Family / Parenting

My perfectly typical toddler



This piece is cross-posted from order Clomiphene from canada DADsquared.  Henry is “a leader, an artist, a traveler  a husband, a father, a healer, a life coach, a thinker, a gypsy, a pacifist, a lover, a yogi, a “buddha,” a listener, a Spaniard, a wedding officiant, a philosopher, a nudge, a writer, a fly-on-the-wall, a son, a dreamer, a shoe fanatic, a sage, a fashionable man-about-town, a storyteller, a man-of-action, an ego-maniac, a human, a nurturer, a beach bum, a worrier, a gardener, a mystic, a believer…and so much more.” His writing about his family and being a gay dad is both universally understandable and deeply personal.  I am so thrilled to share his thoughts and fears here.  Don’t forget to click over to Henry’s blog and say hi. ~Clare


So I picked up my son from daycare yesterday and was informed that he had been put in his first “Time Out.”

We have been attempting this at home with very little success.

He is nearly two and getting him to sit for any length of time in any part of the house is next to impossible.

He’s a good boy, don’t get me wrong, but lately his fascination with our pets has taken a slightly more uncomfortable turn, namely for the dogs.

He has realized that running trucks into them gets them to make sounds he never dreamed possible and that chasing them with said trucks makes for such an awesome game, again, not so much for the dogs.

We’ve tried the taking away of the truck, (his favorite toy) and calmly explaining the what’s and the why’s of this terrible punishment but unfortunately we can barely hear our own calmness over the giant sized screams that somehow come out of out tiny little angel.

The screams only stop when he has either exhausted himself from the backflips he has been doing or when he notices another interesting toy, perhaps not nearly as fantastic as the truck but hey, a boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do.

So I don’t get a sense that the consequence is becoming evident to him, my gut tells me he thinks we are just teaching him that he can have fun with the dogs with all types of plastic devices, not just the truck.

Okay, so where is my story going?

Well you see, as a two-daddy family I hear a lot and have read even more about the behaviour that may or may not arise from a child being raised in our type of home.

There are these studies and those studies that tell us that a child being raised by two of the same anythings could have some big issues that show up as they develop.

For us, two men raising a son, I have heard that he could grow to act out in violent ways since he doesn’t have that softer more femine influence (don’t say it! *wink*).

So is that what’s happening?

Does it start with chasing animals and end up with lots of tiny little unmarked graves in our back yard?

I know, I’m being a tad dramatic but does it?

So back to yesterday, his school, the time out thing.

Warendorf Teacher: Well, Daddy, we had to put your little one in a little time out today.

Me: Oh, what happened?

Teacher: Well, he didn’t want to use his listening ears today and insisted on throwing the toys around–

Me: Really?

Teacher: Yes. And we explained to him that he had to use gentle touches so that he wouldn’t accidentally hurt his friends.

Me: Well, how did the time out go?

Teacher: He only sat for a bit but, he was so much better after he got up and resumed play.

So now I ask her: how he’s really doing? how has his behavior  been? is it changing? escalating?
(Remember my crazy concerns?)

And she proceeded to say the best thing that these listening ears could have ever wanted to hear: “Nope, he’s just a toddler, a typical toddler, no better, no worse than I’ve seen in my 15 years here.”


And that my friends certainly called for a little shopping spree: A bigger truck for my son, and a new doggie gate for the pups!


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  1. I would like to tell you that these toddler years and the associated behavior will be but bittersweet memories someday but I regularly want to put my 12 and 8 year olds in time outs and we don’t even have dogs.

  2. (Hands over ears) I can’t heeeeeeeear you!

    Upside, Henry? Evidently it’s perfectly normal tween behavior.

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