Toddler Talking Gets Obstinate

Every day, I’m amazed by Norton’s improving proficiency with toddler talking.  Every day, I get to hear more of my toddler talking and we’re getting that much closer to making it past his toddler language delay.  He’s not up to the point of using full-blown sentences, but he’s starting to use more word combinations.

He’s also learned two words that every toddler uses and every parent occasionally gets annoyed with: “no” and “mine.”

Sunday was a fantastic example of getting annoyed with toddler talking.  Norton was playing in the refrigerator because he wanted some “eee”  (also known as “cheese”).  Instead of getting his cheese out of the drawer, he just played with the light.  Meanwhile, I’m getting pretty impatient because I’m trying to get us out to the river where my in-laws are holding the annual family reunion.

“Norton, come on!  Do you want to go bye?”  I’m trying to talk this up as a great thing.

His response?  “No.”  He continued to play in the refrigerator.

We kept trying to encourage Norton to close the refrigerator on his own and go to his room to get dressed.  Every time, we received a “No.”

Sigh.  So finally, I threw my hands up and asked, “Okay, fine, do you want to stay home then?”

He closed the refrigerator and said “Bye!” as he ran off to his room.

Facepalm.  I had heard of toddlers being difficult, and I have more than a little experience with the toddler tantrum.  However, this was the first time that the husband and I had realized that Norton now had just enough language to be contrary.

We’ll take it.

How do you get past the no no’s?

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. I learned to take a slightly different approach in those situations where there isn’t really a choice for my daughter. In our house, the conversation would have gone something like this:

    Me: “It’s time to close the fridge and get dressed. Do you want to walk to your room and pick out your clothes, or should I carry you?”

    Stubborn 2yo: *shrug*

    Me: “If you don’t want to decide, I’ll carry you.”

    Stubborn 2yo: “By myself, Mommy!” (or something to that effect as she tears off to her room)

    The key is to find something to give them a choice about so they don’t notice that they don’t have a choice about the other things that are going on. If I can keep my wits about me and figure out what that other choice might be, it’s a surprisingly effective tool.

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