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?


  • Sarah

    when I taught first grade I had a necklace that I would put on and my students knew that they couldn’t talk to me when I had that on. It was like my “take a break” or thinking time.

  • Leta

    My almost 5 year old daughter talks all the time too, asks questions incessantly and if you don’t respond to every.single.thing. she says she continues to ask the same question repeatedly until she gets a response, any response. So even if she says something that does not require comment, you have to at least say “ok!” or she will repeat whatever it is ad nauseam. Sometimes I tell her “Mommy just needs 5 minutes without any questions. Just 5 minutes.” That usually works for a few minutes. We get lots and lots and lots of “Why?” She also says “What?” all the time, making ME repeat myself all the live long day and wonder if she needs to get her hearing checked. But she is extremely smart, super inquisitive and an all around great kid. And starting this fall she will be in school all day and I know I will miss her (while being somewhat relieved that a professional will now be the recipient of all those questions).

    As for the dawdling, I don’t have an answer for that one. We have some of that too and I make a lot of threats which may or may not be effective, depending on the day.

  • kim

    Totally normal! Yes sounds simple but day in day out, every second, those things are like fingernails on a chalkboard right? They do grow out of it a little. My oldest is 6. He’s grownout bc he’s grown up and he understands or at least hears me more now. Just continue like you are. Explaining (demanding) a quiet time. There has always been a little here taking a nap so QT has been a must. I talk in a low whisper during this time if *I* must. She still needs to learn “consideration” if you want to approach her that way. …to you. “If you can’t be with me and be conscious of being quiet then you can go in your room to play”. And again continue to explain how she may not be able to tell time yet as it is very confusing but Mommy sometimes needs to say no bc she, for time purposes can’t. And Mommy likes to be ON time. When Mommy NEEDS to be somewhere on time how about we try at those times to move in SUPER GREEN Fast SPEED even though We like being more on our own pace. This speed thing was 1 maid reason I needed to stop working when I did, I was ALWAYS rushing (them). :)

  • patty m

    So what’s your advice? Oh, wait. You weren’t talking about MY kid? Are you sure? Because that sounds EXACTLY like her. I’ve tried playing the “let’s see how long we can be quiet” game, but that had a limited window. It didn’t work until she was about 3, and once she realized what was really going on, she stopped playing and would just forfeit every time. But it may work for a little while, until you find something else. Just make sure there’s a prize, like stickers. As for the dawdling, I try to make that a game, too. When I need her to hurry, we “race.” “First one to get her shoes on gets to pick the CD in the car!”

  • Jennifer

    I really really like Sarah’s necklace idea. I’m going to try that on Emily because she has always been just like Bug. Dawdling and non stop talking. I don’t have any good advice. If it makes you feel any better, Audrey is just starting to do the non stop chatter. Her version isn’t as intense though because she has to work hard to get some of those words out. Molly is still my little mime.

    I hope you get lots of great suggestions.

  • Laura

    I am thinking a timer or stop watch might work for you on both counts. Kids at that age need something more concrete than the vague concept of time. So I’d try setting the timer and tell her she shouldn’t make a sound until it dings. Start small–30 seconds even and gradually build up. For the dawdling–race against the timer. :-)

    Love your blog–thanks so much for sharing yourself with us.

  • Shelly Schmelzle

    Delurking to say that I so feel your pain. I have no ideas but I have two 3 year olds, a daughter who is never quiet–singing, talking, making noises, asking questions and a son who dwaddles, never keeps up, and smells every flower and picks up every rock. It would be comical except that my daughter is always 10 yards ahead and talking to every person she meets, I’m in the middle and he’s bringing up the rear running into people becasue he’s checkign out the bugs or blades of grass! Love your blog!

  • Abby

    Does Bug like to be read to? If she does, I would suggest getting her some books on CD and a little portable CD player so that she is occupied silently, giving you both some quiet time.

    I am also a BIG HUGE MAMMOTH proponent of daily quiet time. I think I remember reading that Bug is going napless these days, but I might re-institute daily quiet time where she has to be sitting in her room (with the door closed) either reading, watching a program, or entertaining herself. You could even put a digital clock in the room so that she knows she cannot come out (or ask you to come out) until it reads 4:00. I have vowed that my son will either nap or have quiet time until he’s in school full time so that my sanity doesn’t suffer!

    Good luck, SAJ. You’re such a great mom, so I’m sure you’ll come up with a solution to your gabby girl :)

  • Keri

    I feel your pain! My 3 year old and 6 year old share many of the same traits…. I do still do “nap” time every day, I really need it!!

  • Mama Zookeeper

    As everyone else has already commented, it is totally normal! My little guys like to talk, luckly not all the time but somedays its still more than enough for mommy.

    A couple of suggestions, if Bug is okay with being out of mommy’s sight (aka playing in her room by herself) – try encouraging her to talk to her stuffed animals. You could also try the “silence game” seeing who can make the most silence (go longest without talking or making noise). You may have to loose every once in awhile to make it fun but it could help in extending the time she can be quiet so mommy can think.

    As far as the dawdling, I don’t have as many suggestions because it is something we struggle with too. My only idea is to use her interest in her suroundings to your advantage. Example: your 5 feet ahead of her – “Bug look at this pretty pink flower” – she comes to look and you move forward another 5 feet – “Ooo, Bug look at this big purple flower”, etc.

    Good luck with it all. Remember the most important thing you can do – take a Mommy Break every once in a while.

  • Megan

    I second the timer idea, it has worked really well with the kids I nanny for. Something that helps with that is thinking of an activity that you will do with her after the timer runs out so she gets a reward for complying with the timer.

  • Jill

    Hi. I’m delurking to give an idea I’ve seen work in a classroom of very chatty kindergarteners, as I do not have any children of my own. The kindergarten class had a lot of issues with wanting to tell their teacher everything…from the color of their new toothbrush to important things. So the teacher brought in a stuffed animal (in this case, I think it was a turtle puppet). If the child came up to the teacher, while she was busy or working with another student, if it was something non-ugent, she would instruct the student to go “Tell Timmy Turtle,” so the student would go and tell the turtle an then sit back down. They got to say what they needed to say while the teacher got to finish what she needed to get done.

    Maybe you could try an altered version of this. Get a special stuffed animal that Bug can speak to during “quiet time” so she can get out her questions and comments but allow you a little breather time as well.

    As far as the dwadling goes, no suggestions here, I have the complete opposite problem with the kids that I nanny. They are always making me run to catch up!

  • Carrie

    I haven’t read the comments so this may all be a repeat. The talking. Oh yeah, I hear you on the talking. Erik is a chatterbox as well and sometimes it drives me nuts. I often tell him he can go talk to himself in the mirror but he just has to leave me alone for five minutes. He loves that. I have a lot of success in telling him what he can do instead of what he can’ do. Also, when he gets into a question asking mode usually the only way I can break it is by asking him questios back. “Are you mad mommy?” “Do you think I’m mad?” Once he answers, he’ll break himself of the loop.

    The dawdling this is also very normal from what I’ve read. Erik is a runner-ahead but that doesn’t make him hurry up when I want him to hury up. They have no idea about schedules so it is hard for them to understand. He’s very competitive so if I make it a race he’ll often comply, or if I tell him I’m leaving without him and then take off he’ll suddenly rush to me. Not very nice I guess, but it works. Counting also works well to get him motivated, but at first it sucks b/c you have to have a punishment in mind if you get to three. These days if I say one the child hustles his butt and knows I’m serious–well worth the effort of the first few weeks of counting and dealing with time outs.

  • Sandra

    I have a 2+ year old, Christopher that is going thru the chat(ter)ing as well, and sometimes it’s worth it to pop in a DVD of Elmo or Bob the Builder for couple of minutes to get some peace and quiet. As for the dwaddling, he’s goes back and forth between running ahead and staying behind, but he’s into the ‘I can do it on my own’ phase, so for me, sometimes it’s just easier to put him in the stroller or cart and get to where I need to be.

  • SuperCareo

    I am not a parent, but I do a LOT of babysitting and I love to sit for the little ones so I have picked up a few tricks for those happy kiddos who like to talk to you every. single. second. My FAVORITE trick is to turn the question around. Ask THEM a question. If they ask me 50 times in a row what I’m doing, I ask them what they think I’m doing. Or if they’re just running around asking you “why this?” or “why that?” ask them what they think. Or hit them with a totally random question like “why is the sky blue?”. Small brains have to stop and ponder such deep questions and usually in that time you can find something to redirect their attention too. Or run and hide, whichever.

    For dawdling … if she is getting distracted by things along the way, maybe you could get her to hurry up by drawing her attention to something further along the way. Or you could make it into a game where you race to the place that you want her to go.

    I hope that you figure out something that works. I know your pain of the never ending questions … good luck.

  • Kandace - One Crazy Chick

    The talking started around 18 months and now that she is almost 3 I think that there isn’t even a second that my daughter isn’t talking. When I get mad, she gives me the Mommy are you mad at me? Am I being bad? I try reassure her it’s me and not her but hello can she ever give me a second of peace and quiet?

    So…yes I think its normal. But my son wasn’t never that way. Remember “Normal” is a Range!

    As for you lolligaging I think it’s normal, too. I mean she is taking it all in. My son is exactly the opposite…he runs EVERYWHERE! I’d say she is just enjoying all of it..which is amazing really.

  • Anny

    Okay, here’s my bag of tricks (or at least what I can remember)

    Minimizing chatter

    – If she’s an empathetic kid, explain it more as you NEED quiet. Period. Not that you need time to think of an answer. Reassure her that you LOVE to talk to her, but everyone needs some quiet, alone time.

    – You’re her only playmate and she expects you to pay 100% attention to her. Slowly change that by introducing more activities where her chatter is NOT directed at you. Some people made suggestions already (talking into a mirror, talking to stuffed animals), but some other ideas are getting or making her a reading phone (basically PVC piping that she can whisper/talk quietly into and she can hear herself), getting her a digital voice recorder, getting her sing-along or read-along activities that she can ONLY do in her own room, etc…


    – Play the Red Light Green Light game. I don’t know why kids like it, but they do. When you don’t care about the time, it’s HER turn to be in charge of changing the lights. When you do care, it’s YOUR turn. For example, need to get to the grocery store – green light all the way except for crossing the street.

    – People made some good suggestions. I like the stopwatch the best. I would be careful about racing because it might encourage less than quality in any activity you’re doing.

    – Talk about what amount of time you need or how much time you have to finish a task. Since she is a bright girl, start teaching her digital time and the importance of numbers and what that means. Back to the chatter, if you need her alone time, give her alone time too and make an example clock that she needs to match her real clock to before she can come spend time with you again.

  • whoorl

    It took me 20 minutes to get Wito to walk 20 feet from the park to my car today. The other mothers had already packed up and were probably halfway home before I even put him in his carseat. UGH. I feel your pain.

  • Lexi

    Ugh. I feel your pain. Mine is 5, and high-functioning autistic, and I often comment that it’s like having a two-year-old with a wild vocabulary and awesome gross-motor skills.

    With mine, when the chattering is reaching its peak of aggravating, I starting singing, then he starts singing, too. It’s still noise, but at least it breaks the loop!

    As for the dawdling, be sure to post when you figure that one out. We live next door to school, but I allot at least 1/2 hour to get there, because LOOKATTHEGRASS!BUS!LEAVES!

  • haitian-american family of three

    My 2.5 year old is exactly the same way, she talks or sings all day every day. I love the advice of a cd storytime in her room, talking to the stuffed animals, and the mirror. What I do is play music, have a few very short quiet times (like 10-15 min every few hours) and sometimes wear earplugs!!! Because I can still hear her, but I get that tiny bit of distance and quietness.
    We are all dealing with the same thing, thank goodness for blogging mamas!

  • sizzle

    It sounds very normal from what I’ve seen with kids her age (not being a mom yet myself). I can understand feeling frustrated. At least she marches to her own drummer? (Trying to find the bright side/)

  • Britt

    Dealing with both things here at home, too.

    One thing I’ve heard for walks around the block that last 10000000000 hours is to have the kid “hop like a bunny to the next corner” or skip or . . . I tried it with my bug with limited success. When there are cool “next” things to get to, it works better (like parking meters).

  • rachel joy

    I left this open on my desktop to go deal with my own non-stop-talker, and my husband read it. (The clever illo must have grabbed his attention!) He laughed out loud and asked if I had commented yet, because Bug is so much like our 5-year old. (She seems more like him in personality than our boy who is just a few months younger than her.) I didn’t read all the suggestions, but liked the one to talk to the mirror. I just might try that. We were shopping a while back at Costco and my 5 year old was peppering a staff member with questions. She turned it right back on him and it really surprised him. Actually, she kept interrupting his question before he could spit it out. He finally told her to “stop doing that!” It was a great way to put a smile on everyone’s face and ease the frustration of the constant chatter. Or natter? I”m not sure which. I have a friend with 12 kids. (Um, ya.) I went to visit her one day to soak in the serenity of her home (true, that!) and get some tips on dealing with my crazies. The one thing I really gleaned from her is patience. Putting on a spirit of patience is really the best way to handle so many of the frustrating aspects of our job. Not to mention the hardest. But it was a good lesson for me. My mom always said “you choose your attitude”, which drove me batty. But it’s so true. I’m also finding I need to plan my day better so I’m not forcing them to rush at the last minute to get out of the door, causing them stress for my poor planning. Anyway. This huge comment needs to end!

  • rachel joy

    I left this open on my desktop to go deal with my own non-stop-talker, and my husband read it. (The clever illo must have grabbed his attention!) He laughed out loud and asked if I had commented yet, because Bug is so much like our 5-year old. (She seems more like him in personality than our boy who is just a few months younger than her.) I didn’t read all the suggestions, but liked the one to talk to the mirror. I just might try that. We were shopping a while back at Costco and my 5 year old was peppering a staff member with questions. She turned it right back on him and it really surprised him. Actually, she kept interrupting his question before he could spit it out. He finally told her to “stop doing that!” It was a great way to put a smile on everyone’s face and ease the frustration of the constant chatter. Or natter? I”m not sure which. I have a friend with 12 kids. (Um, ya.) I went to visit her one day to soak in the serenity of her home (true, that!) and get some tips on dealing with my crazies. The one thing I really gleaned from her is patience. Putting on a spirit of patience is really the best way to handle so many of the frustrating aspects of our job. Not to mention the hardest. But it was a good lesson for me. My mom always said “you choose your attitude”, which drove me batty. But it’s so true. I’m also finding I need to plan my day better so I’m not forcing them to rush at the last minute to get out of the door, causing them stress for my poor planning. Anyway. This huge comment needs to end!
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  • Nikkapotamus

    I’m so glad it’s not just me!! My 3 year old is doing the same things! Especially the chatter. What really gets me is that she’ll ask me something, get an answer, then ask Daddy the same thing. More often than not, it takes about an hour before I snap, but what really kills me is that she just sort of looks at me, smiles and tells me I’m silly before continuing on with her story. It’s amazing to me that while I’m frustrated, she’s looking at everything with such cheer. Usually that helps me to get back to loving, listening mom (but not always).

    Anny-Great solutions!

    She loves to play school. So a lot of times, she’s the teacher. I get some work done at these times because I can sit at the table with paper and pencil and make my lists while she shows me how to make letters. Grocery lists are my favorite! It takes more time than if I just did it, but we’re still interacting and she gets some chatter off her chest.

    Also, the school thing works when we go somewhere too. I make her the line leader and then she has to keep up with me (like they do at school). Sometimes we do silly things, and that will help if it’s a long walk. Sometimes we race to the corner.

  • sunny

    my son & I have the “quiet couch” where we go into the guest room and sit together quietly. I read the newspaper, magazines whatever (not computer tho) and he brings a few books. While we are on the “quiet couch” the rule is that we have to be quiet (ish) and if he does this, then afterwards we can do what he wants! Last week he wanted to water all the plants in the yard with NO help from mom. It was messy, but it was worth it. If this doesn’t sound too weird and structured, you can also use a timer the first few times and start small with the quiet couch. Dont do it when you are at a high frustration level!! Do it when you are calm. My husband does “quiet car” using the length of a song or so.

    the first few times I used a timer for the quiet couch (5 minutes or so) and if it truly was quiet we got to do whatever he wanted after quiet couch

  • speckledpup

    A kitchen timer. Set to ten/fifteen minutes.
    Make sure she has crayons, a movie, whatever, to occupy her time.
    And then strictly enforce that there is NO talking during this time.

    My children have come to understand that it is better to let momma have her fifteen minutes of quiet than to face the ugly beast who didn’t get it.

    They also have chances to use the timer. If they need a little space. The chunk was caught in a lie one evening and had to explain himself. He asked for 15 minutes on the clock. Which I really didn’t want to give at that moment. But the 15 minutes helped us all..and then we “faced the music” when the dinger went off.

    I’ve also heard my older ones telling the other “shhh, momma’s on the timer…give her her space”. ah yes grasshopper, you learn well.

    You do not need to reward for obeying the rules of this quiet time. It’s not a reward system, you deserve it, she deserves it. Just say thanks and go on. The quackers at my house are mostly grown and gone, but the timer…has gone with them all to their respective homes… it works.

  • Jennifer

    My oldest was just like this too! (But now, at 12, the pre-teen sulkies are now hitting hard and she alternates between her normal chatterbox self and a new persona, the “deathly-silent-my-mom-is-so-clueless” one…sigh…) When she was little, I saw a factoid in our local children’s museum that said that the average 4-year old asks 436 questions a day. She was exceptional, at least as far as question-asking went, and I also found myself tearing my hair out. I finally hit on a solution of sorts: I would tell her I needed 5 “question free” minutes and when she would ask the inevitable “why?” I would tell her that a) that was a question, and b) I wasn’t answering questions for the next 5 minutes but she should remember all the things she wanted to ask me and ask me in 5 minutes. It worked, more or less, usually for about 3 minutes–but any break was welcome at that point, lol! Usually, in trying to remember all her questions, she’d forget to pepper me with them, which is why it worked. When the 5 minutes was over, I’d let her know it was ok to ask questions again, and ask her what she’d wanted to ask me during that 5 minutes.

    As far as the slooooooooooow walks, we would factor in extra time to get places, and still be late. It drove me BATTY. I ended up realizing that my kidcdo responded best to game-playing, so I’d come up with silly games to play getting out the door, along the way, or silly reasons to walk faster, or other drenched-in-fun types of things. It took a LOT of work on my part initially (being that creative first thing in the morning with no coffee on board and knowing I had to get to work was HARD) but after we got some good games under our belts she’d request her favorites. I also enlisted her help in creating the games, and that made her more invested in the process. We also found some “fun cards” somewhere that had these kinds of things on them (and other games, for things like bathtime, dinner time, etc.) but I have misplaced them so I don’t have a manufacturer to recommend. But you could probably find something like this online somewhere, or make your own. Unfortunately, at 12, she no longer responds to this kind of incentive and is STILL slow-moving. (ARGH!)

    Good luck!

  • Jess

    She’s 100% normal. Annoying, isn’t it?

    Record her unending chatter. That way, when she’s an “I’m not talking to you” teenager, you can remember the good times when she wouldn’t stop talking. She might refuse to talk for the recording, so either you’ll get your quiet time, or you’ll get a great keepsake for later.

    As far as dawdling goes, it seems a lot safer than running ahead, so at least you have that going for you. I gave up and carried my daughter when I was in a hurry…which totally backfired now that she has a baby brother that needs to be carried, too! Whoops. As a side benefit, I now have arms of steel!

  • Aunt B

    We tried giving our sister a nickel to shut up, she would take it and say OK and then continue to talk. At 50 years old she still talks non-stop. Good Luck!

  • patti

    Sounds perfectly normal to me. My third child is 4.5; he sings, talks, makes noises non-stop. When my first was his age (he’s now 12 and quiet most of the time) he did the same thing and it drove me bonkers. I found that if I let my kids run crazy at the park for a couple hours, the jabbering would subside (too tired to talk). Regarding the dawdling, have a race with her. My kids loved that and always wanted to win, so they moved a little quicker. (p.s. check out the latest post on my blog…a funny “mom” clip)

  • Trisha

    While I know both of those things may drive you crazy…because I have a son who loves to chatter, and I know that as a child, I loved to chatter, but the dawdling part, I think that is the innocence of childhood. When everything was the most interesting thing ever. I would give anything to get that back again. Maybe you should slow down with her. Good luck to you both. I have those same guilts over asking Ben to be quiet…and then realizing that I am squashing his little brain and his enthusiasm, even if it is making me a saner mommy.

  • EmJay

    I have a five and two year old, both of whom talk non-stop and take forever to get going anywhere. They talk over each other and get annoyed when I can’t listen to both of them at the same time. OY! No solutions there. As for the dawdling, I give the minute warnings (this also helps with making other transistions) and then when the 3 to 5 minutes has past I just start leaving the house and suddenly things start to pick up. It still takes what feels like forever to go anywhere. I try to stay calm and not emotionally charged about getting ready. The calmer and more matter of fact I am the more likely they are to respond positively. If I get frantic they pull back.

  • Essie

    Right, I spent over 2 years teaching her to talk and the next 2 trying to make her be quiet. I have a 4 and almost 6 year old and it. never. stops.
    Admittedly my first method is the scream and holler technique that has a low success rate. Mostly because now the little motor mouth is upset and still yammering and now it is all in the language known as Whining Toddler.
    Once in awhile I tell her to “talk in her head” and once in awhile it works. Unbelieveable how much they have to say huh!

  • Clownfish

    Being post #36, I see you have more than enough to digest :-)

    So, I’ll just say HI B! All my best to you three and I look forward to walking, again, on your beach someday.

    – The Clownfish

  • jd

    She’ll always be chatty, but probably won’t always dawdle. For the former, she’ll probably need to do a bit of skill building on being able to rein it in from time to time (i.e. it’s a skill she’ll need to have to function well in school) — I definitely recommend the timer idea. Any other skill in life is built through practice, starting with small steps. Setting a timer for 1 minute, and asking her to be quiet for that 1 minute is a great start. If she talks, the minute starts over again, no discussion. Gradually build to longer times. Don’t think of this as being punitive — you are helping her develop a necessary and useful skill, in a focused way that will probably be more constructive than getting frustrated and snapping at her erratically. And really, if you don’t teach it now, it’s going to be wayyyy harder for her to learn it later, when she cares much less about pleasing you.

    As for dawdling, they outgrow it…eventually. There is no such thing as “hurry” to the 5 and under set. All you can do it talk about concrete expectations in advance, and leave lots of time.

  • Annette

    I remember years ago waiting in line to get coffee before “storytime” at our local Borders. My son was about 3 and a NON STOP talker and question asker. He was asking me question after question after question and I felt like someone ws sticking needles in my eyes. I had the look of a frustrated mom and said to the woman behind me how I just could not take it anymore. She smiled and said something about how lucky I was and what she wouldn’t give to have her son talk to her like that. He was a little older than my son and autistic. That was about 9 years ago and still think of that encounter often. It helped give me perspective, which I needed since my daughter ended up being even worse. The place it got to me the most was in the car when they would both talk at the same time. We started having “quiet contests” to see who could go the longest without talking and that actually worked. Even five minutes of silence was priceless! My son is now 12 and no longer that talkative with me. However, when we’re in the car alone, he starts chatting again. It’s funny that the place I wanted quiet the most is now the place where he talks the most to me and I don’t want him to stop!

  • Andrea

    We actually instituted the “Talking Time Out” which meant a certain number of minutes that our girls could not talk to me. The girls are now 11 and 13 and we still occasionally resort to this, especially when at the grocery store as they divide and conquer trying to score candy, gum, etc. They learned some boundaries and it serves them well, so far.

    P.S. I am the crazy person who recognized you and CC at BlogHer last summer in the Zwaggle room. I suspect you had a very loyal following there, so perhaps I was not the only crazy stalker there.

  • Pilar

    I’ve laughed so hard with your post, but I totally understand you!!! I don’t really mean to discourage you but it doesn’t get better with time! LOL
    I have a 10 and almost-7 year-old and even when they go to school all morning long, during weekends, they can sometimes drive me crazy. They can sing together the same song over and over again when we are in the car.

  • BeachMama

    I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. J talks ALL THE TIME! And yes, I am yelling that. He has a soundtrack for life. If he isn’t talking he is singing. Hubby and I ask him all the time to stop talking or be quiet but it doesn’t work. I am at my wits end because when he goes to school Apple cries for her brother. So instead of 2.5 hours of peace I have a crying girl. I am on the brink I tell ya, he has been talking since he was 18 months, so technically I have had non-stop chatter in my ear for 4 solid years and since his Sister is a talker like him, I think it will continue for a long time to come.

    As for the dawdling, some days are worse than others, but yes he does that too ;)

  • Erin

    My son doesn’t talk yet, but I have the advantage of being on the OTHER side of this problem. Even to this day (I am 26 years old), my Mom will say to me “Erin, I can’t even hear what you’re saying anymore…I need a few.” I talk her OUT. I’ve done it since I was Bug’s age. I think there were a variety of things that worked for us. Take them or leave them…but it’s what I remember from growing up. First of all- quiet time doesn’t work if she can see you. If you need an hour a day, say…try to see if she’ll play in her room on her own, door closed. Lots of Moms don’t like Barbies…but I think this is why my Mom got them for me. We could chat for HOURS, those Barbies and I. Another thing that my Mom would do (and this one is crazy…) is have us call her by her name. My Dad was out to sea a lot when I was a kid, and if she had a particularly hard day, she would say, “For JUST TODAY you need to call me Wendy!” It was like a game, it cut down on the “MOMMMMYYYYYY” and got us out of the habit of calling her ALL THE TIME. I don’t know if Bug’s too young for this last one…but my Mom would encourage an hour or two of quiet time in which we could write down things to tell her later. Then we would sit and have a “conference” in which we could tell her the things we saved up while we were having “quiet time.”

    As for the issue with keeping up…I actually have friends that are still like that. The only thing worse than a toddler slowing you down in the mall is a grown person. I think the only way to get her to keep up would be to stick her in a cart/stroller. I’m not sure the tendency to meander can be overcome until you can explain to her why you have to get right in and right out. I struggle with that, too, because I am a goal-oriented shopper/walker. When I used to babysit younger kids, I’d hold their hands and we’d sing a song, low, while we walked somewhere. If I REALLY needed to be somewhere fast (like catching the bus…for instance…) it would keep their attention on me for those couple minutes, helping them keep my pace.

  • Amy

    Are you sick of advice yet? I think we ALL need a little “think” time as mothers. No matter how much we LOVE our children! I honestly have very LITTLE needs to get away from them. That being said, I need at least one time a day for “quiet time”. I was thinking about you today as I was needing that same 30 min quiet time relief. And It came to me, what I do with my talkative 4 year old. You might not agree with this advice but it has been perfect for me! The answer is…T.V. I think SHE needs a little unwind/veg time I turn one MAYBE two 30 min. shows a day.(at different times of the day). There are GREAT and educational shows out there these days. My two favs are Backyardagins on Nickelodeon. It is soooo CREATIVE and allows kids to use great imagination! The songs are the cutest thing ever too! I have download a cd full of the music and we listen to it in the car and ALL sing along. I HIGHLY recommend this show! The other fav is Letter Factory by Leap Frog. And all the other ones too. My kids have learned as early as 2 all their letters and sounds from that show. It is the best! And my older kids still love to watch it! I love ALL the leap frog shows. GREAT to help reading!!
    Another source of quiet time I enforce is rest time. She knows we have rest time, not nap time, where she is in her room, while I have quiet music on, and she doesn’t have to fall asleep. She can read or what ever but she has to remain in her room to for quiet time. This is just a glorified nap time. It just extended from there. From when I used to put her down for a nap and she would be awake the whole time. For like an hour. But she was perfectly happy. So I just continued putting her down for what we now call”rest time”. She and I totally benefit from this! Best of Luck to whatever you try and do!

  • Holly

    I have no advice, but will be reading the comments and hope to find some answers. I have the EXACT same problem with my three year old. She is never quiet – chattering from the minute she wakes up until she falls asleep. The worst part is, if she doesn’t get a response, she will just keep repeating the question or statement over and over. Kind of exhausting.

  • Amy

    oh…i feel your pain with this one…i really do. my two year old just talks constantly, and I’m someone that loves quiet! i too snap at her and then hate myself for it later, but really, it’s just non stop, right!

    i don’t have any advice, just know that you you’re not the only one out there dealing with this…my little one asks me “mama, why sad?” “mama, be happy?” after I snap and that’s just the kicker right, that she’s so sweet to me when I’ve been so rotten to her. I just have to remember that she’s just curious and totally self absorbed, and it’s only for a while and then i will be wishing she would say two words to me, i just know it.

  • BethanyInBoston

    She sounds just like my daughter. Even before she turned 2 she talked and talked and talked. First thing in the morning until she finally fell asleep. I had always though that it was a stage she would grow out o, but it wasn’t-she’s 8 now and not much has changed. She still loves to talk and never stops. It can be quite overwhelming at times. The good news is that she isn’t the least bit shy, she makes friends easily, and she is tolerant and accepting of everyone. I suppose it’s better that the alternative. It just takes A LOT of patience.