Leyna wakes early from her nap. Again.


I go in to soothe her and try to put her back down. She throws her pacifier at my face and grunts. Points down to the floor.

“DOWN!” she demands.

We battle. I rock, she rolls… right off of my lap and onto the floor. I try to pick her up. She, of course, turns to jelly. Classic toddler self defense.

She yanks on the handle of her door. “Wa!” she yells.

I give in and take her to get some water.

She spits the water out all over herself and blows raspberries. “NO,” she insists.

“What’s wrong with her?” asks Scott. I shrug.

“Does she have a fever? Runny poop?” He’s concerned.

“No. Her last fever was 3 days ago. I mean, her last diaper wasn’t pretty, but it doesn’t seem like her tummy’s upset. Just like she ate a lot of fruit,” I say.

“Is it teeth? It’s got to be teeth,” he reasons.

“Ehh… maybe. I stuck my finger in there to try to feel for some, but she was pretty vicious. I didn’t want her to bite me,” I reply while giving Leyna the side eye.

She’s now whining, pulling on my shorts. “Maaaaa, mamamamamama! Ehhhhh!” I pick her up. She throws herself backwards, sits back up and pounds on my chest.

“Leyna, you don’t HIT mommy,” I say as calmly as possible while pulling her hands down.


She’s crying, inconsolable now.

Until she sees a cracker.

“She’s hungry!” Scott exclaims, like he’s just discovered the meaning of life.

I make her a plate of crackers and cheese with a few sliced grapes while balancing her on my hip. I sit her at the table, present the plate with an enthusiastic, “MMMMMmmmm! Snacks!”

She throws it to the ground. “Up!” she yells, holding her hands up to me.

This scene plays out, over and over, for the rest of the day. Scott and I take turns trying to come up with excuses, reasons, illnesses.

“I don’t think there’s anything really wrong with her,” I finally admit out loud, “other than her just being a toddler.”

“They don’t have a medicine for that,” Scott chimes in, defeated.

“Nope. But we would be the FIRST in line for the toddlerhood vaccination if they did.”

Leyna is 18 months old and has an extreme case of Toddleritis

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  1. We’ve got a case of toddleritis, a case of preschoolitis, a case of preteenitis, and a case of teenitis here, lol. My toddler says no words and is receiving speech therapy. So most of the time I know it’s a communication issue and well the rest of the time it’s a I don’t really know what I want issue, but hey this is getting you to pay attention to me, lol.

  2. Monsterchew on

    Have you considered hand-foot-mouth? My kids were average sick cranky with the fever and completely a mess 3-4 days later. They were hungry but wouldn’t eat, thirsty but refused to drink. And they cried. A lot.

    And the whining! Holy Moses.

    But aside from the fever, and sores in the VERY back of their mouths, I wouldn’t have known until the doc verified.

    If not? Well… Toddlerhood is brutal. Solidarity here!

      • Oh god I hope you aren’t in Hand Foot Mouth Hell! It doesn’t sound completely like it, but I just went through it with Noah and wrote a pretty lengthy post about it. I can’t paste the link here, but it wasn’t that long ago so it should be easy enough to find on my blog if you need to.

        On a separate note, Noah is doing the exact same thing. Throwing things and hitting, stubborn as hell!! With only 10 weeks left in my pregnancy I am starting to freak out!!! How am I going to handle toddleritis AND a newborn!!

  3. Elena is on delayed vaccinations but I would be right behind you for that one! In child development we learned its them trying to figure out how to handle their new found, quickly changing moods coupled with an inability to express themselves either physically (the little ones) or through word choice (communication) for the bigger ones. There is a lot of frustration on both sides: parent and child. Still, wishing there was a better way to handle it than constant correction, dodging thrown items, and avoiding flailing hands and feet – while investing in ear plugs. :sigh:

    • As challenging as Kendall can be these days, it’s amazing to be able to say “What is wrong?” and have him answer in words and not grunts.

  4. Every sentence you just wrote decribes MY Lena. The tugging on the shorts and grunting and whinning “mamammam!” is the worst. I shuddered as I read that. Days like these make me thankful for a nanny and a job to go to every day. πŸ™‚

  5. My little guy woke up just like this today and has thrown some pretty epic tantrums. My only salvation will be if he actually takes a nap this afternoon. Why do they fight sleep so hard? It just makes everything else that much worse…

  6. Must be contagious. My 18 month old is just as cranky. He’s currently adding in biting to his repertoire off head butting and throwing things across the room in anger. It’s been fun.

  7. Myles has that too – he’s almost 2 1/2 and VERY verbal – but several times a week he has a complete meltdown for no other reason than he’s 2 1/2 – i usually sit on the floor (it’s easier than picking up/putting down a 33 pounder multiple times) with my arms open to him and ask “how can Mommy help?” over and over – eventually he gets through it … eventually

  8. I’m reading this and just gave a huge start as my 16 month old cried out from his room…terrified that nap might be abbreviated. I. Can’t. Handle. It. Toddleritis must be creeping to the East Coast cause Jack’s got the same symptoms. Oh my god the tantrums.

    Why can’t they understand how much better they feel when they nap decently???

  9. When I worked in a preschool in the 18 month- 24 month group (2 classrooms) we usually just set them down in an area where they couldn’t hurt themself or anyone else and walked away. Sometimes the constant attention to figure out what’s wrong just makes it worse. She made need some quiet time to come out of her nap and back to the real world.

    I’m cranky too if my nap/sleep is cut short.

    • Oh, believe me, I get that. If she’s related to me, she’s going to hate waking up. We do the give-her-space thing a lot, but she just ends up following us around, pulling on us and yelling at us. She’s very confusing, this one.

  10. We were just weeks away from the birth of our 3rd baby when our 18 month old came down with toddleritis. We seriously thought there must be some thing medically wrong with him! Our oldest being 7, we completely forgot just how horrific toddlers can be. It’s sort of like how you forget the full pain of labor….if any of us really remembered we would never have more children. Three and a half months later we still have plenty of melt downs…..thank God for nap times! May your nap time last long, and bedtime come early mama!

  11. And……..why is it that the husband always asks “What’s wrong with her?” as if you knew whatwas wrong and you just weren’t doing anything about it! I mean, I appreciate the fact that you think that I have all the answers, but if I knew what was wrong, I’d be fixng it instead of listening to her scream!!! Hope it gets better soon…my youngest just turned 9 weeks today so I’ll be in your shoes (again!) soon enough!

  12. Heather Corum Powell on

    I feel like you just described a scene from my own life. Love following your blog, thanks a mutual friend in Nashville.

  13. Jessi Hesse on

    Ive got one with that as well! The confusing thing is that it comes and goes with virtually no other symptoms. And sometimes it is a little contagious to my older two. My husband works out of town, so sometimes I want to scream. πŸ™‚
    Lol at the exorcism comment!
    And yeh I hate the (well meaning) what’s wrong with him/her. I have to struggle to proved a polite answer sometimes when hubby IS home because, I don’t fucking know! Doesnt seem appropriate when they really are just trying to help.

  14. Celeste Broughton on

    You PERFECTLY described my day yesterday with my 18 month old daughter! It all went to crap when she woke up early from her nap. Can’t wait to share this w/ my husband and say, “Read this. Does it sound familiar? “

  15. This was completely my day today. I just snuck on email at last hoping that my 14 month old is fast asleep…..I doubt it though. The pre bed routine included finding my blacberry and calling some guy in Iceland, ripping up a plant from its roots, and lots of hysterical flip flopping. Always nice to hear that we aren’t alone. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

  16. Ugh this fits my 19 month old to a tee.
    She will literally go from happily munching on a cracker to epic babeh meltdown.
    She was screaming today because I wouldn’t let her destroy the room I just cleaned.
    She had plenty of toys to play with but no the bag that her Mega Blocks came in was what she wanted and I was a mean mommeh for not letting her have it.

  17. Colleen Sullivan Kuerth on

    It is nice to know we are not alone in the terrible, unending battle of toddleritis! Eli is 22 months and it is still going strong…

  18. I think my 18 month old is suffering from the same thing. I could have written this same exact post! Good luck to us, huh?

  19. Stephanie Smith Sprenger on

    I spend waaay too much time trying to diagnose my one year old’s erratic behavior. I should just give up and blame it on toddleritis. Well played.

  20. I just shared this post with my birth board, and we are all thanking sweet baby Jesus that we aren’t alone! I, in fact, just today had an utter meltdown because I was convinced that I have completely gone wrong in parenting and am now raising a total brat instead of my sweet little girl. Sleep? Noooo. Eat? Sure, but after I throw it around the room a little. I can’t have something I want? Well then, I will just throw myself down on the floor and flail about like you are trying to kill me. Look at me wrong? I will whine so loudly and for so long that you will wish that you were never born.

    All that to say thanks for this post. It inserted a little humor into a very humorless situation.

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