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What goes on in the mind of a Toddler?

I have spent many hours wondering what is going through the children’s heads since the tragic illness to MM. You worry about every tantrum and every mood swing. I am constantly asking myself, is this a reaction to missing their mummy?

This morning I was woken by Little Madam sobbing into her pillow, she didn’t remember what her dream was about but my mind went into overdrive.

I remember shedding a tear when I was drawing pictures of the family with ‘Chilled Out Boy’ and he exclaimed, ‘No I want a sad face.’ Of course it became clear a few hours later when he was sick that this was not connected to our situation.

On another occasion at the park, BB did not play with his peers. Instead, he looked very sullen and withdrawn on his own. I asked him, if he was ok and that he could talk to me if he was worried about anything. However, he just replied, ‘No Daddy I am fine, I am just trying to spin.’ He then spun on the apparatus and said, ‘Thank you Daddy, l will let you know.’

So what does actually go on in the head of a toddler?

Chilled Out Boy is obsessed with his green box. It goes everywhere with him, he is very protective of it and is often found under the dining table taking it all out and laying it very carefully on his green blanket. I never got close enough to see what he had, but enough was enough the other morning. When I say ‘morning’ I mean early morning, after being cracked on the head by the box as he tried to climb into bed with me at 3.45am. Being the clumsiest three year old on the planet, you won’t be surprised that when he was sent back to bed I heard a crash and he dropped the box. He then spent the next 10 mins putting each piece back into the box; nothing was going to stop him from doing this.

So in the morning I grabbed the box. So what is important to a 3 year old?

In no particular order:

A pair of sunglasses
A Calpol spoon
2 furry pumpkins
The remote control for his car (but not the car)
The key for his Thomas Train Station
A straw
AStop Sign
3 cars
MM’s Barclays Card Reader
A plastic screwdriver
3 empty party bags
A train
A small plastic pizza
A medal
A torch
A green figure
A wind up torch
The door from his Grandpa Pig Truck
4 packets of chocolate buttons
A Freddo
A Curlywurly

Now I am quite impressed that he had the self-control not to eat the chocolate! That is something MM would not be able to achieve! She is still battling so hard but the recent setbacks have put her rehabilitation back to the beginning. She is still unable to speak, move her right side or feed herself. She has been unable to give regular hand squeezes and some visits have been incredibly tough as there has been limited response. We are now waiting to hear where she will be referred to next. This is likely to be London; we could all do with some positive news.

I have found it very difficult to concentrate in the evening and not been able to watch any TV that we watched together. My one respite, was Dallas… MM never watched the original and so the new series has given me a break. Well it did until in the penultimate episode, Bobby Ewing had a brain hemorrhage caused by an aneurysm. It is a good job I have maintained my sense of humour!

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42 comments to What goes on in the mind of a Toddler?

  • You guys are often on my mind since I heard the devastating news about Kerry and I read every single one of your updates although I don’t always have the time to comment on them. In the last week you have been in my thoughts even more, my Husband was taken into hospital with pneumonia just over a week ago (he is now home), I am 6 months pregnant (with whooping cough myself) and we have three children and I have found it incredibly hard to cope, especially with the early mornings. I have an underactive thyroid which makes me more tired than normal for being 6 months pregnant and with a 2,4 and 11 year old to content with after only 1 week I have been feeling very sorry for myself. Then I thought about Kerry and what a magnificent job you are doing, (even keeping her blog up to date) with three small children and with Kerry not really being able to communicate with you it must be so tough, I really admire your strength. This post has particularly struck a chord with me however because from the first night that Hubby was in hospital our children changed, the 2 year old who had finally begun to sleep through the night until about 7.15am has been waking 2 or 3 times saying he has “lost Daddy” and from 5.30/6am has been shouting “awake now get up”. My 4 year old has turned into Little Miss Helpful (most of the time) and has been mothering her baby brother and the 11 year old, well honestly he hasn’t changed much at all but it does make you wonder how the loss of one parent can affect children.

    Sending lots of positive thoughts your way and wishing Kerry a speedy recovery.

    PS. I wouldn’t have the resolve to leave the chocolate untouched either, serious respect to your little man!

  • That green box sounds quite heavy with all that stuff in it! I hope MMs rehab goes well the second time around. It sounds very tough but you have all come so far. Prayers are with you.

  • Anne G-T

    What a fabulous post MultipleDaddy! I love the way you write. When Kerry gets back to her old self again she’s going to have to share this space with you, you have a big fan base of your own now.
    It breaks my heart to read about the set backs she’s encountering and I am keeping everything crossed that she will move forward again and you will have your darling back with you soon and the children will have their wonderful Mummy home again.
    My little boy is the same age as your BB and also has a special box full of objects that mean the world to him but to anyone else seem like random bits and pieces. Children are curious little beings but so resilient and much stronger than we realise in so many ways, especially when they have the amazing love and support of a wonderful daddy. Much love and hugs to you all xx

  • Susan Eardley

    I don’t think any of us will ever truly figure out what’s going on in our little people’s heads, but it seems to me you’re doing a fab job understanding them. My 4yo has a tool box that he keeps all his precious things in, and it’s just like chilled out boys’. Filled with random toys and bits of stuff that for some reason unbeknown to anyone else, are very precious to him. I think it’s a boy thing – although I have to say it drives our daddy mad as he’s a tidy freak and hates broken or unmatching toys! Keep up the good work!

  • What a little treasure trove Chilled Out Boy has been walking around with, and he is very good for not eating the chocolate.

    I’m so sorry things have been so difficult for you recently. I hope with all my heart that you all get some good news soon.

    All my love.

    Emma xx

  • That was a well written post. I admire you so much for taking care of Kerry and maintaining the blog. The stories of your children and your thoughts about what may be causing their behaviors and emotions were very touching. I love the green box of treasures that Chilled Out Boy enjoys so much. I am sorry to hear that Kerry is not making progress as quickly as everyone hopes. I hope her treatments start to work better so that she can squeeze your hand again and look at your family with love and recognition. Your family is always in our thoughts and hearts. We wish you the best.

  • Sending much love to Kerry and strength to you all. Your description of the box reminded me of my 3yo, I keep thinking his bix packing is him expressing fears of his stuff going missing in our house move, but I think it is just 3yos :)

  • Carolin

    This made me chuckle, our 3 year old shows the exact same behavior about his box, its filled with the same randomness of little bits that are important to him – minus the chocolate, that wouldnt live very long in our house. The box has to sit next to his pillow when he falls asleep :) Lots of love to your family and Kerry!

  • sounds to me like your children are perfectly normal. they seem to be doing what normal children do. Being 3 is hard work, so much going on, so much to learn, an awful lot to master and perfect ready to become 4. He may not forgive you in later life for divulging his worldly goods to the whole blogging community. If we all spent time analysing what are children did and every move they make then we would never enjoy all the little moments that make up who and what they are. But your quite right for sending him back to bed in the middle of the night.
    I truly am sorry that Kerry is not doing as well as had been hoped. I think you are doing a marvellous job in coping with being a single parent which is hard work on its own without having to spend huge amounts of energy and stress worrying about Kerry.Your doing a great job and one day you will look back at this time and be very proud of yourself for what you are doing. Think of all the stories you have to share with Kerry when she is able.
    Thanks again for keeping us updated. ((((hugs)))) to you all

  • A sad but beautifully written post leaving me wondering whether to laugh or cry. Ultimately though I can’t get over the fact that he didn’t eat the chocolate – amazing! Sending lots of prayers and hope your way – you sound like you are doing a fantastic job despite the incredible hardship. x

  • Keep going Multiple Daddy. You and your family are so strong. You’re doing an amazing job. x

  • Liz

    That is a lot of chocolate for a little boy not to eat, I’d not have that self control either :) I think you’re doing a wonderful job under incredibly tough circumstances and the kids really do have the most amazing Dad. Send Kerry all our love and I hope she is referred to somewhere that is perfect for her rehabilitation and she’s back with you all as soon as she can be.

  • I wish I knew what to write here, I wish I owned a magic wand.
    I too could not decide to laugh or cry, you write so beautifully, I am sure I would just be a screaming mess, you are coping so well, you are bring the man Kerry has many times talked to me of.
    I pray Kerry starts showing signs of coming back to you, that beautiful little smile, I hope they chose the best hospital with the most excellent doctors, you and she deserve no less.
    Hugs to you all xxx

  • Just to let you know that I’m still reading, still thinking of you, and still sending strength to Kerry. Your writing about your family is beautiful and poignant.

  • Merry

    Oh, you really have my sympathy on so many counts. Watching my kids grieve and process after their brother died was terribly hard and your children must be going through a similar process, even though the circumstances and magnitude of the loss to them are different. So hard for you all.

    And after e died, the world was full of songs and books and films that seemed to just be cruel irony. Argh.

    Will hope for good news soon. So sorry you are all going through this.

  • reading this post I had tears & smiles in equal measures. Who really does know what goes on in the minds of a 3yr old but I’m sure whatever it is they are happy thoughts, you are doing a great job & Kerry will be so proud of you – keep up the good work & make the most of this blog space as Kerry will be kicking you off before long.
    Take care & big hugs to you all

  • I’m another one who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry either. You really are doing a fabulous job of keeping the family together and keeping Kerry’s blog going. She will be very proud of you too im sure. Oh and my girls do things like this. They have an old little red bloggers bag from CyberMummy a few years ago which they fill with stuff and carry and everywhere…they would have eaten the chocolate though :-)
    Hope you get some more good news soon.
    karen x

  • Sounds like Chilled out boy is saving the chocolates for Mummy’s return. Hope things improve and thinking of you all x

  • Sounds like the contents of my handbag. Very tough for you to have to worry about your children’s state of mind on top of struggling with your own. Your humour and your patience is doubtless armouring them against the worst of it. I pray that you can hold on to both.

  • oh bless him. how cute. I too await and read every update. My thoughts are with you all and we are all willing her a speedy recovery and that she can return home to you all where she belongs xxx

  • Well the kids are clearly getting on with life as they must and this must be so reassuring and comforting for you on one level. All the set backs for Kerry is so not what I wanted to hear popping over here but thank you for the updates and I wish you every strength for MM, the children and you.

  • so sorry to hear that Kerry has had a bad time off it recently. I do think of you all often and look forward to the day when I see your post telling us all she is back to being Kerry again
    (hugs) and more (hugs) xx

  • Still thinking of Kerry and her little family frequently. xx

  • That’s odd, I left a long comment on this post the other day yet can’t see it above.
    Liska x

  • I would think this is the nearest he can get to a hand bag. He knows that mummy takes one everywhere and in mummy’s bag are VERY important things.

    And chocolate :-)

    I think of you all often and am sending you all lots of love

  • Oh thank you for looking. It mustn’t have loaded up. I’ll try and remember what I had said.
    I expressed sadness at her setback and thanks to you for the updates and went on to say that Aaron is similarly territorial about his toys, so not to worry, that it is normal toddler behaviour xx

  • So sad to hear of Kerry’s illness. I only found out about it via Liska’s blog although I do dip into MM from time to time. I will be joining the prayers for Kerry on Saturday 24th.

  • I just happened to be looking on facebook and saw a post from Mammasaurus at After reading your posts from the last few months I have tears in my eyes. I’m wishing for you all and hope Kerry improves soon. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    I’ll be taking part in the prayers for Kerry on Saturday 24th.

    Morgan x

  • My 3 year old boy is just the same, except he carries it all round Doras backpack!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, much love x

  • This brought a tear to the eye. I think your children sound like they are doing just fine, you’re doing a fantastic job and should be proud of yourself. You’re a star and I admire your strength.
    Thinking of you all as always and extra special thoughts and prayers to Kerry. x

  • I would just like to say that Kerry, you and your little ones are in my thoughts.
    I make sure that I read your blog posts to see how Kerry is doing and every inch of me hopes she will make a full recovery.
    I am so sorry that this situation is happening but can’t believe your amazing strength! You are a wonderful father and husband and I really do pray that you get your beloved wife back soon

  • Lisa Troccoli

    What a lovely little haul he has! my son is like that too…hoping things improve for kerry and she gets the best treatment needed to overcome the setbacks, so much support on here x

  • Only the male species could carry chocolate around and not eat it!!!! You are all still in my thoughts and prayers and I hope Kerry makes progress

  • Actually Mummy

    It’s so hard to figure out what motivates the kids. Fortunately they are much more straightforward than us x

  • This is a brilliant post – I love what he carts around in his little green box! I am so sorry to hear that MM’s recovery seems to have slowed. My heart goes out to you all, and although I didn’t know kerry (as a relatively new blogger), I had stopped by her blog a few times. I will be joining in the prayers for Kerry next Saturday and pray regularly for you all.

  • Leslie

    I check on and off how Kerry is doing and you are doing such a brilliant job of keeping this going. I loved this post. Sending so much love. x

  • You are all doing so fantastically, dealing with this and carrying on ‘normal’ life (what is that in these circumstances?) can’t be easy at all and you are maintaining the status quo for the children well. This can’t be easy and of course you are going to try and psychoanalyse what’s going on in their little minds. And while of course they miss their mummy, sometimes their thought processes make no sense whatsoever and they do things just because they want to.

    I think of Kerry every day and I see her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes laughing at me publicly tweeting how bored I was at the Britmums conference, without me realising that of course everyone could see what I was saying. She’s an absolute fighter and loves you with all her heart. Your girl is still in there, she’s just taking a while to come out.

  • […] I see my son using exactly the same green lego box as Kerry’s son BB with almost exactly the same treasures inside, when I’m having a not so great day and then I realise how very lucky I am to be having that […]

  • […] This last month I have been writing about Esther and William’s journey through NICU. How I kept vigil by their bed sides for 59 long days. I cannot imagine how my children would feel if things had been the other way around. As Multiple Daddy puts so well, you are never entirely sure what goes on in the mind of a toddler. […]

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