Every night we eat dinner as a family. Our routine, mommy makes it and Ayven and Daddy help set the table. We talk about our day and enjoy a nice dinner SOME of the time. Then there are other times where my toddler is overly tired or just in a mood where dinner is a battle. The other night was one of those nights. From the time we sat down to the time we finished dinner (like an hour and a half later) I found myself repeating these things to my toddler:
“Don’t stand in your chair, you will fall down”
“Eat in your plate not over your lap because you will make a mess”
“Take a bite, come on hurry up because we want to do something after dinner”
“Use a napkin because your mouth is dirty”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full, you don’t want your food to fall out”
“Stop drinking so much water and start eating because your tummy will get full off water”
“Don’t put so much in your mouth because you can choke and hurt yourself”
It’s exhausting and the battle at dinner time sucks after a long day at work. After dinner that night my son came up to me and goes “mommy I was just having a bad day today.” Later that night I laid in bed and took a step back to go over what happened at dinner. I decided to look at it from my son’s perspective, aka the life of a toddler. He may have been in one of those moods where he just wanted to be left alone, but guess what as a toddler that is never an option. Someone is always going to tell them what to do regardless if they want to hear it or not.
At the age of 2 or 3, they have very curious minds. Simple things like finding a raisin in their carseat and eating it or using the whole tube of chap stick at one time seems like the right thing to do. Parents always say you have to try things to learn. Well that’s exactly what they are doing and on the flip side each time their curious minds wander into what we as parents feel is mischief, they get yelled at by this parental figure. We as parents are always finding ways to keep them from acting up by strapping them in strollers, carseats and bouncers. From their perspective it’s like they are being restrained once again! Speaking of carseats, my friend recently had a car accident and thankfully the carseat saved her young boy’s life! She decided to take legal action against them by searching through legal representatives such as car accident lawyers. By the end of her search she found some fantastic legal aid and it served her well.
Imagine if you were out running errands and every time you came across someone, another person keeps telling you, make sure you say hi to them, make sure you say thank you, make sure you said goodbye. It gets annoying right? It’s like they are on constant watch of committing a toddler crime 🙂 I fully admit I am that mom who is constantly telling my son to make sure he behaves right, doesn’t make a mess, or has his listening ears on but I am trying to make a change and sometimes put myself in his shoes. As I look back at my dinner moment, I realized I was having a bad day that night and I expected my son to behave a certain way without taking into consideration how his day was. Even though they are just there years old, they go through a whole day of events just like adults.
When we as parents have bad days, the last thing we want is someone telling us to do something or not do something CONSTANTLY and even though they are only three years old they can have bad days too and that’s okay. It’s okay to let toddlers be who they are and live a little.
As moms we are always seeking a “mommy moment” to get away from the chaos from the kids but don’t forgot your little ones may need a “toddler moment.”