grow

How To Tire an Energetic Toddler

I don’t enjoy saying NO, STOP and DON’T all day long.
And I really don’t want to be that Mom..
The one who develops my sons image of this world
in terms of all the things he “can’t” do.
But it takes a lot of effort, energy and patience to stay positive as a parent.
Three qualities that seem to be on short supply since the moment I earned the “Mom” label.
So I have had to improvise,
to find some tricks that help me stay sane
while also having a fun,
positive experience with my kiddo.
My favorite such activity,
the Adventure Walk.
We take our Adventure Walk nearly every early evening,
from about 4-5:30 p.m., give or take.
No stroller.
No specific destination.
No rules.
We just step out of the house,
and I follow Baby W wherever he leads me.

Sometimes we end up at the park,
sometimes the elementary school across the street,
sometimes the greenbelt,
sometimes all three. 

If Baby W decides he wants to pick up dirt and rub it into his clothes…
I let him.
If Baby W decides to throw rocks into the gutter…
He’s allowed.
If Baby W decides to jump in puddles,
take off his shoes,
go down the slide head first,
roll around in the grass
and get dirt under his fingernails,
then I turn off my Momma OCD for an hour and a half
and let him be a boy.
We collect all kinds of goodies on these adventures.
Sticks, stones, shells, rocks, bottle caps.
And just yesterday,
my Momma gave me these fun jars
to display our Adventure Walk discoveries.
 

The best part,
after our walk,
all Baby W wants to do is rest and cuddle on the couch.
And for those of you who know my kiddo,
that’s a rare occurrence.

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61 Comments

  • Reply
    Candace Boice
    May 10, 2011 at 12:57 am

    what cute jars! though I'm not a mother quite yet, I can only imagine that I will definitely be an OCD mom. I like the idea of an afternoon adventure walk. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan
    May 10, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Ahhh! He's so cute. My Big M has more energy than anyone I've ever known. Now that he's getting bigger we have a little energy drain plan. I'll say, "Buddy, you need to do some laps. How many do you want to start with?" One time he did 100 laps around the house. . .and that was after we had spent the whole morning outside. One day at a school party he ate a cupcake, looked over at me and said "Mom, I'll be back. I need to run some laps." The other moms thought it was hilarious. I think its a life savor=)

  • Reply
    Pamela
    May 10, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Those jars are such an adorable idea!!!
    The adventure walk a much needed necesssity I think too! It's hard when you catch yourself after spending a whole day with your child and you've realized you've said more "no's" than perhaps I love you's.
    I have those days J may watch more episodes of his favorite cartoon, or splash way too much water out of the bath than I'd like, blow bubbles in his milk, or carry one too many trucks around with his while we do errands. But I let him because once in a while, kids need to be kids and parents need to not say no.

    I love the adventure walk, and that may be a much needed addition to our weekends.
    Happy belated Mother's Day!
    PB&J

  • Reply
    Shelley
    May 10, 2011 at 1:06 am

    i am right there with you friend. i take our little Jude to the park twice a day. we have 2 within walking distance, but we also drive to one daily too!! it just seems to get his little energy wiggles out. we explore nature and talk about God and his creation. thank you for sharing your precious little one.

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    May 10, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I think Landyn and I need to join you for an adventure walk one day. And your momma needs to do a DIY tutorial on those jars. I LOVE!

  • Reply
    dancin' momma
    May 10, 2011 at 1:14 am

    This is such a great idea! I definitely need to test this out with my oh so energetic kiddos!

  • Reply
    Mrs. B.
    May 10, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I just found your blog (via Andrea @ Worleyhouseblog) and I adore it. 🙂 Such great content and what an adorable Baby W. you have!
    Just wanted to drop a comment and say keep up the good work and…I loooove your name.
    So original. 😉
    -Ashley B.
    @ She's Star-Crossed

  • Reply
    Renee
    May 10, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Very cute jars.

    And a great idea. Its so much better to have things to do to keep them occupied.

    He is adorable.

  • Reply
    MeganAmy
    May 10, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I love the idea of an adventure walk!! and boy is my 2 yr old daughter an adventurer.. much like you son I am guessing from the blogs I have been reading of yours! Just yesterday (mothers day) my bean had my outside down in the woods behind our farm climbing inbetween branches of a fallen down dead tree.. (oh and let me mention she was in a jean skirt and rubber boots and I was in flip flops) oh the joys of being a Mommy! You never know where the day will take you!

  • Reply
    Alexis Kaye
    May 10, 2011 at 1:37 am

    That's so sweet! and what an awesome idea! I'll have to remember this one 🙂

  • Reply
    Dominique @ Craft Couture
    May 10, 2011 at 1:37 am

    So cute! Those jars are adorable too! & yeah My little girl is the same way, she never sits still or just wants to cuddle of the couch lol.

  • Reply
    deannah
    May 10, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I have been loving your blog since I discovered it when you posted Lyndsi's cake pops (my husband and I knew Lyndsi and Matt when we lived in SB too). Anyway, I have obviously never commented before but I have 2 boys and I LOVE the adventure walk idea. Brilliance! So thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    Fierce Mamahood
    May 10, 2011 at 1:45 am

    It's like you are writing for me this week:) I have a VERY energetic 10 month old and already find myself thinking what the heck will I do with him as he gets older. This is a great idea I plan to implement 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea
    May 10, 2011 at 1:50 am

    that is awesome!

    and those jars, what a fab idea!

  • Reply
    Mindy
    May 10, 2011 at 1:57 am

    It's always nice to hear other parents that face the same obstacles. Makes the journey, of a sometimes tested one a little easier.

  • Reply
    Ginger
    May 10, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Love it! What a great grandma for giving him the jars too.

  • Reply
    gin
    May 10, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Love this! I'll have to keep this in mind for the near future; my little guy's energy is multiplying at a daily rate!

  • Reply
    Kellie
    May 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I love EVERYTHING about this. Everything.

  • Reply
    MamaMonki
    May 10, 2011 at 2:09 am

    This is perfect! I am totally stealing your idea. It will help tire WeeMan and help mama with her Weight Watchers and I'll get to spend time not constantly saying no. Thank you!

    Also going to be making some jars. WeeMan has developed a fondness for rocks.

  • Reply
    Amanda M.
    May 10, 2011 at 2:10 am

    That is a FANTABULOUS idea. I wish I would have thought of that one when my 6-year-old was that age!

    He is so dern cute, too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Audrey Crisp
    May 10, 2011 at 2:12 am

    That's awesome! Great idea! Love the treasure jars!

  • Reply
    Comeca Jones
    May 10, 2011 at 2:19 am

    You are really coming along with that whole patience thing. I wish I had tried it I was and still am a lil bit of a trainwreck when it comes to my kids Stop, quit, No! Like you said it gets old.The funny part is,my sons are 17,18(lips twisted)BTW your nature walks are so cute and the little jars they make me smile.

  • Reply
    Crystal
    May 10, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Cute, cute jars i'm gonna have to do this w/my kids! Wanted to let you know that i featured you today!

  • Reply
    A Randomlicious Blog for the Soul
    May 10, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Love outings with my toddler, it keeps me sane as well. I HAVE to get out of the house with him….it's harder to just let him wander though when I have another little one.
    Cute Jars! Such a cute idea!

  • Reply
    Nance Mommy
    May 10, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Those jars are so cute! Ashley, I've read your last couple of post and I want you to know that I feel your pain. I am the mother of 3 children, but my boy who just turned 4 is ALL boy and always on "fast forward". He knows just how to push my buttons too. You are a great mom! Keep your chin up, keep taking the smallest moments and savoring them and just enjoy him. He will test you time and time again! He will crawl under your skin and make you think you are the worst mom ever! And you know what…that is proof that you are not. The fact that you care and are so concerned! He will grow up to be just fine and all the qualities that drive you nuts now will be your favorite things about him. His curiousity, perseverence, determination, imagination. They will take him far in life! You are doing a great job…and seriously, I would have cried my eyes out too if mine had thrown my iPhone in the toilet 🙂

    http://www.mosscoveredpath.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Kayla
    May 10, 2011 at 2:56 am

    One of my FAVORITE things about being a Momma is watching my little boy run and play! I love it when he can have no boundaries and just let loose!

    I also love the times when I sneak in and watch him totally engrossed in his own world!

    It's so fun being a Momma 🙂

  • Reply
    Carly
    May 10, 2011 at 3:10 am

    I'm SO stealing your mom's idea when Mason is older! And yours too…it's SUCH a good thing to allow him to develop independance and exploring the world with boundaries (safety).

  • Reply
    An Irish Italian Blessing
    May 10, 2011 at 3:39 am

    WOW, you are such a good Mom! I don't know what my daughter would do if I let her take charge. I do know she would LOVE it, maybe I'll give it a shot after I drink a lot of coffee 🙂

  • Reply
    Siobhan aka Kiwivandal
    May 10, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I love those moments when you suddenly look at your children on the way inside and realize they are filthy, but you just dont care, because they are so happy and you remember what it was like to be carefree, even for a little while.

  • Reply
    tamara
    May 10, 2011 at 4:26 am

    What a great idea! I grew up with sisters so having a son is a true learning experience for me. I'm going to give this a try with my 22 month old:)

  • Reply
    Jayna Rae
    May 10, 2011 at 4:29 am

    How fun. I will have to see if this will work for us. I think it would be nice.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 10, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Love this idea! We have our morning walk/jog….well, MY walk/jog – the boys, 2yrs & 10 mon – get to sit back and relax while i get the hard labor; every day. But my 2 yr old is always asking to get "down" when we're out. This is such a cute idea, and I love how you are collecting stuff from the walks – GREAT idea! I may have to try this out 🙂

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

    That is an awesome idea! You are such a wonderful mother 🙂 Logging this idea away for when I'm a little momma…

  • Reply
    Shay
    May 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    brilliant! my kids LOVE to collect treasures. i call my daughter the rock huntery =) i just never really thought of making it into an activity like you did. storing them like that for her to see would be neat too. ahh ashley, you never let me down!

  • Reply
    KaraG
    May 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I recently found your blog (and Etsy store!) and I love it! I so look forward to your posts! The post's about Baby W are almost like flashbacks to me, it's like you are in my head. I went through the same things with my son (he's now 7). He was "difficult" to say the least! But I'm happy to say it has gotten MUCH easier as he has gotten older, and it will for you too. From one tired, stressed, frazzled, tearful, love-filled mom to another, HANG in there! You are doing an amazing job!!

  • Reply
    Shellsea
    May 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This is such a great idea. Must be hart to pull back your natural mama instincts of saying no and such. Good job!

    Love, Shellsea Blog

  • Reply
    radiomomrhetoric
    May 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    ohhh W is so sweet…I think I will take Miss Maya out for the same thing! Fun times!!!

  • Reply
    Dashing Tales
    May 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I just LOVE your blog and i'm trying to start my own!!! thank you for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    pakosta
    May 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    how very special!
    what GREAT memories!
    and the jars are so COOL!
    tara

  • Reply
    Angela Negron Fulton
    May 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I absolutely love the jars! My daughter (full of energy) and I go to the park looking for bugs, ants, rocks and bark…. she loves to keep the rocks. I took one of the rocks to my work and labeled it "Stop to smell the roses" because they gain so much joy just from those simple things. You are an amazing mom. I love reading your blog! Keep it up!

  • Reply
    Eisley Rae Clothing
    May 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    An adventure walk is a brilliant idea!! So simple, but so much fun. Baby W is adorable and I love the ideas of the jars. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Lindsi
    May 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    This is a GREAT idea! In fact, I think I am going to snag it from you, if you don't mind! 😉

  • Reply
    Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs
    May 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thats so awesome, I bet he LOVES that! I have one girl and 2 boys.. and My daughter is the oldest.. she was sooo easy! She played well by herself, didnt do anything yucky or dangerous. Was smart and patient and got along with everyone! Once I had Bruce Jr.. oh man. Talk about scary..I had never been to the emergency room so many times in my life! He's had a peanut shoved and stuck up his nose, he's split his forehead open at age 2 and had to get stitches… and then he pulled them out 2 days later while he was supposed to be napping!
    Boys are wild and crazy and need that adventure time. Brucey will ask me "momma can we go on a abenture" and we go out and find froggies, or I watch him ride his quad! He is amazing on that thing for his age (he just turned 5). Zander is my baby, 2 years old, and loves going outside to explore. He too loves when I let him lead. He thinks its the greatest thing for me to follow him as he leads me around our property. He picks up sticks and throws rocks.. puts random things in his mouth, makes a face and then spits it out. HAHA Most of me wants to say yucky.. no no. But Then I realize he is a boy.. he will do PLENTY of "yucky" things in his life time. 🙂 I may as well get used to it now! And then the saying comes to my mind "God made dirt, and dirt dont hurt" LOL
    So what else is a Momma to do besides let boys be boys. 🙂

  • Reply
    Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs
    May 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    By the way.. I meant to say Baby W is getting more and more handsome with every picture you post! And I LOVE those jars your mom made! I am going to have to make something similar for my boys! I bet they will love being able to keep their treasures! 🙂

  • Reply
    Leah
    May 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Those jars are SOOOO cute! And I lOVE the idea of an adventure walk. I think that is going to be a must when the weather FINALLY gets warmer.

    http://lifelovesleah.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Simplegirl
    May 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Those jars are a fantastic idea! And let me add what a great mommy you are to do that with your little one. So fun!

  • Reply
    The Nobles
    May 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    We do this too!!! Every night when we get home from work our little guy gets to wander around the neighborhood doing whatever he wants! It has been so great for him and for us. Love the jar idea, definitely going to steal that! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Such a great idea – I think I'll adopt this one! My 16 month old son would thoroughly enjoy this! PS – my son's hair is similar to Baby W's – how do you get the faux-hawk to stick up? My son's seems to just lay flat on his head!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Maeve Rachel
    May 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    The jars are a fantastic idea!! So cute! =)

  • Reply
    Ashley
    May 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    this is such a good idea! you are such a great momma. kids need time and freedom to be messy kids amidst the, 'no's' and 'don't touch' and 'stop that'. i think i'll try this with my two kiddos now that the weather is nice:)

  • Reply
    Girl of The Grove
    May 10, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Can I be just like you when I become a momma next year?? : )

  • Reply
    scrapcraft
    May 11, 2011 at 12:24 am

    What a fabulous idea. I hate being that Mom. I feel like i am always saying no. I need an adventure walk with my boys!

  • Reply
    Jolie BĂŠbĂŠ
    May 11, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Your post was so inspriring, definatley trying it out with my energetic toddler!
    I love your blog, im your newest follower!

  • Reply
    Life With The Painters
    May 11, 2011 at 6:19 am

    My son is 21 months and after my husband started taking him (and the dog) out in the backyard to drain their energy, Gavin has slept for longer stretches at night and I haven't had to bring him to our bed (out of pure exhaustion from waking up at least 4x a night!) for the last 4 nights! Last night he only woke up once! Amazing!

    Now that the weather is getting nicer (in Alaska), we will be starting a family walk at night to wear our son and fur baby out!

  • Reply
    Scott & Traci
    May 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    OH my goodness! I LOVE YOUR BLOG! 🙂 I just have to say, thank you for the idea, my little boy is only 11 months old, but I think I am going to start giving him more time just to explore and get dirty and be a boy. Thank You! 🙂

  • Reply
    Scott & Traci
    May 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    OH my goodness! I LOVE YOUR BLOG! 🙂 I just have to say, thank you for the idea, my little boy is only 11 months old, but I think I am going to start giving him more time just to explore and get dirty and be a boy. Thank You! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly Rachel
    May 12, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I LOVE the jars!!! Pinned!!!

  • Reply
    PeaceLoveApplesauce
    May 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Oh, how fun!!

  • Reply
    Stacy
    May 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I'm on a scavenger hunt to find the best blogs and I chose yours. I love it! This post stood out to me because it shows how you let W just be a kid and explore. In this hurried society it is so easy to forget to just follow their lead sometimes. Kuddos!
    ~Stacy
    @clutterkeeper

  • Reply
    Cassie
    July 30, 2011 at 2:58 am

    This is such a wonderful idea. I think i'm going to start doing this with my little ones, I really think they would love it. Thanks for sharing! =D

  • Reply
    Dear 22 Month Old Baby W - grow - Little Miss Momma
    September 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    […] So this time, best of both worlds…I got us matching presents.Yours are blue, mine are red.The day they arrived in the mail we took them out for a test spinon your daily adventure walk. […]

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