Oh, the Subtleties of Toddler Behavior

It’s amazing.  For a kid who doesn’t talk much (thank you, toddler language delay), Norton has little problem with getting his point across.  Sometimes toddler behavior can tell me more about what he wants than any amount of words or screaming.  While toddler behavior can often be perplexing, it’s pretty awesome when he leaves little to no doubt as to what he’s looking for.

For quite some time now, Norton has insisted on fastening his own high chair straps when he’s put in for food.  And he’s known to go to his chair when it’s meal time so that one of us can put him in his high chair for even longer.  It’s the routine and it’s one that works for us.  This week, Norton has figured out something else: he’s figured out how to climb up into his high chair all by himself.  I have to admit, being the kind of mom that I am, my first thought was safety: he’s going to fall off, smash his head on the table and break his skull.  Or some other horrifying thing that involved blood and tears, culminating in a panicked trip to the emergency room.

I guess I should just be grateful that he’s only climbing up and sitting, and not doing something stupid like jumping off or whatever.

This morning, Norton used his climbing skills to tell me what he wanted.  He climbed up in his chair, calmly sat down, and fastened the straps to his chair.  Then he used his body weight to sort of roll the chair forward by throwing his weight around a bit in the chair, right up until he was close enough to pull the chair up to his spot at the table.  He refused to get down, and yelled at me when I told him to get out of his chair and go for quiet time.

Fortunately, the husband was there to point out to me that he had done this exact same thing last night.  Translation: Norton wanted to eat, and he wanted to eat right then.  So what could I do but oblige him?  Two handfuls of goldfish crackers later, Norton was happy and ready to take his nap.  And Norton gave some fresh insight into toddler behavior.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Love this post! I had the same reaction to my toddler climbing up the high chair. I’ve learned to stay calm and focus on the good by praising him for accomplishing the task on his own. Looks like Norton is already showing his independence.

  2. Cute! It’s nice to know exactly what he wants, though! And he definitely sounds like he has a mind of his own, which is good. 🙂

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