Barely Holding Onto My Sanity, or I WANT THE BLUE DOLPHIN!

I will be mumbling about this in the home.

I will be mumbling about this in the home.

I am alone in the house with the toddler. All alone.

It begins quietly.

He says, “I want the blue dolphin.”

The blue dolphin is a little plastic toy. There’s a momma blue dolphin and a baby blue dolphin. I’m not sure which he wants, but I have tried not to give him the impression that I keep track of his toys. Or anything else, really.

I say, “Well, where is it?”

“I don’t know.”

“I guess you’d better look for it.”

Silence. He looks at me.

“But I want the blue dolphin!”

He’s the baby, I’m the mommy. I’m teaching him manners, how to communicate with people. I am also teaching him that just saying that he wants something does not mean that everyone stops what they are doing to get him what he wants. He hasn’t even asked for it, just stated that he wants it. We’ve been over this. I’m going to be calm and adult about this.

So I say, “I hear you say that you want the blue dolphin.”

“I want the blue dolphin!”


“I want the blue dolphin!”

“If you want it, you need to find it.”

“I want the blue dolphin!”

“Where did you put it?”

“I WANT the blue DOLPHIN!”

“Then find the blue dolphin. Why are you telling me?”

“I WANT the blue DOLPHIN!”

This has to stop. Make it stop. “Stop saying that.”

“I WANT the blue DOLPHIN!”


“I WANT the blue DOLPHIN!”

“If you keep saying that I will stop answering you!”

Silence. Looking thoughtful. Maybe that did it.

Calmly: “I want the blue dolphin.”


I walk out of the room. I think maybe I’m really going over the edge here. He follows me.

“I WANT the blue dolphin.”

“I DON’T HAVE the blue dolphin!”

And then, he grins at me. He draws his arm back. And he throws out the most accusatory pointing finger at me that I have ever seen.

“YOUUUUUUU have the blue dolphin!”

“I don’t have the blue dolphin.”

Pointing finger! “YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”

“I do NOT have the blue dolphin! Maybe YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”

“No,” Pointing finger! “YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”


Pointing finger! “YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”

“Stop saying that!”

Pointing finger! “YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”

“That’s it. I’m outta here.”

I go upstairs.

He follows me up the stairs!

He follows me into my room!

No! I was good! I walked away! He can’t just follow me! This can’t be happening! This can’t be my life! He can’t say it again! I can’t hear it again!

Smiling! Pointing finger! “YOUUU have the blue dolphin!”

I can’t believe this. He has figured out how to make me insane! And he thinks it’s funny!

I start chuckling, a little unhinged at first, but then just laughing. I grab him, pull him onto the bed, and start tickling him. He’s squealing, saying “YOU have the blue dolphin!” I’m saying “No, YOU have the blue dolphin!” We roll around and squeal and tickle until we’re out of breath.

We smile at each other. I ask him if he’s ready to go downstairs. He nods. We go downstairs. I fix him a snack. Sanity retained for one more day. Barely.