My Headstrong Hillbilly

This is Bean.


He’s learning to dress himself. Well, let me be more specific. He’s learning how to UNdress himself.


He walks around half dressed now, like a little hillbilly. But it’s not the hillbilly part that I’d like to talk about today. It’s the headstrong part. Bean has become so darn hardheaded and headstrong in the past couple weeks that living with him is like living with a demanding foreigner because I can’t actually understand what he wants most of the time. It’s just a lot of yelling and pouting and screaming, “PLEASSSSSE!” over and over again.

He does not seem to grasp the concept behind manners yet. Instead, he thinks “please” is just the word you say to demand something.


But it’s not the yelling that is driving me crazy, it’s the whining! Always with the whining! In the car, it’s constant whining because he wants a snack or juice or his binky or a four course French meal…who the crap knows. At home, it’s constant whining about anything. A toy that is stuck somewhere, something is taken away from him, play time is interrupted for dinner, bath time is over, it’s time for bed – anything. Everything. It’s all going to be whined about.



I don’t want to back down because I know this is just another way he is testing his limits right now, but I swear sometimes as I’m saying no for the 5,000th time, I really think, “Oh, who the heck cares? Eat the dog food. Whatever.”

But I’m trying not to back down. Unfortunately, my patience is wearing thin and at the end of a long day at work with a belly full o’ baby, the last thing I feel like doing is reasoning with an unreasonable baby.

So, tell me, O Wise Imaginary Friends, is this just me? Is it Bean? Is this his age? A phase? Or should I just sell him on eBay?


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32 Thoughts to “My Headstrong Hillbilly”

  1. Amy

    Oh yeah. I’ve got a 1.5 month old and the constant whine drives me insane most days. I remember very clearly one day about a month ago when, one bright Saturday morning, I shoved him into my husbands arms and went shopping for about six hours. Six, beautiful, blissful hours without the constant drone of his little voice.
    I love him endlessly, but really could do without the soundtrack. 🙂

  2. My brother always tells my niece that when she whines, baby Jesus cries. It usually shuts her up for at least a few minutes. That niece of mine is gonna be a piece of work when she grows up.

  3. It’s not just you. It’s not just him. And you’re exactly right – the less you give in to it, the sooner it will go away. Do a lot of ignoring, talk about “big boy voices” and deposit him in his crib and walk away if you need to.

    This too shall pass. Just about the time New Guy takes it up.

  4. I’d say it is definitely his age! My son started the same thing around that age. Unfortunetly, it hasn’t stopped. In fact, he’s only gotten worse. My son will be 2 on Nov. 29 – we say that the Terrible Two’s have arrived to our house early. I’ll pray for you! =)

  5. Jess

    I have an almost 2-year-old and it is constant whine. Whine whine whine. So I sympathize with you, but have no advice as I haven’t figured it out either. I do a lot of ignoring. Sometimes that helps. I try to redirect him. Sometimes that helps too. I try to reason, but that usually doesn’t help. Because who can reason with a 2-year-old? Blah.

  6. Meredith

    It’s exactly what you already said Katie-lady. It’s his way of testing limits and boundries. Mine is 12mo and pulls out all the stops if we take away a toy: gracefully checks that if she falls she won’t bang herself on anything then promptly sits and lays back and begins to WIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Stay strong, they can sense when we’re at the end of the line. It’s like they know…. 😉

  7. Kelly

    My daughter is about 6 weeks younger than Bean, and instead of “please,” she uses “thank you” and a catch all. Usually, I have no idea what she wants, so she just shouts it louder.

  8. Gina B.

    It’s the age! My fifteen month old is the whiningest thing in the world right now. EVERYTHING is cause for her to melt down…

  9. Ashley

    No kids yet (although my Bachelor’s is in Child Development, so I guess that counts for something?), but I do know that whenever I started to melt down, my mom would just let me. I think once when I was 2, I flipped out on her in the middle of the mall. She just stood next to me and let me melt down like nothing was happening. I agree with some of the other posters. The more you ignore it and the less you give in to it, the better. He will eventually learn that he can’t have everything he wants when he wants it.

  10. Its the age!!! Its the frustrating part where they know what they want but can’t always express it. They may not have the language, they may not have the patience but its crazy!!! He should grow out of it by the time the new guy comes but then jealousy hits and it will come back:) Oh, the joys of raising a toddler. I agree with the other posts that you just ignore most of it as much as possible and fix what you can fix but you can’t fix (and shouldn’t fix) everything for them! Amazing how something so small can really get under your (all parents, not just YOU) skin though!!!!!

  11. I worked with his age group ( before I had kids) and let me tell you i firmly belive that terriable twos start about 15 months :). I have a child almost 12 now and nothing we’ve gone through is as bad as those terriable whine-es.

  12. Annemari

    I feel your pain. My son is 2.5 years, and he whines about everything. Sometimes I ignore him, sometimes I try to get him distracted. Mine does not only whines, he cries as well. He cries about everything. I think they just need to get through this stage, hopefully it will end soon!

  13. Maren

    Don’t know how much help this is, but I used to tell mine I didn’t understand whining. If he wanted me to listen, he would have to use a big boy voice.
    Unfortunately, he’s 11 and I’m still telling him that…. :0)

  14. Kelly

    Definitely the age. Ignore, ignore, ignore. If it makes you feel better – I had it in stereo with twins.

  15. you’re going to have to try to reword some of this if you want to get a good price on ebay. Perhaps “determined” instead of headstrong?

  16. El

    It is defintely a phase. My son went through it. The best thing to do is not give in because if you give in it will alst much longer. Stay strong, even when you’re exhausted. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

  17. Tressa

    It’s a stage. Stay strong mama! He knows the line he can’t cross, even at this young age. So don’t move the line now.
    Don’t bother with Ebay…..I’ll buy him, he’s the cutest hillbilly I’ve ever seen (and I live in redneck country) 😉

  18. Donna

    This is just his age. My two year old does the exact same thing, does this sound familure he drops a toy and then screams to have it picked up – I just tell my daughter to pick it up. I think part of it is just learning to do things for themselves (like picking up the toy, because we have always picked up the toys for them) and part is that we don’t understand them so they are frustrated when they are trying to ask for something.

  19. I have no parenting experience, but I remember growing up that my mother was REALLY stringent about whining. If we whined to her, she would pretend that she couldn’t understand us and it would only make us less likely to get what we wanted. So I dunno. It worked for us.

  20. Please don’t sell him on ebay. Etsy is so much less sketchy.

  21. Darcy

    While I don’t have any children, I remember this stage with every one of my nieces. Bean’s probably whining out of frustration that you can’t understand what he wants/he can’t communicate what he wants. With my nieces, this largely went away once they could express themselves. And if it doesn’t, there’s always eBay!

  22. Marie

    Hi Katie, I don’t have children but have worked with kids Beans age for a couple of years & am now studying for my Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies 🙂 This is definitely a stage that all young toddlers go through, it’s basically Bean’s way of asserting his independence & trying to get some control for himself. I would continue to ignore him when he is in his whiney stage, but when he’s in a good mood, maybe let him have a little choice, within reason. For example when you or Chris are dressing him in the morning, pick out two t-shirts and ask him which one he wants to wear. That way he’s not getting too much choice, but he’s still getting a little choice. Same with maybe his nsack – does he want an apple or banana? He’s still getting fruit, but he gets to pick what he wants. It might help 🙂

  23. Lindsey

    Bean and my Bean are very close in age. It’s a phase – I hope!! I find that ignoring the whining usually makes it stop. It’s hard though isn’t it? Sometimes she starts YELLING in the car – and I turn around and say, “HEY! WE DON’T YELL!” It’s hard to ignore them. And even harder to not sell them on Ebay! But they’re so darn cute.

  24. halston

    All I can do when reading this post is laugh…laugh because Ive been where you are and still sometimes find myself there with my EIGHT YR OLD… So fear not…you are not alone!

  25. I don’t have kids yet, so I have no advice, BUT I thought you’d be interested to know this: My friend at school (a teacher like me) is reading this book that said if a child asks for the same thing 9 times (not all in the same day), the parent will eventually give it to them. Don’t tell Bean this information.

  26. Oh Katie, really!

    The place to sell children is obviously Craigs List.

  27. Courtney

    I have a three year old and he loves to whine. I ignore whining but it doesn’t really phase him. When it gets to be too much I send him to his room. I think they whine at ages where things really begin to change to for them. I remember he whined really bad around 1 1/2 during the transition from infant to toddler. Now that he’s transitioning from toddler to preschooler we are going through another whiny phase. All I can say is stand your ground and buy earplugs (just kidding about the ear plugs – sort of).

  28. Oh Katie, I can not get over how OLD HE LOOKS in these pictures. Oh my my, he is just a living DOLL. How I love him and I don’t even know him. Preshy.

  29. alex

    ok, i know he is giving you a run for your money, but he has grown up to be such a cute toddler – he looks so much older all of the sudden! my little guy is only four months old so i have no wisdom to offer here. i think i’m going to try teaching him sign language when he’s a little older so he can communicate better and hopefully curb some fits. i have no idea if this will help you & bean, but i thought i’d throw it out there. thinking of your pregnant self with a toddler 🙂

  30. A quick FYI -Things are showing up twice in my good reader.

    And I thought of you (among others!) the other day when I read an article about kids getting salmonella from dog food. :/

    He looks like a little HULK!

  31. Oh yup, yup, yup. My 3 y/o is into the ‘awww’ stage when I tell him he can’t have something (like the movie ‘cars’ for the eleventy billionth time). I can’t say if it’s a stage, but I empathize.

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