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And the toddler strikes again

Ok.  I distinctly remember that when my girls turned around age 2 1/2 life with little ones started easing up a bit.  Yes, they were 2 and very much had minds of their own, but still, I remember them starting to entertain themselves for longer periods of time.  They would sit and look at a book.  Or play with their dolls.  Or color a picture.  Or watch a short show on TV.  So as Kole nears the 2 1/2 mark I find myself often wondering WHEN IN THE WORLD IS THIS KID GOING TO SLOW DOWN!!??  

Yes.  He’s cute.  I’ll give him that.  But FOR THE LOVE!  This kid doesn’t stop!  He has two speeds – fast and faster.  He ran away from me in the grocery store today and I swear I wished I would have had on my Nikes.  If only you all could have witnessed the chase scene that ensued.  Up and down the isles, around grocery carts, through the check out counter.  
Then we get home and he operates under two settings: mom needs to constantly entertain me OR I’ll entertain myself.  
And here’s how my little buddy entertains himself… 

He is obsessed with moving all of the couch pillows and stacking them together on one couch.  

You might think this is lousy photography, but no.  This is just my boy stacking at lightning speed.  (And ok – slightly lousy photography.)  He does this with all of the upstairs pillows on the beds too.  Moves them all to my bed in a big heap.  As soon as he sees I’ve put them back, he gets to work stacking them all in one place again.

So I’ve given up and if you drop by to see me, this is what you will be greeted with.  
Once the pillows are on their designated couch he moves on to the shoes in the garage.  
Above is the “before” and below is the “after.”  
Clearly he doesn’t get the whole “before and after” concept since he is taking my organized spaces and DESTROYING THEM.
I clean up this mess at least three times a day.  
If I didn’t need the shoes out of the way to drive I wouldn’t bother.  
And now today.  His latest trick.  
Remember how I cleaned out my girls’ book shelf?  
 And I categorized everything so neatly and gave all of the books a happy home?  
Kole decided the books needed a new happy home.  On the floor.  I knew there was going to be trouble when I found myself cooking dinner tonight without Kole under my feet.  He did this in a matter of minutes and then moved on to “entertain himself” in the next room.  

A couple of weeks ago while we were at a picnic for one of the girls’ summer camps Kole kept himself busy with the sidewalk chalk.

He was such a mess that Kenny took off his clothes before we got to the car.  

 Then Kole decided it was his turn to do the chasing.  

He was thrilled to have his clothes off.  They clearly do nothing but weigh him down.  

Yup.  Doesn’t look like things are slowing down any time soon.  
xoxo, Erin
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47 thoughts on “And the toddler strikes again

  1. Oh do I hear you. My little man turns two in a month and boy do I wonder too when he’s going to slow down! The cuteness is what gets us! I often look at him and although he doesn’t talk yet, his face clearly says ” what could I do that I’m not supposed to, what could I mess up now?” haha {well it’s not so funny when it happens…}. I love reading your posts because I seriously thought my little man was the only one with the same two speeds. It makes me feel a little better that I’m not the only one to have the “energizer bunny” for a son ;) I’m always afraid to turn back around and find out what he’s done in the 2 seconds I was putting away the milk! I love my little monster to pieces but, I’m telling you…he definitely uses up or “burns {I should say} most of the energy I have. Changing his diaper and getting him dressed in the morning is a chore in and of itself, I litterally break a sweat! Well I hope Kole has a slightly slower day for your sake {although that might be near impossible if he’s really like my son}! I should wish you a really nice nap so that you may be able to rest a little or get a bunch of stuff done for the new house :). Happy Thursday to you!!

  2. My son just turned 7 and he hasn’t slowed down yet! At least his messes are pretty much contained to his room, and the occasional flooded bathroom sink ( has to see if those Lego boats float!). Good luck!

  3. Oh, but is he every CUTE! I know, I know, but he is such a doll. I have three older brothers and according to stories from my mother, they were like a “little gang of thugs” around the house. They are each two years apart and were constantly in to everything! Can you imagine having a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a 2 year old – all boys – running around at the same time? She has said that all one can do is realize that your definition of a clean and organized home may not be attainable right now, so change your definition to fit this time in your life. I understand what she means, but I clearly did not get my OCD tendencies from her side of the family. I really hate to tell you what else she has told me – you will NEVER feel well-rested again in your life and that girls are much better at entertaining themselves: I would sit and ‘read’ the JCPenney and Sears catalogs for hours. (I’m a bit older than some of you – anyone else remember the huge catalogs delivered by mail?) Good luck!!

  4. My youngest son does the same thing. If it’s too quiet, that means trouble. He got a hold of a black sharpie and colored on my white kitchen cabinets. He was so proud of his “circle” and I wanted to scream. He loves to help clean by spraying 409 all over the kitchen and floor.

  5. Oh Erin, this made my organiser heart skip a beat – at the beauty destroyed so much.

    But he is a cutie (thank God, right?)

    I have a 3-year-old boy (and his twin, a girl) and definitely, BOYS ARE FAST AND FURIOUS! My K will sit quietly and read and do quiet things, not C. He is busy busy busy. But on the bright side, he has slowed down just a tad when he approached 3, primarily because he discovered how much he loves puzzles. So we buy them all the time to slow him down LOL

  6. that pretty much sums up life with boys – and I have 3 of them!!! I thought the twins were into everything, but then Hank came along and I realized it was just what boys do. Enjoy it!!!

  7. Oh my this brings back memories. When my son was a toddler, he would open the refrigerator, slide a kitchen chair over and he would start dumping and throwing every liquid food item out of the fridge and onto the floor. Milk, juice, eggs, everything. He would do this if I took a shower, was upstairs cleaning, or doing laundry, basically all he needed was to unattended for 10 minutes and I would walk in to a huge mess. After about 5 times of cleaning HUGE disgusting messes from our kicthen floor, we smartened up as parents and got rope to tie down our chairs to the table legs, and we got a bike lock to lock our refridgerator. We had to do this until he was around 3. I invested in a large wooden thomas the train set and it kept him occupied when we were at home. And to stop him from running away from me in public, I got a backpack with leash, target sells them.

  8. I think Kole and my daughter Kennedy who is 2 could be best friends. She can make a mess in 2 minutes. She never sits still, and constantly takes the throw blankets and pillows off of things and makes a ”fork” (fort) out of them.
    My son is 7 now but, he was such an EASY baby/toddler. He was, and still is SO laid back!

  9. Oh My Goodness! I can SO TOTALLY relate! I think my older one finally started slightly settling down at 3. He didn’t like to listen and would run away from me every chance he got…and thought it was a game of chase. He used to do that with his books,too, ALL THE TIME! I noticed another person commented about having an “energizer bunny!” That’s what we used to call our oldest one! He.never.stopped.Ever. Then I thought the younger one was more of the docile, calm one. Until he turned about 14 months and it’s been non stop. He gets into every cabinet, drawer, pulls everything out and scatters it all over the floor, toilet {yup, he seems to be growing out of this one, thankfully!}. And he’s constantly messy and dirty!!! I thought the older one was messy, but he had nothing on his younger brother. He likes to roll around in the dirt outside as we go from the house to the car. I turn around and he’s in the flower planter rolling around in the dirt :) I told my hubby before we found out the 3rd one was a girl, that I wasn’t sure I could handle another boy right now!!!! We really should get them together! They’d get along great, it seems like :) ~gina

  10. Oh, I can relate! My daughter is 2 as well, and can make the living room a complete disaster in less that 5 seconds. We nicknamed her “hurricane” because every room looks like it was hit by one, once she leaves it :)

  11. I love it! Oh, aren’t boys fun?! Mine is almost 5 and I can relate. :)

    Kole is such a handsome little dude and seems like a fun kid!

    It concerns me a bit, nowadays, with boys. It seems like the current expectations in school and other places want to strip away what is so natural to a boy. Great job, mama, for celebrating his boyhood! :)

  12. Thanks for the fun comments everyone! Makes me so happy to know I am not alone! So many of your stories made me laugh. Some of you mentioned your little guy settling down more at age three? I’m not holding my breath but man would that ever be nice! Good thing we love them so much. :)

  13. Oh Erin, I feel your pain! I have a boy that is the EXACT SAME WAY except he is five and loud loud LOUD! I have often said we could make millions with the book of antics we should write on this boy! I am still wondering when he will slow down and altho he is no longer pulling books off his sisters shelf he has replaced it with other things like filling his pockets with dirt or hiding multiple frogs in his room or deciding he should paint the floor (Thankfully it was on linoleum) or doing a flying leap like spiderman on an OPEN ottoman and busting it in two….BUT you know what I wouldnt change it, he has filled up our house with laughter and stories and EVERYONE loves this boy with his outgoing nature and celebrity status in our little town..ha ha Everyone knows our Hunter!!

  14. my little guy is going to be 2 in november and IS THE SAME WAY! He will reorganize the shoes when he is done though!

  15. :) I can so relate! I have 3 years daughter who is so calm and don’t get in trouble while my 2 years son is a monkey boy literaly. I will catch him climbing on anything trust me he have give me quite a scare few times. he keeps going and tear my house apart. but i just keep with flow and hope he settle down soon but i know i have a feeling he is going to be a adventure one..

  16. I’m right here with ya! Except my son is FIVE and still hasn’t slowed down. I feel your frustration! I often have to remind myself to enjoy them while they’re young, because one day they’ll be older and won’t need me as much anymore. :)

  17. My 2 1/2 year old is exactly the same. She is a little whirlwind of destruction. Her favorite activity is filling cups, bowls, play tea pots, whatever she can find with water and dumping them. Thank goodness she ‘usually’ only fills them with water. Frustrating that she has learned how to use all the chairs in the house as a step stool to get to all the sinks by herself!

  18. Yep, sounds about right. I’ve got 2 boys, 3 and 6 and they are nonstop morning to night. Fortunately, they are also cute, so that helps :)

  19. He is so cute and his smile is contagious!!!
    It is not always the boys. My daughter has a 5 year old boy who has always been as good as gold!!! It is her 2 1/2 daughter who is the wild one. We call them the “Mild and the Wild!”
    Just think of it as being strong and healthy. Hopefully that will give you some energy to chase that little cutie!

  20. I feel your pain… My Kade is the exact same way. My two older kids were very mellow and good at entertaining themselves. My oldest is a boy so this crazy behavior is not a boy thing. I think it’s a third child thing. Kade’s new trick is stuffing his little toys down the central vacuum wall connections, or down the A/C vents. I can’t take my eyes off him for 2 seconds. Good luck, and know you’re not in this alone… ;)

  21. I have 3 boys- 9, 6, and 3. I KNOW your pain!!! HAHAHA!! Pillows/cushions are like magnets in our house and are constantly being taken off the couch by ALL 3 BOYS, and taken to other rooms, jumped on, etc. So here’s how I fought back: we replaced our couch and chairs after 9 years and when we ordered new ones, we had hooks sewn onto the rear of each cushion, which are then anchored to the frame of the couch. When it’s fort-making time, I am all for it and take off the cushions for them. No more cushions in the bathroom, outside in the backyard, etc!! Desperate times call for desperate measures!!!

    Oh, and Erin? I hate to tell you this, but when your new home is completed and you (attempt to) put in your landscaping, BEWARE!!! The lure of dirt is too great for boys and your sweetie will be up to his armpits digging, playing, and rolling around in your new and beautiful flowerbeds. I would recommend giving him a large plot of dirt to go wild in; give him some plastic dumptrucks, some kiddie garden tools, etc. He will go bananas and you will LOVE seeing him so happy.

  22. Erin, you can see that you are not alone! I noticed a pattern with many of the comments though– BOYS. My youngest turned 2 last week and I had a similar chase scene in McDonald’s today. He would have been in the parking lot 3 seconds later if I hadn’t moved fast enough. We were there with my SIL and her family and I don’t think I said more than 10 words in a row to her the whole time. Just know that I feel your frustration :)

  23. The before and after pics crack me up! I had to laugh, “THIS is why I don’t bother to organize!!” I have FOUR of those little guys running around my house! Well okay, four boys who were once that age, but I’m telling you…four boys plus five girls in the house, plus a husband who doesn’t understand the concept or organization is equal to at least two or three Kole’s running around. Every bookshelf, every cupboard, every stink’n drawer in this house looks like your “after” pics.

  24. I’m glad I am not alone. My youngest son turned 2 today! He is busy busy… He started walking and running about the same time… the week he turned 9 months! He climbs everything, the media cabinet, bookshelves, tables, windowsills. Books are constantly on the floor, the trash can is like treasure island ack….gross!
    We are kicking the pacifier habit this week… again. He cried himself to sleep the night before last then at 5 in the morning I heard the kitchen gate swing open. My hubby went out to check and there was my now 2 year old, standing on a chair going thru the cabinets yelling “my binky, my binky”
    I’m afraid to go to sleep since he can climb out of his crib, knows how to unlock every gate, opens doors, and he just pulls apart the door locks like its velcro or something, he is all muscle. Lord help us!

  25. i hate to break it to you, but from my experience (and the wise words of older women i know) i don’t think boys EVER slow down!! my 2 oldest are boys (ages 6 and almost 4), and i STILL have to entertain them almost constantly if they aren’t at school, watching a movie, or playing games on the computer. i have a very dear friend who just turned 60. she has 8 kids – the 5 oldest are girls, the 3 youngest are boys. she said that when she had boys her whole world turned upside down. she said she stopped trying to keep her house picked up, and she never got anything done. that sounds exactly like my life :) it’s a darn good thing they are so cute! i swear they are made that way on purpose ;)

  26. He’s a boy and he may never slow down. Get him into sports or some activity when he is old enough and he will have a good place to expend all that energy. Be glad he’s busy and not a “lump” even though it can drive you crazy!!

  27. Erin, I love this! Our grandson Cameron was 2 years old just a few weeks ago, and we call him “MAYHEM” jokingly! Mainly, he likes to scatter toys all over the place, but his favorite thing is to get into the board games and scatter all the cards, pieces, dice, play money, etc. Oh but how we love him!!

    I am glad you have lots of energy!! Kole is all boy, that’s for sure! And what a handsome, smiling, sweet boy he is!! :-)

  28. Oh my word! You ALL FEEL my pain! I love it! We are all in this together! :)

    I loved the “desperate times call for desperate measures” comment. HA HA!

  29. Hey, Erin!

    Welcome to my world. My little guy is almost three and he has not stopped yet. My friends with girls don’t understand how he can go, go, go! Needless to say, I am exhausted!!! At least we know we are not alone…

    Sorry I haven’t commented in a while but please know I ALWAYS read your blog and LOVE IT! The hubby and I are back at school officially now so we are super tired by the end of the night now.

    Take care!
    Shannon in PA

  30. What a cutie he is!

    I laughed through this post because my two year old has all the same “hobbies”. And I JUST cleaned out my daughter’s bookshelf….what was I thinking?! ;)

  31. Lol isn’t it fabulous that they’re SO ADORABLE?!!! :) Love that first picture of Kole – cute!! I only have girls so far, but even sometimes with them things are crazy, then after they go down for a nap I look into their rooms and see them all sweet and perfect and asleep and all the frustration I was holding onto goes away. Bless naps :)

  32. Geez, now I feel alone! My son is 9 and the whole “boys will be boys” did not apply to him. He never ran from us, jumped and climbed on things, or made messes just for the sake of making them. Maybe God knew that I just wouldn’t be able to handle that! :)

  33. I’m so sorry I can’t say he will slow down soon. In fact, some boys never do slow down. But I can tell you that clunky boots may slow him down & warn you of where he’s at or you can put a jingle bell on one of his shoes to hear him at all times.

    Good Luck!

  34. I found your blog through your great pins on pinterest. I can so relate to your mom stories. I also have a 2 year old (May 7th birthday) which makes Kole and my Ben very close in age. My son is the exact same way with his energy levels, making messes, and has been slow to talk. Which was a big difference from my first son who is 6, and could recited his ABCs and colors at 18 months.
    I also find that Ben’s cuteness allows him to get away with a lot! He wins us over with his smile.
    To add to the fury of his energy and mess making, he also goes around saying “poop” and “toot” at unnecessary times!! Then he smiles and laughs. He also likes to take off his clothes at random times. Oh, I don’t want to forget that he’s stubborn beyond belief!

  35. Oh Erin, this just makes me laugh! I can just picture you organizing and reorganizing those books and shoes over and over and over again. When I had my first toddler experience with Pierce I remembered what my Child Development teacher would say about Toddlers…making messes is their work, that’s how they learn! So I knew I had to let him make messes! I think you just have to decide which things are ok for them to mess up and let them do it! Then do what you have to, lock cabinets, doors, etc. for things that really need to be off limits. Couch cushions – great thing for them to mess up! So there’s my advice – the things that are ok for him to mess up, just let it go! Pick them up once at night and you’ll both be happier. Although it sounds like part of the fun of the cushions is doing it over and over again. Ha! Good luck!

    And if it makes you feel any better Jensen is CONSTANTLY emptying the cupboard of “kid” dishes that is down low, so walking in the kitchen is a hazard, cups and bowls everywhere! And if I bring him into the room with me when I work on the computer, the book shelf is unloaded in a matter of minutes. He just recently discovered my spice racks – (they are low and pull out on the sides of my stove) and OH. MY! That one is making me nuts! I didn’t think about babies when we designed it that way! Somethings (decorations) I just moved to the storage closet until he’s older! dOh the joys of Toddlerhood!

  36. I opened my child care “A Place For Little Hands” for this very reason!!

    That was 8 years ago, and I’m not sure how you’re going to handle the information that I’m about to provide, but here goes…

    My son is now 10 and he STILL hasn’t slowed down yet. For instance, today is the last day with the children in our child care program, so I let my son lead the group. I put out shaving cream and paint thinking he could handle it. Well by the time my son was finished…(breathe, Tondra)… okay, put it this way the children are napping, and I have their clothes in my washing machine right now so that their parents will recognize them at pick up time!

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know this post hit so close to home for me. In fact, I recently started a blog ( to remind myself that these are Ordinary Moments…EXTRAordinary memories!

    So hang in there Erin… we all NEED you! LOL!

    Think about it this way… Our sons may “drive us crazy” with all of their wildness, but who else would we want chasing our husbands?

  37. Thanks Shannon! Always so fun to hear from you!

    Abby – I agree. They always look so peaceful sleeping!

    Kerri – consider yourself very lucky! I think so much of it is personality. My girls were a handful too at this age (not quite as bad, but still a handful!) :)

    Thanks for the fun comments and support everyone!

  38. Been there, done that. My kids used to do the cushion thing when they were little. They used to take them off my couches & hop from one cushion to the next, they called them “islands”… Drove me nuts LOL
    And the books- that was a favorite thing of my sons to do, I could never keep a neat bookcase when he was that age.

  39. I have a boy who is 5 1/2 years old and the only time he slows down is when he’s sleeping! My little guy does the same thing with our pillows and throws in the family room. Once he’s old enough you need to sign up your little guy for a sport. i’ve learned with boys they need time to run around every single day otherwise it’s trouble! Good luck!

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