Another point on The Bluff Board for Big Sis!


Thu, May 21 2015 » Uncategorized » No Comments

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