When No Means No. And Yes. And Maybe.

Everywhere I look I see posts about the Terrible Twos or the dreaded Threenager. But not too many have ventured to discuss the Not-So-Wonderful Ones. If you have a child who is in the 14-23 month range, then you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about and have likely seen the following…

5 Hallmarks of the Not So Wonderful Ones

No. No means no. And yes. And maybe. Do you want to change your clothes? NO! Do you want a cookie? NO! Are you ready for a nap? NO! Do you want your favorite blankie? NO! Do you love mommy? NO! Do you love daddy? YES! Grr.

The bucking bronco. You’ll recognize this one if you’ve ever tried to change their diaper or put them in their car seat. “I promise I’m not trying to abduct this child, ma’am. He just enjoys screaming at the top of his lungs, writhing, and kicking me because I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t fly out the window if we’re in an accident. But you’re welcome to take him if you’d like.” Then the bribery starts…”I’ll give you a sucker! Or a cookie! Or my life savings if you just sit in this dang seat!”

The scream. You know the one I’m talking about…the shrill, high-pitched, eardrum-busting sound you hear whenever you try to take away the scissors he grabbed off the counter. Or get her to put on pants. Or say we can’t go outside because it’s icy. It reminds me of this…

Courtesy of Your Daily Laugh.

The Houdini. Nothing makes you want to never. leave. the. house. like having a one year- old. We recently went to a science center while on vacation with our extended family. There were 10 kids present, but only one of them needed 2-on-1 supervision. I’ll let you guess which one it was! Think you’ll try to strap them in the stroller? See “Bucking Bronco” above. Attempt to hold their hand? Watch the previous video. It’s enough to make any mama order the teddy bear leash with one-day shipping from Amazon. {Because who wants to brave Target with a one year-old?}

The mountain climber. What is it about hitting the 14-16 month stage that makes toddlers think they can climb on anything? I don’t remember my oldest being a big climber, but my last 2 sure have been. For a time we had our recliner in the middle of our living room because otherwise my one year-old would use it to climb up on the kitchen counter. We almost went without dining room chairs because he’d use them to climb onto the dining room table. The latest adventure has included opening the oven door and standing on it to reach things on the counter. Maybe someday he’ll fix telephone wires, work on wind turbines, or join the circus as a tightrope walker.

Not So Wonderful Ones Resized
Excuse the mess…have I mentioned I have a one year-old?

The good news is that they will someday outgrow this stage! And with time you will soon forget the trials and only remember the sweet way he would give you hugs, or how she would let you rock her to sleep, or how he made funny faces that made you laugh. But until then, hang in there, mama! Grab a glass of wine, and be sure to check out my post on how to survive toddlerhood!

Kaitlyn Swaim
Kaitlyn is the owner of Cedar Rapids Moms Blog and is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys! A true Hawkeye, she graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something that comes in handy on a daily basis while trying to raise 5 kids! Her favorite things to do include spending time with her family, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading a good book, shopping (of course!), and checking out all the activities the Corridor has to offer!


  1. Hahaha I have always said that I did my difficult duties in the first year and that I will get to skip terrible twos. I hate the title, anyways, as if everyone is predicting my child’s behavior and characteristics based on other children. Everyone has their bad days! (I would like to kindly point out that the child in the first picture is improperly restrained in their carseat and could fly out if they were ever in a wreck. If that’s your baby, I hope you’ll remove those cushions on the straps so that you can move the chest clip up to the proper spot – the chest. That will ensure that the straps stay in the right place if y’all are ever in a wreck and baby will stay in the seat. At the current spot, the straps will slide down the shoulders and baby will fly out of the seat. There are a few YouTube videos that illustrate this really well, so you can see how a carseat’s straps work and it helps you to visualize their importance.)


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