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Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love Paperback – October 2, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jennifer Margulis, PhD, is an award-winning journalist and Fulbright grantee. Her work has been published in "The" "New York Times"; "The Washington Post; O, The Oprah Magazine"; "Parents"; "Parenting"; "Brain, Child"; "Mothering Magazine"; "More Magazine" and on the cover of "Smithsonian. "A Boston native, she lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband and four children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (October 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158005093X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580050937
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,304,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're living with those little irrational creatures who can switch on and off temper tantrums like a Rockin' Elmo doll, this book is for you. Frequently funny, at-times irreverent and always painfully true-to-life, "Toddler" is a classic that every parent of 1-3 year-olds should read... just as soon as the temper tantrum ends.
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Format: Paperback
TODDLER is a must-read for any parent of a child who has suddenly shape-shifted from a sweet, content, cooing infant to a suprisingly strong-willed 3-foot-tall drill seargant. Often, we mothers and fathers of toddlers keep our war stories to ourselves, trying in vain to sustain the illusion that we do, in fact, wear the pants in our house. But anyone who's actually been the caretaker of a stubborn developing human whose pointed goal of complete independence is continually thwarted by stature, social constraints, and parental interference knows who the boss really is. TODDLER is a kind of parenting tell-all, a first-person, behind-the-scenes glimpse of the toughest reality show there is: raising a child. Parents will be comforted to discover that their kid isn't the only one with inexplicable demands and intense preferences, and it will come as a relief to know that parents have plenty of company in the challenging experience of shepherding their charges through the hard-going terrain of two-year-old life. And yet the book is not all horror stories and I-can't-believe-she-said-that-in-front-of-the-neighbors incidents: while there is none of the treacly "but it's all worth it" sentiment that often pervades writing about life with young children, the book does feature sweet moments reminding us why it is we love our irascible, demanding, incredible toddlers as much as we do. TODDLER is a unique and wonderful book -- and a must-have addition to any mother or father's parenting library.
by Andrea Buchanan
Author of _Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It_(Seal Press)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This clever collection of stories, compiled and edited by journalist Jennifer Margulis (whom I already love for her fantastic book "The Business of Baby"), is sure to resonate with any parent whose child is in (or has passed) the toddler stage. The stories cover a wide range of emotions related to parenting: love in its deepest form, wonder, exasperation, fear, exhaustion, and so much more. Some stories will really tug at your heart strings and may even get you a little weepy (because goodness knows we mothers don't need much of an excuse to cry), while others will have you laughing out loud (because we've BEEN there!).

What's great about this book is that it's so REAL. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and these stories reflect that, whether in terms of accidentally swearing in front of our little ones, doing things that inadvertently cause them injury (which we then, of course, feel guilty about for the rest of our lives), or even just the ridiculous things we do sometimes to get through the day.

And the best part? It's a book of short stories, which sometimes is, realistically speaking, the only kind of book parents can really read. Got five or ten minutes while your child is eating? Read a story! Child is briefly playing on their own? Pick up the book! This book can easily be read in fits and starts, fitting perfectly into the lifestyle of any parent of a toddler, while providing some much needed literary therapy. I would recommend this book to any parent, no matter the age of their child.
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By D on September 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Those looking for a syrupy, sentimental, all-warm-and-fuzzy idealization of child-rearing probably won't like this one so much; but it will resonate with others who are more open to consider the complex range of experiences and emotions toddlers bring to their parents. I would not describe it so much as a how-to manual, but more as a testament to the fact that people who become parents are still people in other respects too. In this regard I'm partial to one piece in particular, "Is It Day Now?" by Shu-Huei Henrickson. If you have a kid already, buy it and read it, and you'll take heart from good company in many of your feelings. If you don't have a kid yet, buy it and read it too, and you'll get a better sense of what may be in store!
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Format: Paperback
I really did forget how exhausted living with a toddler makes me. I should have taken better notes with my first when I raised him through toddlerhood a decade ago, kept a list of things to remember.

~You will not be allowed to move an inch outside of the toddler's orbit without then having to listen to and deal with the terrified wails of a child who sounds like their toenails are being peeled back.

~Forget about getting anything all the way done, and try not to get too frustrated by the piles of half-finished things everywhere. If it gets too bad you could always just push it into a heap in the middle of the living room and light a fire-use it to roast the toddler.

~Nobody wants to listen to your kid scream on the other end of the phone. Nobody. So forget about maintaining any long-distance friendships.

~If the toddler doesn't have a chance to run around like a possessed pony for at least three hours a day, you shouldn't be surprised by the way the living room looks when the kid finally lets go of the ceiling fan and goes to bed.

One thing has recently given me a wonderful hit of sanity, and a much-needed reminder that I'm not the only person with a toddler in her life who sometimes has to fight the urge to throw herself in front of a speeding bus: Toddler: Real-life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love, edited by Jennifer Margulis.

This book is full of open and frank essays about life with the little heads. The writing is wonderful, and reading it gave me a feeling of renewal and connection to my parenting, and reminded me that this part will have passed into something else before I even know it.
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