for the love of dump trucks

Crappy Baby loves dump trucks.

He fills his dump truck up with small toys and then dumps them out. And then repeats this process.

That is how they work pretty much. 

He calls them "dumpers" which I like very much. 

It isn't the only thing he likes to dump though. 

Bowls of cereal. Boxes of cereal. Cups of liquid. Purses. Bags of chips. Bags of chocolate chips. Laundry baskets. 

Really, anything that can be dumped shall be dumped.  

Last week, after tallying up the damage and realizing he wastes approximately $72.38 worth of food each day I caught him doing it again!

And I was fed up with it!

I was pissed!

But my choice of words was a very poor choice indeed. 

Because now when he does it, he proudly proclaims, "I is a dumper, Mama!" 

And how can I be mad at that? 



I remember this "testing gravity" stage with Crappy Boy too. Ack! When does it end again?  

Also, remember my friend Debbie who wrote a cookbook for parents? And a number of you asked me to remind you when you can order it? You can order it right here. Plus, if you forward your receipt to her, you can get a signed bookplate & a card for gift-giving for free, which is pretty awesome. 

This entry was posted in crappy pictures, food, messy stuff, parenting, terrible twos, toddlers. Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to for the love of dump trucks

  1. KK says:

    I have a dumper too! Sooo tired of stepping on …. stuff.

  2. Lissa says:

    My dumper is more of a smacking-things-off-the-tabler.

  3. Paula says:

    I’m suddenly remembering all the cupboard locks we had in place for that very reason! What a relief it was to finally remove the last one when my monsters had outgrown the dump, eat, destroy anything in sight phase.

  4. meganleiann says:

    My dumper keeps his dump truck in the dump position and rides all over the house on it. Cute, cute, cute, ouch!

  5. Ours (19 mo) dumps bowl/plate to signal that mealtime is coming to an end. He’s also into “doppit” (i.e., “I dropped it!) from the high chair, or sadly (“Doppit! ) from the carseat when something fell down the side by the door.

  6. Toni says:

    There are four years between my second and third (who is now 7 months). I have totally forgotten all of this stuff. I am in total denial about going through toddlerhood again! lol

  7. says:

    Well, next comes the garbage truck obsession, right? Our 4 year old son has been leaving garbage (little bits of wadded up paper, foil, whatever he can round up) all over the house for the last year or more, for his trucks to pick up and “take to the dump” (which is what our house now looks like). If I move the piles he is distraught. I’ve started getting used to it, actually. But when company comes over, it requires a bit of explanation as to why there is literally garbage all over the floor.

  8. Laura says:

    I’m wondering if this is a boy thing- my daughter never did this, so when our son started making absolutel disasters [favourite thing to dump?! Full Costco boxes of spaghetti noodles- great fun to jump on too! GAH!] we were rather… surprised.
    He still does it, and the little rascal gets into everything in the blink of an eye. Siiigh. Nothing’s off limits when the child is smart enough and strong enough to get onto/through/into anything!

  9. sarah says:

    Mine is 14 months.

  10. K says:

    They outgrow it?! I can hear the hallelujah chorus now…

  11. Melanie says:

    I have a dumper/thrower (16 months). He loves to dump out any bag or box he can find, although sometimes he varies the method, taking things out one at a time instead and spreading them around. Once he’s done with that he takes at least a few of the items he’s dumped/removed and throws them as hard as he can over our banister to the lower level of our house. God forbid we ever have a fire, because we’d all break our necks tripping over his toys while trying to get down the stairs.

  12. amr says:

    Eek, didn’t mean to post my email address there. Amber, would you mind deleting?

  13. Desiree says:

    Oh boys! I have babysat both boys and girls and have two boys of my own…girls at this age are so much easier but come teenagehood I think I’ll be happier with boys :p

  14. Ariel says:

    OMGosh! Our daughter (3.5 yo) does something like that. She collects pieces of leaves, rocks, twigs, acorns, and ESPECIALLY those things on hangers in the store that say what size the item is. they pop off and you can find them under the racks. She calls them “collections” and does absolutely bonkers if you make her leave it on the floor or throw it away. She will remember about her “collections” days later and is distraught when she can’t find them. i’m afraid she will be a hoarder. LOL

  15. Doni says:

    My 9 year old got over the dumping around 2, but STILL has an obsession with tying things together. In knots. A stuffed animal on a string to the banister. A stick (on a string) to a chair. ARG! I keep hiding the string and she keeps finding it.

  16. Jennifer says:

    My daughter isn’t a dumper, she’s a slider. She will slide her food or drinks off their surface – high chair tray, couch, etc. Not a day goes by when I don’t step on Cheerios.

  17. April says:

    My 3 yo has moved on to a new game, he calls “trashies” which consists of filling a bag or bucket or whatever with random toys from other buckets, then dumping them all into the recliner in a big jumbled pile. Nice.

  18. heather says:

    We called it The Pouring Game with our girls because they were forever moving drinks or other items from one glass to another. And drinking milk out of those teaspoon measurers for medicine.

  19. roses says:

    I Don’t have a dumper but I do have a thrower. My 2 year old throws everything and anything insight. I have to make sure to put anything semi-valuable high above eye sight (he is also a climber).

  20. Diane says:

    I well remember the day my dumper dumped an entire box of corn starch, then proceeded to roll in it, toss it, smear it… and he’s a brown boy!!! Well, that day he sure wasn’t… couldn’t help but smile!

  21. Jen says:

    I don’t think this ‘stage’ ever ends. My 7 yr old still spills food on the floor.

  22. Stephanie K. says:

    Yes. Rice crispies. Tapioca starch. A bag of “just add water!” homemade playdough mix. Tapdancing in it. Mushing it into the cracks between the floorboards. I can’t say these incidents are a thing of the past, but they’re becoming less frequent.

  23. Janet says:

    I have a little hoarder too!!! I picture her as an old lady in a stinky house with lots of cats, and newspapers piled to the ceiling…!

    For her birthday last year, I actually gave her a big box to keep her “stuff” in (it was all I could do not to succumb to the temptation to label it “Grace’s Sh*t Box”!!!

  24. Janet says:

    I have twin dumpers! In my experience, it is much more of a boy thing. Although it may just be that it is an activity better done in pairs, so that my twin boys are more prone than my non-twin girls ever were.

    Mine like to dump out of big things, in order to use the big things. Toybox on wheels? No, it’s a car (while apparently all 6 seats of the sofa are unusable due to being covered in toys). Laundry is fair game, because laundry baskets make such good boats. And my personal favourite – the peg basket (not a concept that many Americans are familiar with but any Aussie readers will get this): so much peg-dumping goes on that whenever I tidy and vacuum, I can be found with a fringe of pegs attached to my shirt hem!!!

  25. Nicole says:

    Don’t have a dumper here . . . I have a thrower. Wastes the same food, but as projectile weapons of mass destruction! lol Apparently dumping isn’t destructive (or painful) enough for my little one. hahaha

  26. John says:

    At the older edge of this phase (3-4 years if memory serves), we taught mine to where to look in the yellow pages for pictures of trucks. He even had a favorite recycling company; its trucks had a cartoon vulture on the side!

    Also, wheels had personalities. Some were happy, sad, mad, etc.

  27. Katy says:

    I’m a bad mother of a dumper. When she dumps it out I’ve been known to just pick it off the floor and put it back in the bowl/cup/bag.

  28. Lisa says:

    Unfortunately, sometimes the dumping comes back. A couple weeks ago my 2.5-yr old had a cold and must have been regressing. He was dumping everything!! The most frustrating, but also cute, was coming out of the shower to find he had opened all the diaper pkgs into a big pile in his room. He and my 4-yo exclaimed: “We’re playing garbage man, Mommy!!” They had a whole system with garbage trucks (cardboard boxes) & special tools for moving/organizing the garbage, but what a mess to clean up!!

  29. Karen says:

    I love your food wastage calculation! Hope he stops dumping food and finds something else to dump soon!!!

  30. Jessica says:

    I woke up one morning to two boys who had sneaked around the house instead of coming to my room in the morning. What I found was dumped paint – lots of dumped paint – in red, dark purple and black. It was in the beige carpet, on the beige couch, on the walls and all over in the bathroom. Sugar in the raw was ground into it as well as confectioner’s sugar. We’ve healed and moved on from dumping…we’re into destruction now. Vacuum cleaner (only one) ripped apart (it’s currently taped together) among other things. I pray I live through my boys. We have a 6 (tomorrow) yr old, 4 1/2 yr old and 7 mo old.

  31. Francesca says:

    Mine does the food dump to announce she’s done with the meal as well. I’ve been getting better at recognizing the early warning signals and removing the plate before that point, though.

  32. Samantha says:

    We have those, too (for my 8 and almost 10 year old sons)! We call them “Special Boxes”, though really, your name is much more fitting ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Gyro bowl is where it’s at for the little dumpers for dry foods!!!

  34. Pattikins says:

    Me likey! ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. Naomi says:

    Ah yes – the peg basket toss. We are familiar with that one – however my son was only dumping it on the trampoline so he could ferret through it and pick out ones for himself and halve my stash.

    I have found it is worse as they get older. Find a piece of lego? It can only be done by dumping the whole lot on the floor. Lost a marble? You get the picture…

  36. Lara says:

    I love “I is a dumper”! So precious.

  37. Hollie says:

    As the owner of a garbage collection company, all of this love for the garbage men & garbage trucks is fascinating! Be sure and tell YOUR garbage men how cool your kids think they are-it will make their day ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. My kid is almost 3, and I’ve started trying to teach her the concept of “waste.” So far, no go. I grump that something is now WASTED, and she just looks at me like “Yeah? And?” If she ever starts to care about both “wasted” and “gross,” my life is gonna get sooooo much less aggravating!

  39. Janette says:

    The garbage truck drivers know us by name! I take out a lawn chair and Connor WAITS for them each week in our garage with me…rain or shine. He used to clap for them before he could talk. Now he is 4 and acts like it is his job to wait for them and say “Hi guys!”, “That is a BIG one!”, or “I had apples for breakfast!”. I just drink my coffee and sit next to my son while he enjoys his weekly entertainment. ๐Ÿ™‚ At least the guys know they are appreciated and are helpful by telling him that he has to bring in the trash cans for me.

  40. Kim D. says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I was a “collector” when I was small, and only have a normal amount of junk in my house. And frankly, most of it is actually my kids’ junk. ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. Kim D. says:

    No… out of our three (all girls), we’ve had two dumpers. Every great once in awhile, you just get lucky. ๐Ÿ˜€

  42. Jessica says:

    What a cute little dumper. Love this post. And I like how you had to tally up the $ that he dumps out.

  43. Kari says:

    Ahh! I have a five year old hoarder! She keeps her “treasures” (random scraps of paper, old stickers that don’t stick any more, store flyers, junk mail) in a wheelie bin. If I toss any of it she has a meltdown upon discovery. I swear she has them catalogued. Once, I referred to the wheelie bin as a “trolley of trash” and she burst into tears. I, on the other hand, was quite tickled by my alliteration and I laugh every time I remember it.

  44. Janet says:

    Oooh, I have one of these too (see, with 5 kids, you get a big variety of experiences which allow you to contribute to the comments section of parenting blogs!!!). Mine has discovered finger-knitting, so the tying up of things has been taken to a glorious new height.

  45. Jade Hudson says:

    Lol! 72 dollars a day?! How is that even possible?

  46. Sheri says:

    LOL. My kids’ boxes get filled and the stuff starts going back on the floor. It takes everything in me to gear up to clean out the boxes so we can stop the overflow. I think the teenage years are going to be bad.

  47. Tamara says:

    I have a almost 2 yr old dumper and thrower in one. He thinks the phrase “No Brennan” is the funniest thing ever. Destructo babies use their cuteness against you!

  48. Twin boy dumpers here, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ The blocks, oh the blocks… When I hear them hit the floor, I just cringe. Soon blocks will inundate the entire house.

  49. Most recent dumpage involved my brand new bag of in-shell pistachios, all over the floor in the pantry, behind the shelves…giant pistachio debris field among the floor items. I picked ’em all up and put ’em back in the bag…pistachios are not cheap!!

  50. Jo Brosnan says:

    There are 4 years between my second & third too…it all comes back & you remember…in great detail, lol. Somehow my third has made it to 6 years without me doing anything drastic to him!!

  51. Kimberly says:

    hmmm…was it just after two it ended? I can’t recall. Now my son dumps the cereal into bowls. Only he doesn’t eat it!

    ps. This post, your baby: SO DARN CUTE!

  52. Kimberly says:

    me too! me too! glad I’m not the only one!

  53. I love that your cartoon baby wears fuzzy bunz. (Well, at least that’s what I imagine they are…) Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating this blog – I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old, and it soooooooooooo perfectly reflects my reality here in such a funny way. I laugh out loud with nearly every single entry you have. It’s awesome. Can’t wait to see your compilation on the best seller list someday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Kelly says:

    So relieved to know that I am not alone in this!

  55. Mercy says:

    My dumper has dumped more than I can recall and she isn’t quitting any time soon.

  56. ErynBob says:

    For the science geeks out there…We’ve commented about both our boys during the 2’s…”Toddlers abhor a vacuum.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Teresa says:

    meganleiann – Hahaha, mine does that too! : )

  58. Alicia C. says:

    Mine is a thrower. Anything he can throw end up whizzing past my head, into the wall, and, when his aim is just right, around the corner and down the wooden steps. And I mean everything – food, books, toys (Hoe wheels!), the cat, my coffee cup… everything.

    And when he manages to make his target of the ceiling or steps, he’s so proud of himself. Excited that he manged to practice enough to get the entire plateful of spaghetti to stick to the ceiling. And, when he accidentally hits me, he’ll run over, all concerned, and put his head in my lap, say, “I’m sowwy mama. Are you OK? Want me to tiss [kiss] it for you?” How can I lose my temper over that?!

  59. Anita says:

    If your son is still into dump trucks for his birthday, instead of a cake you can do brownies in a dump truck. We lined the back of the dump truck with foil and then arranged the brownies. Depending on your tolerance for sugar-crazed kids you can then add gummy worms, malt balls, crushed oreo cookies (minus the filling), chocolate covered sunflower seeds or the brown candy pebbles. We’ve moved so often the past few years that we have different groups of friends every birthday season, everyone seems to love it.

  60. Lori says:

    My 2 year old spreads. Sometimes by throwing and sometimes by dropping. The can of marbles gets turned upside down. The magnetic letters get swiped off the fridge. The legos are not played with but often get thrown across the room. Oh, and the diapers. The diapers get pulled out of their bin one at a time with each Sesame Street character named, then discarded. Toilet paper is separated into squares and individually thrown into the toilet. I figure it keeps him busy, and I’ll take all the down time I can get.

  61. Kez says:

    I have a dumper too – unfortunately, it’s a “dump everything out of the potty” dumper. Not a pretty sight!

  62. Dumper here too! 15 month K really loves “cleaning.” Especially the table when he’s done eating. Then he says “food on ground!” proudly.

    Ack. At least he doesn’t dump his potty. He’s been using it since birth so I guess it’s normal. But I def don’t task him with dumping *that* yet!!

    At the hotel we are at right now, he took all the rocks out of all the outdoor plant pots and dumped them on the ground. Ack again.

  63. Rachel says:

    My 4 year old daughter has been a hoarder like a bunch of you said up at the top. I’m so relieved to hear other people have to deal with this! She has like 5 little handbags and boxes and things she stores her crap in. Tons of tiny crap. If you can’t find something, you have to go looking for her crap boxes/bags and dig through them and it’s always there! I’m so tempted to just get rid of anything smaller than a handbag so she can’t do it anymore but that feels mean. Argh!! I hope it ends someday!

  64. Heather C says:

    We nicknamed the younger one Destructo because he shreds things. Give older boy an empty egg carton and he will sort and classify a rock collection, give younger one the same thing and he will have a little pile of shredded pink styrofoam. He’s shredded the leaves off my houseplant, destroys paper, cardboard, toilet paper etc, etc. He will take a bowl of goldfish crackers and pick them out one at a time and SMASH with his fist, then lick them off the table or push the crumbs on the floor and call the dog.

  65. Astra says:

    I oldest’s first word was “backhoe”. Not “mama”.
    I am delighted to report he, now 15, has also gotten over his life long dream of being a garbageman.

  66. Vanessa says:

    Oh Lord… I hope this isn’t my fate. My 17 month old is now discovering the joys of dumping the cat’s water bowl all over the floor. Poor animal will have nothing to drink and our pergo-type floors will be ruined!

  67. Erin says:

    I have a dumper too. Sometimes, I avoid going to the library because I can’t handle the damage clean up with their toys. In a matter of seconds upon arrival, he’s dumped all the crayons, all the buckets of legos and every bucket of play food. I think the librarians cringe when they see us come. (We do clean it up!)

  68. Tarina says:

    Eek! lol does he at least check that there is noone beneath him?! I think upper landings are amazing for kids for that reason. Element of surprise, gravity takes on a whole new meaning… Lots of learning opportunities there as long as he doesnt test HIS gravity. Mine would do that. One floor houses for me! lol

  69. Tarina says:

    Uggh. I have twin 16m girls and my son is turning 3 next week, and all 3 of them have this dumping/sliding thing!! I have to vaccuum after every single meal. It is AWFUL! The edges of my living room have a permanent lining of Kix since they tend to get pushed by the vaccuum instead of sucked up. Hate. It. lol

  70. Melissa says:

    Crappy Baby is SOOOO cute! My 2 yr old boy recently decided it was super fun to throw all the clean, unmatched socks on the floor in a pile, then proceed to jump into it and writhe around, laughing madly. He made it look like a lot of fun!

  71. Tarina says:

    that’s an AWESOME idea!!!

  72. Melanie says:

    LOL, no he doesn’t check. He’s beaned me on the head a few times as I come in the front door, but I think it’s intentional. He also loves to sit in his high chair, throw some food on the floor, wait for someone to kneel down to pick it up, and then drop more on the back of their head!

  73. Melanie says:

    Oh heck, half the time I don’t even do that. He likes to eat off the floor.

  74. aynsley says:

    The other day my little guy jumped down the stairs, as I was comforting him, he looked up at me, tears shimmering in his big blue eyes and announced ” Tt (what he calls himself) can’t fly”.I guess he’d always thought he could! So traumatic that 8 hours later when his daddy got home it was the first thing he told him. Testing gravity indeed!

  75. Julie says:

    I teach at a preschool and they all love our garbage man, Mr. John. We line them out front when he takes our dumpster and he honks his horn for them every Friday. He came and talked about his job and showed them the truck. We even make him cookies!

  76. You totally can’t get mad when they talk like that. Maybe for a second but then you have to laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚ My son does the same. Only it’s water glasses. I know it’s just water, but still…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  77. My dad bought me a dump truck when I was little, trying a little gender-neutrality. I had no interest. I think that bummed him out, he still has it!

  78. That truck is a bad influence. And a gateway toy to harder toys.

  79. Nicole says:

    hahaha- not mine! My little man holds the sides of the bowl that move in place and THEN he dumps.

  80. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for reminding me about dumper! I was desperately trying to think of a present for my 1.25 year old nephew…jackpot!

  81. Vriesea says:

    The good news is that kids outgrow just about every stage and habit. The bad news is that there is always another one waiting in the wings ;).

  82. My five year old Cookie Monsters everything. And yes, I did just turn Cookie Monster into a verb.

  83. JenL says:

    I have dumper too. He is 3 and a half and shows no signs of stopping. He has only learned how to climb higher. You have a more recent entry about going to the bathroom and hearing quiet; this is exactly when my dumper is in his element. I have begun texting his “Mess of the day” to his father at work so he knows what expect. Many days there are 3 entries.

    If you want to make yourself feel better though visit: It’s for parents like us – no judgement, just pictures.

  84. Leeta-Rose says:

    mine is a quiet spiller… and splasher…. gahhhh

  85. Heather W says:

    OMG $72 A DAY??? I’m only allowed to spend $200/month on food so I’d be LIVID if my 2yo dumped her food everywhere!!!!!

  86. Michelle Johnston says:

    I am in the middle of dumper stage with child #5, none of the others did this as much. Food is dumped at every meal unless I am standing next to him and sometimes not even then:(
    LOOOOOOOVE your blog by the way, in the process of reading them all!!!