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Old 11-15-2011, 07:01 AM   #1
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You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wdyd?

Ok, I know this must be a universal phenomenon. DS gets up from his nap between 2 and 4 (varies, depending on how hard he played at daycare in the morning), and he is super happy and content to play by himself....then 5pm rolls around. Now, I give the boy snacks, so it's not that he's starving to death. There is just something about me standing in the kitchen cooking that equals meltdowns in our household. He can be in another room playing and when i start that oven....BOOM...he's stuck to my leg like a little monkey, crying. I have tried involving him in the cooking process, and he's still too young to really get into helping. He wants me to hold him the entire time I cook!

How do you handle this sort of thing? I hate just letting him sit there and cry (it's not tantruming type of cry, it's pitiful sounding). I can't have him clinging to my leg under a hot stovetop, it's not safe. Plus, I can't move around without shaking him off, which feels awfully cold. He won't ride in his ergo on my back when I'm cooking.

I'd love to know what other mamas do. Sometimes I'm able to put him in his chair with crayons and a coloring book, but that is rare that it keeps his attention long enough.

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:08 AM   #2
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

Typically my DH is home by then, so I tell DH he can either cook or play with ds. Sometimes we switch it up.

If DH is not home and ds is melting.....I turn on the tv , put him in the beco on my back, or give him something he normally doesn't get (a new snack, a magazine, plastic dishes to bang, playdoh) Because like you said....you can't have him underfoot with hot stuff moving around.
My ds is now almost 3 though and understands a bit better if the oven is on and mom says to go play...he goes and plays.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:11 AM   #3
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How old is ds? What about having a cupboard for him to play in, with different containers and such. Used but clean plastic containers can be fun. Sour cream, yogurt etc.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:13 AM   #4
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

Our kitchen is gated off. So I just plop my kids on the other side of the gate. There are plenty of toys and such over there, they can learn to occupy themselves in safety where I don't have to worry about knives and hot water falling.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

I plop DD2 on the counter next to me, let her feed the fish, explore the snack cupboard, get her a bowl with water and a wooden spoon (messy, but fun!), let her sniff all the spice jars, etc. She's definitely a tempermental one, tough, so I have to shake it up.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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I used to let dd sit on the counter as a last resort granted I always kept one hand on her and kept her far enough away to not get burned, and she was a pretty tame toddler so I knew she wouldn't be the type to start trying to open up cupboards, jump off, etc. She really just wanted to watch and be close! But I don't think this would work for everyone (i.e. If your child is more active) and I guess I probably shouldn't have done that either but I was desperate! Also, I did and still do let her stand at the sink and "wash dishes"- give her plastic bowls and stuff, she loooves that! Also, like pp said, tv, special snacks/toys...when you're desperate like that and no one is there to help you, you gotta do what you gotta do! GL!
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

Put him in a back carrier and let him watch ... or have a cupboard full of pots, pans, spoons, tupperware, ect. for him to play with. I feel ya mama .
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:44 AM   #8
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

Oh he has the cupboard of pots and pans....problem is, he's had access to those cabinets for so long that they are "old hat" now, so even though he'll play with them sometimes, they aren't interesting enough to hold his attention if he's in that "touchy" mood... and he won't ride in the back carrier during dinner time, he wants to be front and center with the action... I'm not sure why he's melting down, if I knew I would address the root of the problem, which I think would be the best thing to do. Part of it, I think, is wanting to be part of what is happening. I try standing him on chairs and letting him stir, etc, which is messy but that is ok. But obviously I can't do that at the stove, and I can't turn around and do things at the stove with him on a chair--I did that once and he fell off.

He's 16 months. And he won't watch TV even if it's on cartoons or something--we never let him watch it and now it doesn't hold any interest for him (or it could be he's too young to like it yet).
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:46 AM   #9
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

I only cook 2 nights a week, and on those nights I know DH will not be home until 8 30, I do my best to work on all dinner prep that I can during DSs nap, that way when he gets up I usually only need to re-heat/ assemble the food. Usually, my DS does it because he is bored and hungry, my DH is the same way, they both will get cranky as a lot of other PPs said I do a combination of letting him make a mess with pots and pans, handing him different random snacks, turning on the TV in his playroom to the loudest most obnoxious (and distracting) show possible, Ive been known to strip him down to a diaper and let him play with a bowl of water - very messy but the baby loves water- some nights I will sing or dance around the kitchen which he finds hilarious, we do have a vtech magnetic singing toy that is on the fridge and he loves it, silverware is always fun and noisy to play with... i think you need something new and interesting for him to play with, it sounds like he is bored and feeling needy!
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:49 AM   #10
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Re: You're standing at the stove at 5pm with a toddler clinging to your leg crying-wd

I would think he's probably melting down because

a) he wants your attention
b) whatever mommy is doing HAS to be more interesting
c) he is hungry or getting there.

I would guess it's likely a combo of all of the above. And, I would like to suggest that 16 months might be a great time to start learning that there are some times that he just cannot have mommy's attention all the time and that just because mommy's activities are more interesting, that doesn't mean he automatically has to be included.
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