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My toddler DS will not let me talk to anyone ....

(14 Posts)
Soupla Wed 14-Nov-12 21:08:28

Met friend today, we went to National Trust park, followed by coffee shop. Had a lovely time outside, in coffee shop all hell broke loose. (He's 21 months.) He shouted for this & that, kept chucking cup onto the floor, then when I turned away he up-ended his plate. The shouting for him to be let out of high chair was embarrassingly loud so I let him out, whereupon he started running around, picking things up off the table of stuff that was for sale. (The shop is attached.) Retired Major and his wife at the next table were not impressed.

The thing is, if I go on my own/we stay in all of most of the day they (he's a twin) are fine but if I EVER try to go anywhere with a friend they just seem to hate the fact that I am talking to someone else. I only try to meet someone about once a week. There have been periods when I've just given up trying to meet up with people but one day they will go to school and I will be BillyNoMates, which is how I feel when I go places on my own but it is actually easier. If lonelier.

LadyInPink Wed 14-Nov-12 21:25:57

At 21 mths he is only 3mths off being two so is well able to understand you getting down to his eye level and stating in no uncertain terms that you will not tolerate this behaviour. Follow through with whatever threat you decide to give him but DO NOT SAY "Any more nonsense and we're going home" as that scuppers your coffee with a friend and makes him learn that he only has to play up to get your attention and go home. Praise the twin who is behaving too and start with a short coffee meet up as it is boring for 2yr olds to sit and listen to grownups for hours but 1/2 hour is not unreasonable.

Stand firm because a lot of other parents will be watching how you deal with the situation as lots are in the same boat so don't be afraid to talk firmly.

Sirzy Wed 14-Nov-12 21:27:28

Oh no, its such an awkward age with one so having two must make it even worse.

If you know you are likely to stopping for a coffee take a few toys or books to distract him with. Children get bored very quickly so half of the issue can be stopping the bordom setting in, even a bit of paper and some crayons will do.

I wouldn't let him lose in a cafe at all, as well as risking annoying others it is potentially quite dangerous.

Beamur Wed 14-Nov-12 21:33:42

I remember this age well!
I recall being with DD in a supermarket (she was safely trapped in the seat) and I was chatting to some chap trying to sell me gas/electricity. I heard 'mummy mummy mummy' - looked round to DD, who then said, clearly and loudly 'stop talking to that man'. She hated my attention being anywhere than on her.
It's not unusual and it's fairly understandable (from a 21month olds perspective) but you do need to be prepared, with lots of interesting items to keep their attention and teach them that they have to be a little bit patient.
Be realistic though about how long your kids will tolerate sitting around.

Soupla Wed 14-Nov-12 21:41:39

Thank you both. Yeah it was just all wrong today. I did exactly that re "Any more nonsense . ..." and of course had to follow through the threat (to the enormous relief of everyone in cafe). Am ashamed now to let him out but you should have heard how loud he was. Thing is if I get down to his eye level & tell him off he just laughs, looks at her and they both laugh. I'm aware that I sound pathetic and I'm no shrinking violet it's just I don't want to kill their spirit/want them to develop self-discipline and so on but am also hopefully a considerate person and want everyone else in the vicinity to enjoy themselves.

We had only been there about 5 minutes. I had to leave my coffee and didn't even touch the teacake I'd bought. They will stay for any length of time as long as they are sure they have my full attention. As I say, I feel isolated sometimes.

Soupla Wed 14-Nov-12 21:42:18

And you Birzy, we x-posted.

Beamur Wed 14-Nov-12 21:47:06

This is the worst age IME for cafe/restaurant trips - but if you persevere, your kids will learn how to behave. Pick your venues too - avoid anywhere too precious or child-unfriendly.
DD is now 5 and a delight to go out with.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 14-Nov-12 21:58:18

Yes, my DD did exactly the same. She's nearly 4 now and still does this sometimes blush It bothers me hugely and she should know better by now.

Perseverance and also preparation, I tried to bring a high value toy with me to places I thought she might play up.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 14-Nov-12 21:59:20

Oops sorry I meant she's nearly 5 blush

Soupla Wed 14-Nov-12 22:03:37

Will keep persevering. I'll have to accept, I suppose, that meeting a friend = will not even get a slurp of coffee but will get chat - whereas no chat = I get to drink coffee. For the time being.

<adjusts hair shirt>

Thank you for your replies.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 14-Nov-12 22:46:37

My that's a beautiful hairshirt, how it brings out the colour of your eyes smile

Respect that you are even managing to leave the house with 21 month old twins.

Lollipops are also good - kids busy sucking lollipops = unable to interupt grin but yours might still be a little young for that.

Soupla Thu 15-Nov-12 14:03:32

Thank you Unexpected. I saved up for ages for it. It off sets my whole look, which at the moment is not a good one, but that is a whole different whinge.

Thank you also re the leaving the house comment because that is my greatest sense of achievement some days. blush Even if I usually have half my clothes on inside out, have invariably forgotten something and, as above scenario witnesses, it often feels pointless once we're there.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Thu 15-Nov-12 17:54:58

DS was a bit of a trial at that age too - he wouldn't run around but would just repeat 'mummy, mummy, mummy' ad infinitum until I thought my ears would bleed. If he could, he'd grab my face and turn it away from my friend and towards him.

He is 2.9 now and an absolute dream to take out for coffee/a meal. Things which helped:

Fiddly snacks (raisins!)
Crayons/stickers and paper
Toy cars
My husband's itouch which we have loaded a couple of puzzle games on to.

We rarely have to resort to any of this now, he is happy enough to eat/drink and join in the chat! Hang in there, it does get easier!

ScrambledSmegs Thu 15-Nov-12 18:13:08

I feel your pain. DD was like this. It was deeply embarrassing, and still can be if we're not firm enough or she's overtired (she's 2.8yo).

I was shown up quite massively at a cafe one day with a friend. Her DD is the same age, but when her DD tried to interrupt more frequently than necessary, she just said a firm "Mummy's talking"* and carried on chatting to me. Mine of course was a yelling, screaming mess blush I couldn't believe that this worked, but it did, so I tried with DD and it still seems to be doing the trick. Obviously not all the time, but enough so that I don't get astronomically frazzled.

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