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Is my toddler normal?

(21 Posts)
DIYDummy Sun 01-Jan-17 20:08:47

My dd 17 months, has awaits been very strong willed. Spirited, I think some people say. I always thought she was just a normal toddler, however we went for lunch with 2 other families with toddlers the same age.

Their kids just sat in their high chairs, happily playing and colouring. Mine had a meltdown over everything, and would not sit still. She was perfectly happy running around the pub but obviously we all wanted to sit and eat so she had to go in the high chair. Honestly she just screamed so much we rushed eating and left.

I burst into tears as soon as we walked out as I felt like sch a useless mum! Did is normally ok if she is free to explore, but hates to be confined.

As I mentioned I thought this was normal behaviour for her age, but the concerned looks from the other parents made me think otherwise.

So is this normal, and do they just have super well behaved kids??? Or am I doing something wrong?

Christmascrackedit Sun 01-Jan-17 20:13:39

I think your dd is normal. I used to work in a restaurant, and it was 50/50 on quiet kids and kids who just didn't want to sit still!

I would say from an ex-waitress's view, it's totally, totally normal. And absolutely not annoying, not inconvenient, and nothing to be embarrassed about or cry about. It's normal and anybody who has kids/or used to have kids will always understand.

No personal experience of toddler, but my 11mo sometimes is very good in cafes/restaurants, and other times all over the place! Its unpredictable!

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 01-Jan-17 20:13:55

Sounds normal to me. Some kids just don't like being restrained looking at you 17month old dd my DS was the opposite would sit nice and quiet and cute, he has developmental delays and speech delays. My DD will only go in a high chair if there's food ready to eat, other wise she wants to run about and explore all the dangers exciting things around her

Haggisfish Sun 01-Jan-17 20:14:29

My dc would not have sat still-I hated lunch out for that very reason.

catkind Sun 01-Jan-17 20:14:31

Sitting colouring for any length of time at 17 months is positively precocious imo. Yours is normal!
My two wouldn't have coloured or played for long at that age, could have been distracted for a fair amount of time with the actual food part of the meal. No luck there either?

Fartleks Sun 01-Jan-17 20:16:08

Both are normal. Mine have always sat nicely but I know they are all different.

You can do little things to help. Wear her out for a couple of hours beforehand while avoid giving snacks.

MiaowTheCat Sun 01-Jan-17 20:19:14

Mine went through the phase of being very tricky if we were eating out (more DD1 than DD2) - now aged 3 and 4 they get me endless compliments on their beautiful behaviour when we're having meals out so they do come out the other side of it!

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 01-Jan-17 20:19:32

Do you use a high chair at home?
If you do does DD go in there before food is ready or when it's ready?

Sleeplessinmybedroom Sun 01-Jan-17 20:20:33

My 16 month old will only sit still in a high chair when we're out when she has food. The rest of the time she will be trying to escape. At home she can't get out of her high chair but the ones out are useless at containing her.

elQuintoConyo Sun 01-Jan-17 20:23:07

That was my ds to a T grin

His same-age cousin would be 'perfecly behaved' <grr> and ds would be a wiggling whinger who could even tip an Antilop highchair over!

Tbh he hated restaurants and was pretty calm at home. He is 5yo and can still be a bit of a spanner eating out so we don't go often, we make sure he can run around beforehand and I have a notebook and funky pen in my pocket so he can doodle. It is too interesting a place to calmly sit and 'occupy himself', so there is running commentary on everything, a million and one questions..... It is exhausting! But if we don't go out, he won't learn how to behave.

Lindy2 Sun 01-Jan-17 20:30:12

One of my children would have sat beautifully at that she, the other wouldn't. She simply hated being still (and actually still does at 8 years old now ). We basically adjusted where we are until she was old enough to sit well. We did a lot of eating outside at pubs so she could run around whilst we ate.

DIYDummy Sun 01-Jan-17 20:32:00

She did sit and eat, but they bought the kids food out really quickly (think they were trying to be helpful) and she wolfed it down, so was finished way before our food came!

ahardmanisgoodtofind she does have one at home, but only
Goes in when food is ready.

DIYDummy Sun 01-Jan-17 20:34:45

Think we may just have to have people to us until she is a bit older. I feel bad as she just loves to explore and is very sociable. What she was doing today was running around saying hi to everyone she saw. And I love that about her personality (she is not shy at all) so don't want to quash it!

IrnBrufan Sun 01-Jan-17 21:03:51

You are basically describing my life! My friends child sits nicely and colors in, mine just wants to run up and down restaurants/cafes
I generally don't see people in cafes/restaurants now. Softplays or house dates are the the way forward

DIYDummy Sun 01-Jan-17 21:13:18

irnbru completely agree it's just too much stress!

Do you feel judged by other parents or is it just me being paranoid?

Heatherbell1978 Sun 01-Jan-17 21:15:29

At that age my DS had a very short attention span...he would sit initially in restaurants but after he'd had a few bites to eat we had to take it in turns to occupy him outside or wandering around the restaurant. Now he's 28 months and it's much better, not perfect, but he'll sit longer and be more than happy watching something from CBeebies on the iPad. That wouldn't have lasted more than 5 minutes at 17 months. I have a few friends whose little ones were always much better at just sitting in the buggy or high chair while they ate or had a coffee but mine never has been.

IrnBrufan Sun 01-Jan-17 21:29:46

No I totally know how you feel. It's the ones who look at you sympathetically that winds me up.
They're toddlers, it's normal. I think a few years of going to child friendly places and I'm look forward to going nice places again when they're old enough to be reasonable Hahahaha

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 01-Jan-17 22:05:37

We started giving my DD a little starter (cheese cubes or apple slices) to get her in the chair and calm and buy us some time, either to get in a few hot mouthfuls when at home or so she's sat ready for the meal when out. If shes used to running around until the last minute when at home she won't want to do any different when out. Ignore other people if they look, no one ever had the perfect child.
When we're out trying to get her to sit that bit longer we give her half her meal at a time,drags it out a bit. It's only a phase, remember and repeat

Mrstumbletap Sun 01-Jan-17 23:39:18

My DS was exactly the same. There are 'plonkers' babies/toddlers you can 'plonk' in a high chair or on the floor with a toy that will happily sit and be quiet and then there are our kids OP!

Don't worry, a MNetter told me a while back it can be sign of intelligence (I like to think it is grin) and I now have toddler that is fine in restaurants with colouring books and the odd game to play.

Either take lots of snacks, games, toys etc or avoid until they are a bit older. It will get better OP.

mscongeniality Sun 01-Jan-17 23:49:19

Sounds just like my son, he is 21 months now but has been like this since always. We just avoid going to restaurants with him it's just too stressful! We either go alone or with friends. I have friends whose kids will just chill quietly and I was always amazed to see that.

Temporaryname137 Mon 02-Jan-17 11:44:51

I have spent most of Christmas chasing 15 month old DD around various restaurants. she would eat crayons!!

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