“What to Expect the Second Year” Author Q&A

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I hope you all saw the great giveaway I am hosting of a “What to Expect the Second Year” gift basket. The book is in stores April 5th. I also posted excerpts called “Your Toddler, Decoded”. And “We Could Learn a Thing or Two from a 1-Year-Old”. And today we will get the chance to read a Q&A from the author. I hope it gets you even more excited for this book.

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Q&A with Heidi Murkoff
Author of What to Expect® the Second Year

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You say “terrible twos” is a terrible misnomer. Why?

First of all, the timing’s off. So-called terrible twos behavior–those trademark tantrums, the negativity, the “you-can’t-make-me” attitude that’s typically associated with 2-year–olds–usually kicks off (literally) soon after the first birthday, sometimes even sooner, and it can continue well past the third birthday.

But more importantly, the name’s all wrong. Toddlers aren’t terrible–they’re terrific. Their behavior may be challenging at times and pretty hard to take on some days–but take a closer look, and you’ll see that it’s an essential part of their evolution as an individual … as an ever more fascinating, interesting, interested, complex, complicated, sometimes-maddening, always adorable little person.

So what causes these behaviors?

Two words: growing up! From those meltdowns on the bus to the picky eating to the bedtime rebellions–those behaviors are your little one’s way of letting you know: I am toddler, hear me roar. For the first time in my life, I’m not an extension of your arms. I’m my own little person, on my two little feet. I’m nobody’s baby. Toddlerhood is, essentially, a battle for autonomy, a fight for freedom, a struggle to define a fledgling identity. It’s the first time you see these kinds of behaviors–but it’s definitely not the last. You’ll get another peek somewhere around age 11 or 12. There’s a reason why toddler is called “the first adolescence.”

Who’s the little girl on the cover?

That’s an adorable 14-month-old named Gigi, who perfectly personifies what I like to call “joie de toddler”–that toddler essence, that bubbly effervescence, that absolute, unequivocal unbridled, unabashed joy. It’s that something-something, that je ne sais quoi you wish you could bottle, splash behind your ears, and save forever. Toddlers are small, but their egos, their personalities, their range of emotions (whether it’s giddy excitement that buzzes through their whole bodies, or furious foot-stomping)–are larger than life. Other ages have their charms–but toddlerhood is magical.

What to Expect books are known for their month-by-month format. Why did you choose a topic-by-topic format for Second Year?

One of the words that I hope best describes What to Expect is intuitive. What to Expect is designed to “get it”–to get you as a parent. To anticipate your questions and concerns and needs–and to offer up the answers and reassurance you’re craving in the format that best fits the stage of parenting you’re in. When you’re expecting–month by month makes sense. After all, who wants to focus on labor and delivery when you’re still coping with 1st trimester queasiness? Same thing for the first year–a newborn comes with a whole different set of issues than a 7-, or 8-, or 10-month-old. But in that second year, there’s lots and lots of overlap. The behaviors may evolve–you’ll go from primitive, almost laughable, tantrums to far more sophisticated levels of mommy and daddy manipulation. But toddlers don’t necessarily change from month to month. So it makes more sense to divide the second year into topics. Feeding. Sleeping. Growth. Behavior. Discipline. And to test out my intuition, I tapped into my moms at www.WhatToExpect.com–and sure enough, their intuition was on the same page. Topic-by-topic, quick-to-flip-to, tips you need when you need them.

What are the topics parents most want to know about?

It doesn’t take a rocket science, or even a parenting expert to figure out what most parents want to know about when they have a toddler in the house. Pretty much the same topics as when they had a baby in the house–only with variations on the theme. Growing–is my toddler too thin, too chubby, too big, too small? Development–when will he walk? Talk? Kick a ball? Eat with a spoon? Is she hitting all those milestones? And speaking of hitting–how about behavior? Why does he hit? Bite? Not share? Throw tantrums? Say no when she means yes? Feeding–why won’t she eat her veggies? Why won’t he eat anything that isn’t beige? What if she won’t drink milk? And of course, sleep – as in, how can my toddler get more … so I can get more? Why is bedtime always a battle? Why won’t he break for a nap? And what about that night waking?

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Disclaimer- This post was not monetarily compensated. I want to share this book with you as I feel this is an important book for all families.
The above excerpt was provided by and used with permission by Workman Publishing