Boobaby and the Wonderful, Fantastic, No Bad, Very Good Day

How is this possible, you ask, after yesterday?

  • We’re still getting our molars in.
  • We’re still covered in snot. (It was caked on like a facial peel this morning.)
  • We’re still having trouble sleeping, and were up for two and a half hours last night.

But… today, Boobaby’s mood and outlook and overall ability to deal has improved significantly. To what do I credit this miracle?

As much as it pains me to say it, because I hate hate hate most parenting books, the answer is Karp. A week ago, I didn’t even know that 13-month old Boobaby was officially a “toddler”; now, I’m singing the praises of a toddler book that taught me how to turn around Boobaby’s whole aspect on life: The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

The deal, basically, is that the first step in dealing with a toddler’s upset is to acknowledge it. I’m hearing the collective “Duuuuuh” from the audience, and yes, I knew that, too: when you’re dealing with a frustrated, angry, sad, preoccupied other person, you start by telling that person that you “hear” them. Good so far.

What Karp taught me, though, is that you can’t use the same language with a toddler to explain that. I’m all for using “adult” full sentences with Boobaby, but when she’s upset, nothing works better than for me to say “MAD! MAD! You’re very MAAAAAD!”, mimicking (to some extent) her tone and mien.

Get the book: Karp explains it better. However, you should know ahead of time that this book falls prey to the same disease that afflicts most other parenting books:

  • They’re too darn long.
  • They’re stuffed with sidebars and anecdotes that are irrelevant and pandering.
  • They take forever to get around to the point.

I have a whole post in mind on this very topic, but suffice it to say that I skimmed chapters one and two and read much of chapter eight. This is a great book. Or rather, it’s a great pamphlet-full of information with 200 pages of baloney packed around it.

The post title, by the way, is homage to a different book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a really cute kid’s book by Judith Viorst.