The Toddler Left Behind

Oh my poor baby toddler. He has a severe case of Third Child Syndrome. Never mind the fact that he can now climb out of the Pack N’ Play while I take a shower (oh, about 8 months earlier than his big brother did), or that he can eat more than his two older brothers combined, or that he talks like a 5-year-old and blows me away with his choice of words (and sassy facial expressions). My poor baby wants to go to school so badly!

He comes with me every morning and every afternoon to drop off and pick up his two big brothers– one is in 4th grade, the other is in Pre-K. We say bye-bye to the big 4th grader (well, I try to pry him away from the huddle of boys playing Beyblades) and head over to the Pre-K area of the school. There he plays on the playground like he is one of them (he is as tall as 90% of them there anyway), wanders into the classroom… and don’t get me started on the hooks of backpacks. CARS! WOODY! BUZZ! CHOO-CHOO! The child gets an eye twitch when he sees the super cool (miniature) backpacks. Again, perfect for his size. Sadly he gets back in the car with me and we go… home.

Well, not all the time. Here are some things we do together to make him feel special. To make him feel like he’s a big kid, too!

  • Go to your family’s favorite park, just the two of you. Your toddler will love the time that he or she usually has to share.
  • Sing songs, dance and jump like no one is watching.
  • Draw, paint and color in coloring books, on a low easel or on a roll of paper outside.
  • Take a walk without the stroller (just make sure you go to a safe area where there are no cars).
  • Snuggle up at TV time. We watch an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba together every day and it’s one of my favorite times of the day. The look on my son’s face is priceless when I start singing the songs with him.
  • Do housework together but pick and chose wisely. Chances are, you wont get a lot done but “folding” a small basket of laundry together can be a lot of fun.
  • Sign up for Mommy and Me classes- yoga, dance, swim, gym play… they are all a lot of fun and a great way to get your toddler interacting with children his or her own age.