Bad Mom,  Bug,  illos,  Life Lessons,  spilling my guts

I need kid advice.


Okay, I have two things I need advice on. Baby Bug is the sweetest smartest girl ever and I ADORE her but she has two traits that are driving me absolutely crazy. I know I could probably find some helpful information about this behavior in a book but I don’t have time to look for books! So I thought I’d just ask you guys. You all seem to be so smart when it comes to kids.

The first thing is she talks a lot. A LOT. Like all the time. She sings and talks and makes noises. She pretty much fills every second that she is awake with some sort of vocal sound. It’s really nice and fun and most of the time I love her chatter but once in a while I just want to hear myself think. Sometimes I even snap at her because she is driving me insane and then I hate myself for not having patience. Then after I’ve snapped she will repeatedly ask me things over and over to see if I’m still frustrated. Which I always am. Sort of a Are you mad, mommy? Are you still mad? How about now? commentary which makes me lose my mind.

Is this normal? I know it is lovely that she is such a talkative child and I know I will miss it someday when she wants nothing to do with me but is there some sort of trick I can teach her to give me some pause once in a while? I’ve tried sitting down and explaining that Mommy needs some quiet in between sentences sometimes so that she can think up really good answers to her questions but she doesn’t seem to understand.

the dawdler

The other thing is that she won’t be hurried. Wherever we go, she dawdles behind. Always. She seems to be in her own little world and no matter how much I call to her to hurry up, she will not keep up. In the store, on walks, when we are out with friends…this is always our problem. I find myself losing my patience all the time with her. Most of the time I just pick her up and carry her to where I want her to go because she just won’t go. Trying to get Bug from point A to point B is like pushing water up a hill. Other children run ahead but that is NEVER her. Why is she like this? It doesn’t seem to be a power play. She genuinely seems to be completely absorbed in whatever is at hand and not interested at all in whatever is ahead. Oh look a rock! A flower! A pebble! Is this something that will pass? Do I just need to slow down and manage my expectations better?

But other than those two things, that make my days extreeeeeeeeemly CHALLENGING, she is perfect.

Any ideas?


  • IslandMummy

    Yes, sounds like a 3 year old to me! My daughter is the same.
    And some days just one more “Why is it?” is enough to make me snap.
    I feel bad too when I snap at her but there is only so much patience and I need it
    for things like the other day when she “decorated” the LCD tv screen with red crayon…

    But yes she is normal and so are you. Not that it’s much help, but sometimes it is nice to know that you’re not alone.

  • bethany actually

    Ooh, I really like the timer idea. You could start small and give her rewards for managing to stay quiet, like a little Pirate Booty or reading a book or something.

  • Amanda

    Oh my gosh…my daughter has been doing that since 10 months. Holy cow I am exhausted. I can say that it does get better. I used to tell her my ears were tired and needed a rest. We have played hte quiet game too.

    Good luck…I lose my patience alot too, it’s a mom thing!

  • Anna-b-bonkers

    She sounds exactly like Kaitlyn with the talking and the dawdling. K stalls and finds all kinds of things to get distracted by no matter what and the whole time she is narrating what she is doing. The only time we get a break is when I turn on the TV. Not a good way to do it but sometimes I feel like I am loosing my mind. Usually I love the chatter but sometimes, well you know.

  • Jen - Mom of 4

    Oh, she’s completely normal. In fact, she sounds exactly like my youngest daughter, who is now 10 -almost 11years old. When she was 3 years old my Mom and I were about to drive an 11 hour trip home from my Mother in Law’s. We got her up at 5 am – thinking she would sleep most of the morning. From the moment we woke her up, she started talking, and she continued talking for 11 straight hours. In fact, she would some times fall asleep in mid sentence (and she still does this!).

    She is also a dawdlier. It will take her hours to clean her room because “oh, look it’s the doll I love!” and she must now play with or “oh I love this book!” and must now read.

    While I love her to death I do understand your frustration. The one thing I have found the worked for her was to turn it into a game. Who can be the quietest the longest – and who ever did got to pick out something special for supper or have a special sticker. As she gets older, she will need your help learn how to be organized and moving forward – but she will get there and soon she’ll be doing it on her own.

    Oh, and the bad news? Once they are talkers, they’re always talkers. K will still wake up early and start whole conversations within 2 minutes of waking. The nice part? As they get older it’s easier to tune them out! :0)

  • Olivia C

    All I have to say is…”I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!” I have a two (almost three) year old son who is exactly the same. Talking/singing/noise every waking second of every single day. Slowness the likes of which I have never seen. I also have a one year old daughter so his slowness thing is even more of a nightmare these days. Trying to get him to hurry anywhere while carrying her and my overflowing diaper bag is going to be the end of me.

    Good luck! Maybe I should go through and try to glean some good advice from these comments as well. :)

  • Kuky

    Sorry I don’t have any advice. Isabelle has her moments too. Like right now all I can hear is, “LOOK AT ME!!” every five seconds. And “mama! mama! mama!” I think I’ll be reading the rest of the comments now.

  • Jeanne

    My son is just a few months older than Bug and well… yup. Me too. I think the bottom line is, it’s normal behavior for them. AND it’s totally normal for you to find it infuriating.

    I have a 11 month old daughter as well and I can’t get over how easy it is just to pick her up and go WHEREVER I WANT with her. While I have to hold a summit and strategically plan every move to get the 3 year old moving. It’s exhausting.

    Feeling your pain…

  • josephine

    Wow. I feel a lot better about this now. Thanks everybody! I’m definitely going to try some of these and I’ll get back to you. Of course now that I’ve written this Bug has been much better. Maybe I should write about her bad behavior more often! Ha ha.

  • Sarah @

    I am completely idea-less, but I did see these illustrations on Flickr last night and the first one made me bust up laughing. I hope that you find a balance that works for both you and Bug soon!

  • Jenn (dish)

    Bug seems to be channeling my son, who has been doing this since he turned two and hasn’t stopped yet (turns four in a couple of weeks). I’ll have to stop back when I have time to read the advice left by others…

  • amyrks

    My 7 yo son is a talker and a mover, and now that he is a reader he reads everything out loud to me. “Mom, mom, listen to this”, from comics, to lego magazines, even the newspaper. And if his mouth isn’t moving his body is. Add to the fact that I have 2 other children, both girls, one older and one younger, it can get pretty loud in my house. Sometimes I just have to tell him, “I can’t listen anymore, my brain needs a rest”

    He made the most amazing observation when he was 5, “you know that sometimes you don’t need to say outloud what your brain is thinking” I thought that would help stem the flow of words, and it did for a mere moment, but now he is right back where he left off. I Love him for all his insights and sometimes I tell him that I need a moment of quiet, he’s trying, but it isn’t easy. But whoever said being a parent was easy, clearly never spent anytime with them.
    Hang in there, bug’ll be off to college soon enough ;)

  • Jen

    Wow, you’ve already got so many responses, but I’ll put in my two cents anyway. If she doesn’t nap anymore, maybe try having “quiet time”, where she has to stay in her room quietly playing, but she doesn’t have to sleep. I did that with my talkative one and it seemed to work.

    The dawdling … I’d like to know the answer too!! My 2-year-old is a HARDCORE dawdler …

    Good luck :)

  • pixie

    this is a hilarious post! i haven’t been to secret agent in years and i just *found* you again at crafty crow. your little baby is all grown up-talking and doing crafts and all! i haven’t seen her since the projectile poo illustration days…
    so glad to have visited. and i have a TALKER too, so sadly, i have no advice for you. earplugs?

  • bink & boo

    Not sure she will grow out of the chatter box phase. I am thirty-two and my mom still can’t escape me and my constant chatter. As far as the dawdling goes, I have that issue with my mom. She can’t pass by a tree without commenting on it’s beauty. She can’t let a flower escape her comments. I love my mom and she is my best friend. Other than my husband, I know I can always talk to my mom and she will listen.

    Maybe this will be you and bug in thirty some odd years.

    P.S. I am a new reader to your blog and from what I have read you sound like an amazing mother. Keep up the great work!

  • Jen Yummy

    My 5 year old is a constant chatter box. She also has a 4 year brother that hangs on her every word. Problem solved! ;-)

  • OMSH

    I haven’t read all the other replies. Somehow I missed this post when it went up.

    You know what I think?
    I think she’s you.
    You before you matured and became an adult.
    She’s the inner child that hates deadlines and wants to stop and learn how to face paint.
    Obviously an artist, she’s seeing everything, absorbing sounds, textures, smells, and whatever else comes in her path.

    She may (or may not) speed up.
    One thing is for sure – she WILL grow up…and not as slow as you might like.