We’re back with your ups and downs, and a question about discipline for you to answer. (Last week you blew us away with your advice on maternity leave!)

If you haven’t shared a story with us yet, we’d love to hear from you — submit it here.

On the job


My parenting win is that at the start of winter, our 2.5-year-old hated wearing hats and mittens with a passion, especially new/unfamiliar ones. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to lovingly knit him some really nice mittens, which of course he refused to even look at — until I “rebranded” them as “construction mittens.” What are construction mittens? I don’t know, but they were then immediately acceptable! I recently got him a new red sunhat and “branded” it as a “firefighter hat.” He now wears it constantly and tells random strangers on the street, “This my firefighter hat.” We’ve had to get a second hat because it got so dirty. Toddler fashion and sun protection — win! Here is my firefighter hard at work “helping” to move garden hoses around.

Tasting green

—Sarah, Mom of “Please Don’t Lick the Dog”

My 20-month-old, who used to eat everything, has entered the picky phase. We try our best to offer him options and not make a big deal out of what he eats, but I still try to encourage trying things. This week he’s gotten really into licking things, which causes its own problems, so I decided to put it to use by suggesting he lick the colors on his plate. He successfully ate peppers and asparagus! And he licked a carrot! So that’s a win.

Oh baby

—Do 2 positives = a negative?

I tested positive for COVID and pregnancy on the exact same day. The positive pregnancy test was the more unexpected one! I’m very anxious about the impact of the virus and drinking more alcohol than usual while on vacation around five weeks gestation…

Time to share your expertise

A reader writes:

My 18-month-old has started to bite her friends. It’s the first time we are being challenged to really react and discipline her, but as first-time parents I honestly don’t know where to start. She is so young that methods like time out or explaining it all to her just don’t seem realistic. Where do we begin with our discipline journey!?

—Hot and tired pregnant toddler mama 

What do you think?

Why and how did you first introduce discipline?

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