Do You Have a Peaceful Toddler?

If you answered “yes” to that question, I’d like to know what kind of drugs you have them on.

If you’re like the rest of us, you know that a “peaceful toddler” is a figment of our imaginations, right up there with unicorns, fairies, and dementors.

In case you aren’t familiar with Harry Potter, a dementor is an entity that basically sucks the life out of you.

Kind of like a toddler.

This blog is dedicated to the parents of not-so-peaceful toddlers (so, all of them) and the daily struggles we face raising our little monsters.

A Long Hiatus

It’s been a few months since I last posted. I hate that I’ve neglected my blog for so long, but life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. I’m glad to be back!

Here’s what you  missed:

  1. I wrote 14,010 words of my first novel. It was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Each November, thousands of writers across the globe are crazy enough to write 50,000 words of the same story in just thirty days — or die trying. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, and obviously I didn’t make the official 50k word count this year. But you know what? That’s 14,010 words I’d never written before, and that feels like a win to me. After all, there’s always next year. You can learn more about this crazy writing challenge here.
  2. I got a dog. I’ve always been a big dog-lover, even though I haven’t had my own since childhood. I worked at a boarding kennel for about six months last year, and it taught me so much about our furry four-legged family members. In October, my grandma adopted a sweet Lab mix from the local animal shelter. We called her “Roxy.” She was eight months old and full of energy. She jumped on people, including my grandma, every chance she got. She wasn’t housebroken, and she hadn’t been taught any basic commands. Though my grandma had the best intentions, the truth is, she didn’t have the time, energy, or know-how to own and train a dog. Hence the story of how Roxy became my dog. She’s a handful — it’s like having a second toddler sometimes — but she’s learning really fast. She knows “come,” “sit,” and “lay down” now, and we’re currently working on “stay.” She’s not jumping nearly as much, and honestly, I think she’s a lot happier now. I’m a lot happier too. I’d been talking to my boyfriend for months about getting a puppy for Jayden to grow up with, but I’m really glad we ended up with a slightly older dog. Still young, but not a brand-new pup. She’s great with my two-year-old, and he loves her, of course.
  3. I’m in the (long, difficult, downright shitty) process of quitting smoking. I started smoking when I was sixteen, and my twenty-sixth birthday is in two weeks. I don’t want to smoke for an entire decade, so here I am trying to quit. I’ve made a few feeble attempts over the last few days, but I end up giving in by lunch time. I will say I’ve cut down drastically — I’m down to five or six cigarettes a day versus the full pack a day (or more) that I was smoking. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll be starting fresh. I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated, if I survive.


If you’ve got any quitting tips or just want to say hi, let me know in the comments!

Toddlers Repeat the Darndest Things

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”

–Robert Fulghum


I hate bees.

Or rather, I’m terrified of anything that has the ability to sting. The fact that they can also fly is just ridiculous. Actual bees themselves aren’t so bad–wasps are the ones I have a serious problem with.

In any case, I’m not fond of flying, stinging insects. My signature move is ducking, flailing, and telling them to “fuck off” when they get too close. This has proven to be problematic for a couple reasons.

Last weekend, my two-year-old son eagerly went to Grandma’s, where he spends much of the day playing outside. We live in the South, which means we still have 85-degree days in the fall. Consequently, this means we still have bees.

When I arrived to pick up Jayden, my mom informed me (much to my horror) that he had been cussing at bees.

Fucking bee!

Wonder where he picked that one up? Young children truly are little sponges. Aside from the obvious problem, there’s also the issue of teaching him to fear bees. I don’t want him to be afraid of them just because mommy is.

I knew I had to make some changes. Now, when a bee gets close, I try to remain as calm and as still as possible and say, very politely, “go away, bee.” Or  at least that’s what I do when Jayden is in earshot.


What about you? Has your child said a swear word? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments!

How Did I End Up With a Paw Patrol Tattoo?

“I want to watch Paw Patrol, Mommy.”

If I don’t hear that phrase at least 84 times a day, something is wrong. I’m only slightly exaggerating.

My son positively adores Paw Patrol. His favorite pup is Rubble, in case you were wondering. If I were forced to choose, I’d have to say my favorite is Chase–let’s be honest, I can’t resist a man in uniform–but I digress.

Moving right along.

When I found that a friend of mine was throwing a Paw Patrol-themed birthday party for her two-year-old son, I was genuinely, almost embarrassingly excited. Jayden was going to lose his shit (in the best way possible).

As expected, the party was a hit. From the decorations to the cake to the “doggy bone” snacks served in cute little dog bowls, EVERYTHING was Paw Patrol. The giant Chase balloon, which was bigger than the birthday boy, was a real crowd-pleaser. You should’ve seen Jayden’s face.

Of course, the party favors didn’t disappoint: Paw Patrol temporary tattoos.

Jayden knows what tattoos are (Mommy has five of them), but he has no idea how they got there. When I asked him if he wanted a tattoo, he was all for it–that is, until it came time to stick the paper square on his arm. I tried telling him it was just like a sticker, but since his last trip to the pediatrician (and last round of shots), he was extremely cautious about unfamiliar things touching him, especially since I needed to hold it on his arm for 15-20 seconds. Every time I placed it on his arm, he giggled nervously and jerked it away. Trusting, isn’t he?

I knew I had to take drastic measures. He watched closely as I carefully applied the tattoo on my own arm, gently pulling away the wet paper to reveal the shiny design underneath.


I let him choose between Rubble and Marshall, and he surprised me by picking Marshall. I repeated the process on his arm with no complaints. Hey, if it was good enough for Mommy, it was good enough for him.

And thus, the story of how I ended up with a Paw Patrol tattoo on my arm.

Now, where’s that baby oil?




Stressed? Chill The F*ck Out With These Meditation Videos

What is “relaxing”?

What does that even mean?

Between feeding my two-year-old, cleaning up sippy cup spills, picking up toys, dealing with tantrums, kissing boo-boos, and the entire ordeal of potty training–not to mention tackling the ever-growing pile of laundry–I rarely have a moment to sit down and just fucking breathe.

Grocery shopping. Doctor and dentist appointments. Birthday parties of your friends’ kids that you RSVP’d “yes” to, even though you would literally rather drink a glass of bleach than be stuck in a room full of running, shrieking small children for two hours.

It can be overwhelming.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the benefits of meditation. It’s great for concentration, focus, and deep relaxation. I love meditating, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. Self-care is especially important when you’re raising a tiny human.

You can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

There are hundreds of meditation videos on YouTube*, but I’ve compiled a list of my favorites–just for you. Feel free to use them anytime you need to chill the fuck out.

(It goes without saying, but I highly suggest using headphones if little ears are present.)


“Just feel the fucking nonsense float away.”

Length: 2:30

This one is great when you’re short on time. Take a few moments to “breathe in strength, breathe out bullshit.”


“Will these affirmations help you grow personally and spiritually? Fuck yes.”

Length: 5:25

Slightly longer, but even more awesome. Affirmations are phrases that, when repeated daily, have the ability to change the way you think. They can literally re-wire your brain. Cool, right? What makes this video even better is that it’s by PowerThoughts Meditation Club, a popular meditation channel with 263 videos and over 517,000 followers. They’re pretty legit. The echoed “fuck yes” in this particular video is GOLD.


“Perfection is bullshit.”

Length: 10:09

This video takes the time to explain the emotional benefits of swearing. After that, enjoy some guided breathing exercises with an affirmation sprinkled here and there. The way she says “fuck it” is the best thing about this one.


“Why? Well, because I fucking can. That’s why.”

Length: 22:28

Also from PowerThoughts Meditation Club, this video is my favorite. The 305 people who disliked it are lying to themselves. It’s a full-length meditation, complete with drumming sounds and binaural beats (frequencies that cause changes in your brain) and the affirmations are priceless. This one is perfect for those days that require an extra boost of motivation.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list. Let me know which video is your favorite in the comments!
*I do not own any rights to these videos, I just think they’re hilarious.

Parenting Is Hard.

Ask 100 parents how easy it is to raise a child, and (unless they’re completely delusional) they will all tell you the same thing:

Parenting is HARD.

I mean, really hard. From the moment you see that second pink line, your life changes forever. You’re officially responsible for the safety and well-being of another human being. That fact, in itself, is scary as hell. What if I make mistakes? (You will.) What if they hurt themselves? (They will.) What if I just can’t do it?

You can, and you will.

Unfortunately, babies don’t come with instruction manuals (although What to Expect When You’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year are extremely helpful for first-timers). Ninety-nine percent of parenting is learned “on the job.” Trial and error. Lots of error.

And it’s hard.

It’s hard getting up for the third time in the middle of the night to feed your newborn when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two weeks. It’s hard to find time to clean the house, or cook, or shower. It’s hard to be stuck in the house with your baby all day, desperate for some adult conversation. And when you go back to work, it’s hard to leave your baby with someone (anyone) else.

Then they become toddlers. They start walking. And running. And falling down, a lot. You’ll master the magical art of kissing boo-boos and making them better.

“Toddler” and “messy” are basically synonyms. You’ll be cleaning up after them. A lot.

They’ll start developing their own little personalities–and with personality comes attitude. They will have a meltdown in the grocery store when you tell them they can’t have something. They will have meltdowns for absolutely no reason at all.

And it’s hard.

It’s hard to be patient when they’re throwing their fourth tantrum of the day (naptime, anyone?). It’s exhausting to feel like you never get anything done because they want 100% of your attention, 100% of the time. It’s just plain hard.

But it’s worth it. Every single second of it.

When I’m having a rough day, I have to remember to appreciate the little moments, like seeing my son’s sleepy smile when I come in his room in the morning.

“Good morning, mommy!”

And just like that, my day is off to a great start.

I love watching him grow and learn. I love hearing him laugh. I love his hugs and kisses.

I love the way his face lights up when he masters a new skill. The pride in his voice when he says, “Look mommy!” and shows me something that’s important to him. The look of amazement and wonder on his face when he sees something for the very first time. The way he snuggles on my chest for a few minutes before bedtime and whispers, “Night night, mommy. I love you, mommy.”

No matter how stressful life can be, those moments make it all melt away. No stress. Just love.

Parenting is hard, but it’s so worth it.


Feel free to leave a comment–I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sh!t French Parents Say

“If you keep making that face, it’s going to get stuck like that.”

“God gave you two legs for a reason. Use ’em.”

“Were you raised in a barn?”

“Because I said so.”

We’ve all heard these, or some variation of them. Maybe we heard them growing up. Maybe we’ve said them to our own children. Either way, they’re pretty common phrases that American parents say to their kids.

I recently started learning French on the DuoLingo app (which I highly recommend; it’s FREE) and it got me wondering.

What do French parents say to their kids?

Here are a few phrases I found that I’m definitely going to start using:

(Note: DuoLingo didn’t teach me these. Google did.)


1. “Des cailloux.”

Use when: the kiddos ask “what’s for dinner?”

Translation: “Pebbles.”


2. “Mange ta main et garde l’autre pour demain.”

Use when: they’re whining because dinner isn’t ready yet.

Translation: “Eat your hand and save the other for tomorrow.”


3. “Et ton père, il est vitrier?”

Use when: they stand directly between you and the tv, effectively blocking your view.

Translation: “Is your father a glazier?” (someone who cuts and installs glass)


4. “Et mon cul c’est du poulet.”

Use when: you catch them in a lie.

Translation: “And my ass is made of chicken.”


And finally, my personal favorite:

5. “Continue et pleure, tu pisseras moins.”

Use when: they’re throwing a tantrum. So, in other words, daily.

Translation: “Keep crying, you’ll piss less.”


Did I mention that I love the French? Because I do. So sassy.

Which phrase is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!


Coffee: The Most Important Meal of the Day


A magical potion that transforms me into a normally-functioning human being

My typical morning looks something like this:

  1. Reluctantly open my eyes and force myself to get out of bed.
  2. Stumble in the general direction of the coffee pot.
  3. Make the coffee, still half-asleep.
  4. Drink the coffee and become fully conscious.

Anyone who’s ever lived with me knows this one simple rule:

Do not talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.

Don’t ask me any stupid questions (and every question before coffee is considered stupid). Don’t tell me anything important that I might need to remember. I don’t care if the house is on fire–it has to wait until I’ve finished my first cup.

My coffee time is sacred.

Your safest bet is to refrain from breathing in my direction until my mug is completely empty.

The only living, breathing human on the planet who is an exception to this rule is my toddler. I don’t have to come up with a coherent response to his early-morning chatter. I can respond purely in grunts and nods.

Usually, I make a point to get up before Jayden does so I can enjoy a few precious moments of silence while I sip my brew. Silence is a rare gift that none can appreciate more than the mom of a two- or three-year-old.

Trust me, my coffee time is for my sanity–and your safety.

What about you? Are you a fellow coffee addict, or just need a couple minutes of quiet in the morning before the chaos begins? Leave me a comment and let me know!

4 Reasons Toddlers Are Actually Tiny Terrorists

Some days, parenting is a breeze. My two-year-old son is in a great mood, eating whatever I put in front of him, not destroying everything in his path, and actually listening when I tell him to do (or not do) something.

Those days come around about once a year.

On the other 364 days, however, I have a normal two-year-old. Drinks get spilled, toys get broken, and tantrums are thrown over incredibly minor things.

Whenever I’m having a particularly hard time surviving Hurricane Jayden, I sometimes refer to him as “the tiny terrorist” when talking to other adults about my day (god forbid he ever catches and repeats that one!).

Here’s why toddlers are actually tiny terrorists:

1. Negotiating with them is a bad idea.

You’re the parent. They’re the child. I’m not saying you should ignore their feelings, or that they aren’t entitled to their own pint-sized opinion. But either what you say goes, or they’ll walk all over you. Rules, especially the ones that keep them safe, should always be non-negotiable.

2. When you disagree with them, they start destroying stuff.

Hell hath no fury like a two-year-old told “no.” What do you mean, I can’t put the slobbery, chewed up dog toy in my mouth, mommy? Fine, I’ll just throw it at something valuable then.

3. You never know when they’re going to attack.

Remember the mood swings you had when you were pregnant? Those are nothing compared to the mood swings of a cranky toddler who decided it would be a good idea to skip his afternoon nap. Even the well-rested ones are wildly unpredictable, let’s be honest.

4. They make terrible flying companions.

Alright, I know not everyone appreciates my humor. If you’re the easily offended type, you might as well leave now. But seriously, have you ever flown with a two-year-old? Total chaos. If confined to their seat, they’ll scream, but if you let them down, they’ll be running down the aisles and stealing strangers’ snacks in no time.

Maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll snag you an airplane bottle of vodka from the flight attendant’s cart.

Allow Me To Introduce Myself



Hi! I’m Gina.

When I’m not chasing around this lovable wildchild, I can usually be found writing or reading. In addition to building this blog, I’m also a freelance writer and, hopefully, future novelist.

I’m a coffee addict, Harry Potter nerd, and lover of all things Marvel.

Feel free to drop me an email with any questions, suggestions, or just to say hi! I may not always have time to respond, but I promise to read every single one. 🙂

I’m so excited to share this blogging adventure with you!


About The Blog:

The Peaceful Toddler is a parenting blog dedicated to the moms and dads of not-so-peaceful toddlers. In other words, all of them.