And all you other mothers can't deny
A Million Tiny Updates

Do Not Push the Big Red Button

The past couple days Noah has been once again obsessed with buttons. MY buttons. The OH MY GOD STOP IT GO TO YOUR ROOM buttons. He pushes them, pounds on them, shoves bits of grilled cheese sandwiches underneath them so they're all sticky and permanently pressed in and OH MY GOD STOP IT GO TO YOUR ROO ROO ROO ROOM BEEP BOOP SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE INITIALIZED.

I've already made him cry three times today, what with my terrible refusal to serve him a grilled cheese sandwich for the 500th meal in a row and insisting that he eat some cheese RAVIOLI instead, like the HORROR of a slightly different cheese-wrapped-in-carbohydrate food product, and then I wouldn't let him pelt the baby with blueberries and when I told him to sit down properly on his chair he stood up on the chair with THAT LOOK, that knowing, defiant look, like yeah, I'm standing on the chair, woman. What are you gonna do about it?

I'm gonna...uh...I'm gonna say GO TO YOUR ROOM, is what I'm gonna do, and...and...not let you eat the ravioli that you totally were never going to eat anyway.

*shoves fingers in mouth and goes all bug-eyed from a silent, chompy scream*

Imagine, if you will, an additional section here about Noah's new obsession with running away from us in public and thinking that it's all a fantastic game. But then I Googled the problem to see if anyone had any advice other than the obvious leashing thing, and of course the first thing I read is a  Yahoo Answer that said, brilliantly: "they make leashes for children. Instead of going around the neck like a dog, it attaches like a belt!" and then another that recommended renting a VAN and getting a family friend to wear a SKI MASK and the next time your kid hoofs it, get the dude in a ski mask to GRAB THE CHILD AND HAUL THEM INTO THE VAN [make sure there aren't any police around lol!], and then keep the child there until she gets really good and traumatized before the ski mask comes off. This was, unsurprisingly, chosen as the best answer.

That's Bluth family approved parenting!

Anyway. I wasn't really in the mood to read more about leashes or freaking MURDER VANS AS DISCIPLINE so I deleted the story but am still so het up that I kind of wish Noah and Ezra weren't both napping just so I could have pleasure of sending somebody to their room right now.


Will never be three! Will always be this small and immobile and easy to hold onto! MWA HA HA HA SOB.




I LOVE the episode where Michael hires the One Armed Guy to play a trick on George but Gob tells him the plan but then tells Michael he told his dad and so they play a trick on George who thinks he's playing a trick on Michael. Also to get back at him for the Boyfights tapes.

Baby Buster...hahahahaha...


oh man you are hilarious


I had to laugh at the thing about the grilled cheese because my 4yo actually had a meltdown today because I told him he wasn't getting a new Power Ranger anytime soon. The meltdown sent a little something like this: "I WISH I HAD A WELL! I WANT A WELL!" whilst crying uncontrolably. A well, you ask? I thought he wanted a Power Ranger? But what he actually wants is a wishing well, ala Spongebob Squarepants, that he can throw money into and get everything he wants. Because mommy is mean and doesn't give him a new toy or piece of candy every tim he asks for it. Classic!!!


I especially hate those leashes that are made to look like teddy bears or something else cute.

Making it furry doesn't make it any better.


Would it be terribly presumptuous if I offered you an ehug? ;) Hang in there Amy!
And as dumb as it sounds, remember you didn't make Noah cry, his awesome 3yo perspective and attitude did that. You're a good mama :)


Weren't we just talking on Fri about 4 being better? B/c I find out on Sun. And frankly, I don't high hopes.


Put on a ski mask and shove the kid into a van?!? They probably recommend hiding under the bed wearing a monster costume and grabbing stray ankles to keep your child from getting out of bed at night (insert major eye roll).


Having some small experience with child leashes, I can only say that the efficiency of keeping the child close is outweighed by the fact that the child, while leashed, will proceed to wind in and out of legs, light poles, store displays and car bumpers and you will spend more time untangling him than you do chasing him. Best just lock him in his room until he's six, then look into boarding schools.


That sounds like a really awesome day! The Ezra picture is totally out of control cute, though :)

Sprite's Keeper

As much as the Murder Van idea can work (my toddler is currently doing the same thing), I imagine the therapy bills would be muy expensive.


Ask Moxie did a good column on this (without being insane!):


The reason that God makes babies so adorable that you fall in love with them, then makes toddlers so dang cute with all the new discoveries and words and "mama", is so that when THREE hits? We don't leave them by the side of the road.

Seriously. You can look it up.


I admit I owned one of those leash things that looked like a teddy-bear backpack. I broke down and bought it after my son pulled away from me and ran into the street and was almost hit by a car. I swore I wasn't going to be one of those mothers, but nothing else I tried worked. I figured what was the lesser of the two evils? Kid on a leash or kid hit by a car?


i'm visiting my parents and today my mother and i had a minor argument and i could hear her think: 'go to your room!'


I feel your pain. Three sucks. I hate I mean don't very much like three...



Please don't let my baby grow up. Please don't let my baby grow up. Let's chant together. Please don't let my baby grow up.


When my dog is being a disobedient asshole I often wonder, "how will I handle a child who is being an asshol? I certainly can't crate train him..."

and now I know....simulated kidnappings. Done. Time to get knocked up.

Plano Mom

My mother would threaten to take us home, tape us to the garage door, and run into us with the car. We knew she wasn't serious, but by that statement we also knew not to fuck with Mom.


I live in the UK (am Canadian) and the Leash is much more common here, except they call them Reins. Indeed so common are they I have seen on more than one occasion busybodies tell parents in snooty tones that their child NEEDS REINS. So no stigma about childhood bondage devices on these shores! The streets are so crowded here that honestly walking around with a toddler would be very difficult without some kind of restraining device. Also, if you read English children's books there might be gypsies who could steal your child, assuming a masked man and a van are unavailable. so best keep them tied up ;)


Good luck on the running away and thinking it's fun bit. My goddaughter did that since she could walk until she was 3 - 3 1/2 years old. Her single mom did everything she could think of to stop her. She would stand on anything to get to the door locks and she's smart when she got older and could figure out to unlock the locks. My cousin would not use the deadbolt with key thing because she feared fire since she lived in an old house.

What, you ask, solved it? Well, after getting away and running down the street twice in one week, social services took custody of her. It took two nights before her grandparents, who installed an alarm system to stop her night jaunts, got custody. Grandma and Mom stressed if she ever run off again, she had to go back to baby jail and stay. She did not want that and stopped her running. Pretty bad. My cousin got the kid back in two months once social services realized how bad the kid was at running and what my cousin did to try and stop her.


We should invent one of those buzzing shocker collar things like they have for dogs. You know the kind? You have a remote and whenever your dog does something rotten, you press the button and it gives them a little shock. So when our kids try to run away or throw things or chew on the wall, we could give them a little buzz.

Am thinking this could be parlayed into the teenage years as well.


Before I was a parent I used to be in this "this leash demeans us both" camp, but now I DO NOT JUDGE.


ohmigod, hysterical. not in the "your son was pushing your buttons" way, but more in the "raaahhhh babies leashes ski masks vans scare tactics aaahhh" hysterical sort of way. i am pregnant with my first and just found out it's a boy, so this is hitting even closer to home. but seriously, i was laughing out loud at my desk reading about the van tactic. lol-ing for REAL.


"And *that's* why you don't run away from your dad!"

God, that was a good show. Why did they cancel that but yet a reality show about dog groomers remains on air?!

Anyway, I remember my mom had one of those kid leashes for my younger brother back in the 80's, before it was socially acceptable. It worked great and once he realized it wasn't coming off, he was fine with it. I have a distinct memory of life pre-Joe-leash at the zoo. Not pretty. They found him in the lizard house. He was one slippery kid. (Not from the lizards, just in general, I mean.)

Personally, I wish they would make husband leashes (get your mind out of the gutter, girl!) because I'm always getting left behind at the grocery store.


Left behind in the food aisles, I mean. (He usually wanders off to the camping and/or DVD section.) He doesn't actually leave me behind at the grocery.

Though maybe he wants to sometimes. ;-)


Here's a method I've used for years as a nanny to keep kids near me, and you can feel free to try it or not try it. I know that Noah's sensory issues might make this tough, so this may not be a good solution. Also, if you are carrying another child, it will be harder. But here it is:

1. Give him something to hang on to that attaches him to you, whether it be your hand, or your purse, or whatever you are carrying. If you are pushing a stroller, his hand goes on the stroller.

2. Anytime he moves his hand from the designated spot without asking, put it back.

3. If he runs away and you have to chase him, inform him that because he can't stay with you like a big boy, you will have to go home. If this is a place that he does want to be, this usually works, so no further action is needed. Skip the rest of the steps and go home. If you're running errands and he could care less about staying, inform him that if he runs away from you again, you will have to carry him in order to keep him with you.

4. Carry him in a way that is supremely uncomfortable. My way has always been the side carry. Child is gripped by your arm around his waist, and he faces outward and is positioned sideways (perpendicular to your body, horizontal to the floor). This minimizes any leverage he might have otherwise. Feet are too far away from your body to kick you, arms are too far away from your arm to effectively make any progress at getting it to loosen up.

5. Calmly inform your screaming child that he may get down when he stops screaming and agrees to stay with you. Go calmly about your business, pretending the flailing, noisy thing attached to your hip is not bothering you in the least, but do watch out for kickables (learned that one the hard way--clean up on aisle twelve!!). When he calms down and agrees to be good, put him down. If he runs away again straightaway (and most kids will the first few times because they just have to push it, they JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES), pick him up and begin again.

6. You win. You always win. You're the mom, and a damn fine one at that.

One of the keys, I've found, is having a designated spot for kids to hang onto or put their hand. It gives them something to focus on and is more concrete than just saying "Stay with me."

I hope that this helps, or at least is not incredibly annoying assvice. Good luck! I think you are doing a marvelous job with both your boys, so you will figure out something that works for you in no time.


I caved and bought one of those leashes when my oldest was 2.5. The first and only time I put it on her (at the mall) she had a huge, wailing, floor rolling tantrum while screaming "I don't wanna leash! Take it off so I can run away! I wanna hide from Daddy! I can't hide good with a leash!" for ever after the threat that we would put the leash on her if she ran away was enough to stop her.


must say I did not like the age of 3 at second son is 3 1/2 and some days are better than others....but H-A-T-E-D three..........HATED!


My child is (thankfully) not a darter. She pretty much stays put. But I am always worried about it because she is so flippin' fast that I know she could very easily get away from me. Especially now with my pregnant waddle!

Anyway... I read somewhere, from someone brilliant ("they" perhaps?), that suggested teaching your child red-light green-light and playing it often. Then when he/she takes off like a little bastard, you can start playing the game and they'll think it's fun. I've yet to test the theory, but thought I'd throw it out there in case you (or Noah) piss on the idea of a leash.

Good luck!

Mary @ Holy Mackerel

Have just found you, and am so glad!!

Been there, done that with the children. I suggest duct tape, a Sharpie, and your imagination.


Love this. It is remarkable similar to my blog entry today, is it a full moon or something? You are damn funny. I laughed OUT LOUD at the van thing, and sort of in an evil way, to be honest. My kids eyed me when they heard that laugh. Good, keeps them on their toes.
Thanks thanks thanks thanks for being a funny, funny mom!

Alicia Millis

so crazy that that was choosen as the best answer! but really not that surprising!

how I have dealt with some runnning away children is to hide on them, still so you can see them, but they can't see you. then, sometimes, they get scared and then you go to them and explain how you get scared when you can't see them, blah blah. it works 50% of the time! haha

shelly b.

A lady with twins wearing those backpack leashes was at my son's peds office. The mom was standing at the desk checking them in and one of the girls (forgetting that she was on a leash)decided to dash for the door. She ran to the end of the leash and splatted to the floor. I didn't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for her. (she wasn't badly hurt or anything)


Hmmm, yes, all of my children have hit "two" at the tender age of 1 and 3 months or something terrible like that.

As terrible as this may sound, it's oddly comforting to hear that your little guy refuses food as well. My shoulders seem permanently planted up near my ears from the stress of JUST GETTING FOOD IN THE CHILDREN. GAHHHH!!!!

(P.S. I've considered the leash option as well.) :)

Sarah @

I think the definition of three is DIFFICULT, so just hang in there. Four's got to be better, right?

Actually, what do I know? I only see three and four through the lenses of being an aunt and it's really not the same, is it?


3 is impossible. Gabe is three and thinks running away is hysterical and laughs uproariously as he does it. Drives me fucking nuts.


Ugh. Three. I've started leaving my 3 yr old's bedroom light on when I come downstairs in the morning. Then I don't have to go back up to turn it on for him when he gets sent to his room 3,673 times before nap time.

Have some wine... that's what I'm doing tonight.


Oh, crap, crap, crap! I'm expecting twins. The twos and threes--oh, no! I really hadn't thought about anything beyond surviving the newborn phase.

Weirdo Mom

I feel your pain. I have to be honest here -- every three year old I've ever met has been a MONSTER. Including my own.

My son, who used to be all sweetness and light, became a demon on his third birthday. He has taken to peeing where ever he wants -- the kitchen, the couch, my BED, just because he can.

He runs away from me. He delights in telling me No. Because he can.

My most frequently spoken phrase here lately has also been Go To Your Room. Though it makes me feel a twinge of guilt to admit it, there are times I just relish saying those words.

I can sooo commiserate.


My son was an escape artist too. I hate the idea of leashes so I found a good solution, kinda. It's the bear backpack with a very long "tail" which can come off. I found mine at Target. For Noah's safety, it would be a good thing to have.

I see a few used ones selling cheap on Craig's List and E-Bay.


I'm right there with you on Three. And time outs. And the running away thing. Three has given me a whole new batch of grey hair on the top of my head.

Especially when, at dinner time, she eats one bite of meat, one piece of vegetable, and takes a sip of milk and claims to be FULL, and DONE, and NO NO NO NO no more food, thanks. But then an hour later she's SO HUNGRY OMG GOING TO STARVE.

Also, re: the leash thing? We took the boys to SeaWorld when Ryan was 2.5, and already too big for a stroller (SRSLY WAS GIGANTOR THE TODDLER), so I bought him a fanny pack thing with a leash attached. He thought it was SO COOL. And I didn't feel the least bit guilty!


My kids are about the same difference in age as yours, and my daughter (the older of the two) had the same running away issues. Your techniques are certainly limited when you've got a babe in arms as well, but I found that holding wrists helps. Instead of holding hands, you sort of slide your hand down a little bit and hold the child's wrist instead, and he'll naturally hold yours in return. The advantage is that your hand can get a much better grip on the wrist than on the hand, so when he tries to pull away you have more control. With that needs to be a rule that you always, always, always hold wrists in certain places (parking lot, road, etc.) No exceptions, and address it as best as you can as soon as that hand starts slipping away as a precursor to running free. Because running after a toddler while carrying a baby is NO GOOD.


While I'm not a huge fan of child leashes, I find the idea far more appealing than losing your child or having them run into ongoing traffic. Particularly when you have the distraction of a smaller child to deal with.

The short story is that you're going to have to endure screaming to get beyond this. And a set up or two is your best bet (and I'm not talking about strangers and vans). Be somewhere where he takes off and either 1) leave promptly as a result or 2) confine his ass to a stroller. I'd think #1 is more prefarable because you woudn't have to endure the public humiliation long. Either way, he has to know that this isn't a joke and that you're serious. This is one where I wouldn't screw around. The consequences are too freaking scary. :(

Good luck to you!


Ezra and that smile? Nomnomnom.
Don't feel bad. I made my Ethan (6) sob and carry on tonight, because I had the gall to put him to bed at 6:30. All because he threw a tantrum at church. I was declared the meanest mom ever.


Marymuses is giving you some very good advice. I agree you're funny with your observations about your little guys but I suspect you are also a little scared. I think you're a really good mom who is trying to figure out your next move with a really unpredictable child who you love more than anything in the world. And you want to keep him safe and whole, as any really good mom would.

I've been there (13 years ago). Leashes aren't the answer, I think you know that. You're doing a really good job seeking out the best options to ensure your lovely little guy gets the support he needs to sustain him over time. It's a rocky road you're on but it's also a fascinating one that will inform you about his future. As trite as it sounds, he's different but that's quite cool. We spend far too much time in our society dissecting the "different" at a terrible cost to us all. What a wonderful voice Noah has, I hope we can all hear it over the next several years.


HAHA That was hilarious. I can't believe someone said to pretend to kidnap a kid to freak them out. I'm not saying it wouldn't work but that is so funny. Love that you pulled out an Arrested Development reference.


Well, the good news here is that Noah won't always be 3.

Sadly, he will be 4. And 4 is all kind of fun.


OMG, I have also endured/am enduring the horror that is age 3. I've done what Marymuses suggested inadvertantly. Except it was on the way home from preschool, when she ran away into the street, twice. So I carried her home, sideways, while she kicked and screamed and other moms watched the spectacle. Did I mention that I was also pushing twins in a stroller?

With the food thing, when she didn't like the food, I encouraged her to take a bite of the apparently evil mac and cheese (which she's eaten before with no problem). This resulted in a "no!" and throwing a fit. She was sent to her room. I gave her another chance to eat it. I even reheated it! She still chose no and screamed for chicken nuggets. However, when she next claimed to be hungry and wanted food, that mac and cheese (reheated) was the lone option. I'm sorry to say that the battle of the wills went through two meals, and then she ate it. BUT! Now she understands that we at least try, if not simply eat, the food placed in front of us.


My kiddos are 20 months apart and it was my youngest that liked to run and hide. I'd have the youngest 20 feet in front of me and her sister 10 feet behind me. Mostly because I was trying to catch up with the younger. I tried the leash thing too. Didn't work very well but was better than chasing her all over the mall. It actually helped her realize that I was serious.

Actually, what worked the best for me was similar to Mary Muses' advice. Tell him in no uncertain terms that he has about 3 seconds to stop (fill in the blank)or we will be leaving immediately. Pick him up and physically remove him from the store/park/whatever if he does not comply. I was a mean mommy but it worked. My kids threw only one or two temper tantrums before they realized that I was deadly serious. And it was not only, we're going to leave but the next time you won't be joining the party. It worked. They're 20 and 19 now and still vividly remember the threat of removal and understand completely why it happened. There are certain things that you must be firm about. Running away is certainly one of them. I also like Mary Muses suggestion about having him keep a hand on something when you're out.
The good thing is that this phase, if nipped in the bud, will not be long. Of course, about the time you have worked out the terrible 3s (much worse than the 2s and seemingly infinite), Ezra will be entering them.

And Mary @ Holy Mackerel- duct tape- I love it! I used to threaten to duct tape my Girl Scouts if they misbehaved.


I don't have anything else to add really except that, after having a similar day, the "murder van lesson" seems like more win than fail.


Substitute the name Colin for Noah and peanut butter on graham crackers for grilled cheese and you have just described every meal at my house for the last six months. And this business of serving the undesirable food until they finally cave in and eat it? Not my kid. He would literally go DAYS without eating first.


They can call them "terrible twos" all they want. Three was harder, a lot harder.


Isn't 3 the worst. I would do the 2's twice to skip the threes! My second is 3 now and her behaviors are so similar to Noah's. The standing in the chair happens pretty much every night at dinner and she had to sit in time out at school the last 2 days! UGH.


"Friends" approves of your last post!

Miss Hope

I have a son who is almost five. (five? Where did time go?) Around age 2 1/2, he became a professional darter. It got to the point that we could go NOWHERE in public because he was going to run for it. We had to make the decision to use a harness. I have two older kids who NEVER ran...this was hard for me. If we wanted to leave the house, we had to use the harness. Last October he was diagnosed with ADHD with HIGH impulsivity issues (major thing with the running away). Now? I have no clue where the harness is. We started him on a much needed medication (he was almost kicked out of 4K-it was that bad) and he is 4! He is sassy and beautiful and no longer runs away in public! I didn't know life could be this good. The harness saved our sanity and his life so many times. I can honestly say if he hadn't had it on, he would have been hit by a car a dozen times over. What I know now that I didn't know then? He truly couldn't control the impulse to run.

Good luck and I hope you're able to find a solution that works for you!


I hope this doesn't sound too cruel or nightmare inducing; the next time you see roadkill, point it out to Noah. Tell him that this racoon/possum/whatever didn't hold onto his mommy's/daddy's hand.


I love that you have a kid the same age as mine. Because it makes me feel better to know that I'm not going through this really defiant stage all by myself. I hear the same things all day long... I hear "I'm FREE years old!" "You're being mean!" "Hmpf!" "Wah!"
I can't wait for four. Four is pretty nice. (Unless I blocked out all the bad stuff, which is possible.)


I have heard that 3 is the new terrible twos. But that probably doesn't help. I hate child leashes and I really think that kidnapper van is pretty awesome. Think it works on puppies too?


Does Noah like music? If you put headphones on his head and keep an mp3 player in your pocket, he'll never go further than the headphones can reach (otherwise he can't hear the music.) It worked for my little brother. Just don't show him the mp3 player or he'll want to play with it and carry it and there went your socially acceptable leash.

I let my daughter see the player. Whoops. Now we're just never leaving the house. Ever.

I hate the running stage. I suppose it is better than the driving/storming off stage that coming in about 14 years.


Just wondering how's your pop?

Also, there aren't enough pictures of severed limbs out there today. You're doing the Good Work here.


Arun is full on in the Throes of Three (aka I Will Show You Who's Boss and You Will Like It, Mama). Meanwhile Anjali has decided lately that this 20 month old stuff is CRAP and that hey! Two looks shinier and prettier, let us try that one instead. Which results in demands for raw sugar (Actual Quote: I need sugar, Mama. I NEED IT.)

These new kids in my house have been formally christened Team Chaos.


I too hate the leash, but with 3 kids under 4, it has been (literally) a life saver in certain situations. Like when I had to go in to the city alone with all of them and park 5 blocks from my destination. I have a double stroller, but the oldest is a RUNNER. Try one, you might be surprised.


I just read this article about how when a kid hits a birthday, those first months are great, and the "half-birthday" is the killer. This was definitely the case for us - 3.5 was horrendous, although all of the sudden, the clouds have parted and we have a sweet, helpful almost 4 year old in our house - just in time for our 1 yo to turn into a total demon.
As for the flight risk kid - I am sure there is some silver lining about how confident he is, not clingy, optimistic about the absence of murder vans on the prowl, etc. I do recommend the book "Ernie Gets Lost" which we have read 5000 times, because it did at least drill in the whole "find a worker" thing and we also made him memorize our first and last names. My next project is making a catchy song out of my husband's cell number so we get that in his head as well... in short, I have conceded that he will run away and get lost at some point, and am trying to arm him with some mad skills.


We had to use a "leash" with KayTar for a while when she was younger...she is deaf in one ear and at that time she didn't exactly understand the english language, so we had to make due.

A super fun stage she went through was when she would use the script, "No! Don't take me! Help!! It's an emergency!" when she got upset in public. Good times.

Karen hartzell, Graco

I have one of the teddy bear back pack/leashes. I tend to use it in very crowded areas where my child could easily disappear in seconds, ie: an airport. I loop the hand part around my wrist and I hold my dughter's hand. I do not parade her around on the outstretched leash part. It's not as bad as you would think used in the right manner. It also comforts for me if someone else has her hand (like a grandparent) who would not be able to chase her as quickly.


Isaac runs away until I tell him that is he does that and gets lost people will TALK to him and expect him to TALK back. Wonderful when something so simple can instil real terror isn't it?


I agree with marymuses. When mine were small the oldest always had to have one hand on the stroller or basket cart if we were in a store. I started that early before it became a problem and it was very effective. Might require a little training at this point but it's worth a try.


Oh. God. The Look. It's worse than talking back. I know you're not exactly for "the leash" but honestly, my daughter loved hers. It was a super cute little bear from Target.

I'm also in denial that my precious little 7 month old will ever be 37 months old.


HEY! Expiration date? My husband is an Audiologist for 25 years and always tells people the auditory system of girls and boys are different: girls' are fully developed by the age of two but boys' can't even hear their own names properly until after the age of 5 to 6! (evidently this is accurate info from Neurophysiology, his specialty..) So get used to it :-) My Dr Willy says so!


A to the Men, Missie! I'm shuddering just reading all the comments. My 15-month-old daughter has recently begun eating around anything that even remotely resembles a vegetable and has begun to exhibit her doubly-inherited temper. Ugh

Marymuses has some great advice--I will put that in the file for later.

You are doing an AWESOME job. I'm learning so much about this whole Mommy-thing from you! Think of it this way: by the time Ezra has reached this stage, big brother will have already taught Mommy all his tricks and it will be old hat!


I wish a had some assvice to give, but I'm stunned speechless by the murder-van-as-discipline story. Oh. My. God.


Happy to read these comments and know I'm not the only mom with a 3 yo who thinks "run from mommy in public" is the best game ever. #4 and #5 on marymuse's list is me every time I take my son anywhere. It causes LOTS of stares due to the juxtaposition of his screaming and kicking and my calmly ignoring him with a death-grip around his torso, but it's the best option I could think of. Good to know this is actually an advisable tactic.


I agree with Marymuses. When my 2 were little the oldest was to keep one hand on the stroller, the shopping cart or hold my hand, whatever the situation.

We started that early and it worked very well for us.

Noah might need a little practice and reminders until he gets used to it but it's worth a try.


When I had one kid I thought leashes were awful. When I had two, and the second one became ambulatory, (and was one to run away AND hide!) the leash became the lesser of two evils. Maybe it was my rationalizing, but she seemed happier with the leash, being able to explore the area around and have her hands free then she was having me holding her hand in some kind of death grip.


This is the first time I saw your blog. My friend sent me this link. I have to tell you I laughed out loud over the food. Here it is mac and cheese and hot dogs. I am at the point that as long as he eats something I really don't give a damn what it is. If dirt is the next phase he can eat that too.


Oh man, I wish I lived near you and had a ski mask, I would volunteer for this job in a heartbeat. Just kidding, althought I know it is a tempting idea at the time, it's better to work on rewarding Noah with your attention and withholding it when he doesn't deserve it (i.e., go to your room). But beware what you think will "scare them straight" may in fact traumatize them. When I was very young (5 maybe) my mother made me pack a suitcase and get in the car because I had been SO BAD I was being given away to the orphanage. She drove me a mile or so and we ended up getting ice cream, but it was still a devastating memory in my early childhood. Whatever childhood transgression I had committed has long since been forgotten by both of us, but my perception of her was stained forever. I think it was a lazy, immature and irresponsible thing to do to a child. She is not mentally unstable or abusive, I suppose she just lacked the coping skills that successful parents have.


Oh man, I wish I lived near you and had a ski mask, I would volunteer for this job in a heartbeat. Just kidding, althought I know it is a tempting idea at the time, it's better to work on rewarding Noah with your attention and withholding it when he doesn't deserve it (i.e., go to your room). But beware what you think will "scare them straight" may in fact traumatize them. When I was very young (5 maybe) my mother made me pack a suitcase and get in the car because I had been SO BAD I was being given away to the orphanage. She drove me a mile or so and we ended up getting ice cream, but it was still a devastating memory in my early childhood. Whatever childhood transgression I had committed has long since been forgotten by both of us, but my perception of her was stained forever. I think it was a lazy, immature and irresponsible thing to do to a child. She is not mentally unstable or abusive, I suppose she just lacked the coping skills that successful parents have. And sorry if I sent this twice on accident. You are SUCH a dedicated, thoughtful, present, and just GOOD mom it hurts sometimes to read your preshus posts.


Um. Confession time:

When I was three, I used to be our neighborhood's runaway princess. I even escaped from kindergarten once, only to have the teacher chase me across a muddy field, which soiled her pants and platform shoes beyond recognition (yes, we got the bill for the drycleaning later).

After that, they put me on a leash--a red leather harness, to be exact. I seriously considered starting to lift my leg and pee on fire hydrants at that time ...

Parsing Nonsense

Ugh, I remember that stage with my nieces. I warned my 3 year old niece that if she ran into the street again without waiting to hold onto my hand, she would lose her walking rights and I would carry her the whole way home.

She skedaddled, so I picked her up and carried her over my shoulder. For 3 miles. While she kicked and screamed.

I may have looked like the world's most obvious kidnapper, but she never ran away from me into the street again.

Good luck with your artful dodger!


Laughing so hard right now! My almost two year old has found all of my buttons for the past two days and since I am counting the hours until I push out another one to conspire with the one who wants to see me loose my mind, I've raised my voice three times today.

As for the duct tape ideas, I once convinced a van full of junior high kids that putting duct tape across their mouths and trying to get it off without using their hands was an awesome game idea. The ride back from our ski trip, while not necessarily peaceful, was blissfully quieter.


We are having a button pushin' good times at my house, too. No running away in public, because we have generally been staying out of public since baby #2 was born two weeks ago. But the murder van thing is hysterical! I love reading mommy blogs.


Oof. I'm going to be brutually honest right now and state that from the ages of 1-4, my son....oh, my son. He was a crazy boy. He was good with 'buttons'. A MASTER of buttons. And....that 'phase' (4 f*ing year phase. Phase, my ass.) was key in my decision to not have any more children.

But guess what? He's 13 now and just lovely.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake

My Payton, the super smart kid who inherited not only is good looks from me but his quirkiness too (like at TIMES TEN!) played the whole ISN'T IT FUN TO RUN FROM MOM AND DAD IN THE STORE game for, how long was it?

Oh yeah, from the time he could walk until about five. It fucking sucked.

What was our solution? We never went anywhere for four years because all of the "normal" parenting tricks don't work unless you're raising "normal" kids. After about two years of hearing all of the average advice, I wanted to start karate chopping people in the neck.

It sucks donkey balls to be raising the next Albert Einstein, but fuck, someone has to do it. Let's start a club. Of tipsy moms. Because what the hell else is there to save our sanity?!


LOL @ the Arrested Development reference!!


I had reins with bells on as a child, and I loved them - I used to pretend I was a pony. My toddler has reins in the shape of a turtle shell, and he likes to stuff his tiny dinosaurs in the backpack before we leave.

For people who think reins are repressive, I have two words: James Bulger. Wandered away from his mother for just a few minutes before getting abducted. After news of the Bulger case broke, reins sold out all over the UK, and they're STILL a lot more popular here than in the US. Although I'll never forget rescuing a runaway toddler from the centre of busy intersection and returning him to his absent-minded father only to be told - when I nicely suggested reins - that 'We don't believe in restraining his natural impulses.' I suppose I should've left the child to play in traffic then...


The "terrible twos" are NOTHING compared to the "threes." My second child is just exiting the 3s, and I could NOT be more grateful. We almost killed each other this past year. Same when my 1st was three. I have one more child (girl) to get through to 4, and then we'll be smoooth sailing. If we all make it. *sigh*


I'm not a parent, but I am a nanny. As for the running away thing, it hasn't been a big thing with the kid I'm looking after right now. He did it once, and I gave him a stern talking to about what could happen to him and put him in timeout on someone's front steps. He hasn't tried that one again.


I think the scary vannapper is an awesome idea. I'll do your kid if you'll do mine?

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