30 Ideas for Redirecting Your Screaming Toddler

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A large toddler, screaming. Edvard Munch (1893)

1. When I said, “Use your words, I forgot you only have 150 or 200 of them.”

2. Alexa! Lower the damn volume!

3. If you stop hollering, I will chase after you like a monster for 20 minutes.

4. Let’s count to 1,000.

5. You have preschool tomorrow. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday, thank goodness.

6. We don’t we channel all this energy and clean up the garage?

7. Want to watch Moanana? Fwozen? Both? Want to watch everything?

8. If……you’re happy and you know it….?

9. Remember when you were a tiny baby and slept nineteen hours every day?

(Leaves the room, splashes water on face, brushes teeth and goes into the kitchen to make eggs. Returns several minutes later…)

10. Let’s change the topic. Isn’t this whole Bloomberg thing ridiculous? I mean, he can’t even get on the debate stage without donations. What is that idiot thinking?

11. We should really channel all this energy and rebuild the back porch. Are you good with a hammer?

12. Venting is good! Get it out, honey! Get it all out! All of it! Out!

13. These noise-canceling headphones are junk.

14. Let’s change the topic. How about this Red Sox offseason? They need bullpen help. Instead, we’re begging teams to take David Price and and MVP candidate in Mookie Betts. Your screaming reminds me of how I feel about John Henry refusing to pay the luxury tax.

15. Do you remember when your vocal chords were less developed?

16. We should really channel all this energy, build a rocket ship, and fly to the moon.

17. What sound does a duck make?

18. Okay, let me tickle you until these shrieks turn into giggles.

19. Please tell me approximately how much longer this will last so I can set a timer.

20. I love you I love you I love you.

21. Where did the dogs go? How come they get to leave?

22. I can’t wait to shriek like this at your graduation. All that catharsis and the bonus: it will embarrass you!

23. If you stop whine-crying, I will sing Itsy Bitsy Spider 100 times.

24. If you stop fussing, I will find a place that let’s us play with cats all afternoon.

25. If you calm down, I will bring your favorites…yogurt and crunchy seaweed!

26. If you stop, there will be french toast!

27. If you stop, we will be so happy!

28. Hey, let’s change the subject again. Have you thought about colleges?

29. Isn’t the cost of preschool crazy?

30. Oh…you’re all done? Want to start counting now? Need some water?

Writing. Poetry. Personal Essays. On the NBA, MLB, media, journalism, culture, teaching and humor.

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