I’ve recently been introduced to the latest stage in my child’s development, and I can now officially call him a terror toddler.

My son decided to finally get on the developmental milestone train and walk at 17 months, and with that change has come an entirely new menu of emotions. For instance, it seems he can both passionately love and hate me at the same time. But I’ve learned to cope, and have even developed a few tactics I thought I would share.

You see, my toddler can be playing peacefully on the living room floor with his blocks, giggling and babbling away, and then it happens. He looks up to see me smiling, thinking to myself how wonderful life is and marveling at his dimples.

Look at her – smiling again. IT’S DISGUSTING, I imagine him thinking. Because in that moment, those adorable dimples vanish, and his face contorts into a gremlin-like scowl. He waddles toward me looking like he wants a hug. But no, I tell you, he does not—because as soon as I pick him up, his body twists like he has been touched by hot coals.

So I run away.

We do this cuckoo clock-type race several times a day. He finds me spying on his busy work, drops whatever is holding his attention, approaches, and then I walk away just fast enough so he can’t catch me. After a few circles around the kitchen, he usually gives up.

Is this bad parenting? I say no—I am essentially leading a group exercise class. And we all know childhood obesity is real. You’re welcome, Michelle Obama.

Carrie Taylor is a native Texan and mother of one.  

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