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My Biggest Toddler Pet Peeve (So Far)

2013 February 26
by Becky

I feel like a crazy person this week…loans, landlords, inspections, insurance, doctors, moving surveyors, lenders, Stu traveling…head is spinning and it’s been hard to focus.

Thank goodness for gym daycare and preschool. Those hours are super fun for Ethan and super productive for me. Ok, the gym time is an hour spent keeping my butt at a normal size, but preschool is solid productivity time.

So, naturally, this would be the week my biggest pet peeve about toddlerhood reared it’s ugly head.

Does your two year old ever do this?



See those cheeks?

FULL of food.

This is Ethan’s I’m-not-going-to-swallow-all-the-food-I-just-stuffed-in-my-mouth-just-to-make-you-completely-crazy look.

He did it yesterday at lunch. We’d just finished some scrumptious tex-mex fare at Moe’s, Ethan devouring a huge quesadilla and part of my burrito bowl, behaving like a perfect gentleman. It was a great little “date”. Until the last bite. I saw the look on his face and knew the no-swallow fun was back.

I started off ignoring it. “Guess I’ll eat your cookie by myself since you aren’t done!” My attempt to entice without acknowledging the behavior. But he held his ground.

The next 10 minutes consisted of me trying every tactic I know to get Ethan to swallow that mouth-full of food.
Concerned Mommy: “Please swallow, I don’t want you to choke.”
Excited and Carefree Mommy: “Come on and finish that bite buddy! Let’s go outside and stomp in rain puddles!”
Consequence Mommy: “We’re not leaving till you swallow.”
Stern Mommy: “Ethan, swallow right now.”

I’m not going to lie, I even laid out a whole chain-of-events story that involved him choking on the food and me resuscitating him on the floor of Moe’s while waiting for an ambulance. He usually does better with lots of explanation, but not in this case.

The three guys sitting in the next booth were getting quite the show…I just averted my eyes to I wouldn’t see the annoyed/humored stares they were giving me.

We finally had to get in the car to make it home in time to meet the moving company assessor, and when Ethan asked to hear the “Cars Song” (Life is a Highway from the movie Cars—it’s on a constant loop) I told him it wouldn’t play till he swallowed.

It worked. TRIUMPH!!!!

Then at dinner.

HappyEaterHe is eating chunks of blue cheese, by request, straight from the container.


He did it again. Ran around the house for 30 minutes with huge cheeks full of food.
Back and forth, round and round, playing with toys, all with food sloshing around in his mouth.

So I ignored it. To no avail.

My final solution?


All it took was the promise of chocolate to get that food into the belly.

I HATE bribing him. I know I’m completely encouraging this behavior, but clearly ignoring it and rationalizing isn’t working. Hopefully today was a fluke, tomorrow he will forget all about how much fun it is to make mom crazy.

Not swallowing food = my biggest toddler pet peeve.



8 Responses
  1. Lauren permalink
    February 27, 2013

    Omg thank god other toddlers do this! Ava does the same thing! I’ve actually had to resort to holding her nose to get her to open her mouth prior to bedtime- refusing to put her to bed worried about her choking!

    • Becky permalink*
      February 27, 2013

      SO frustrating!!! Glad Ethan’s not the only one.

  2. February 27, 2013

    Mine will chew something and if it is a flavor/consistency he doesn’t like or it’s too big/too small/too round/too square/too hot/too cold/too ANYTHING he will just stick his tongue out and try to make it fall off his tongue. He then wants me to WIPE IT OFF HIS TONGUE. I too have tried everything and he will sit there with his tongue hanging out until something is done about the offensive food. Dinnertime is a really classy occasion in our house.
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    • Becky permalink*
      February 27, 2013

      Ha, I’ve done some tongue wiping in my day. Our main duty is to feed our little dudes and they like to make it SO difficult!

  3. February 27, 2013

    Don’t remember that one! Thank goodness.

  4. Brianne permalink
    February 27, 2013

    Hilarious post! A friend of mine and Nick’s from ISU told a story about her toddler who would get Cheez Its from her in the kitchen, hold them in his mouth, go to the living room, take them out and feed them to their dog, then repeat the whole process! Maybe Ethan saving it for Dewey!

    • Becky permalink*
      February 27, 2013

      That I would actually laugh at…so funny! I wouldn’t put it past him.

  5. Kristan permalink
    February 27, 2013

    It still boggles my mind that sweet little Ethan does such a thing!! I know you’re not surprised I’ve never had that problem with Quinn since I practically have to force him to eat, but, I will just say this….this too shall pass!! And then it will be on to the next annoying 2 year old behavior…..

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