There’s this thing that happens when your teeny weeny little precious baby turns into a toddler. It happens when they start developing their own ideas and thoughts. It happens when they start figuring out that sometimes what they want to do doesn’t coincide with what Mommy and Daddy want them to do.
You see, eventually, your teeny weeny little precious baby turns into a toddler who starts disobeying. It’s inevitable.
We’ve (more than) reached that stage. So, now, our responsibility lies not only in keeping this tiny human alive but also in teaching her how to behave, what the rules are and how important it is to follow them. Yup. Now we have to start figuring out this whole discipline thing.
We have a busy, independent, creative and sassy toddler. I’m almost certain that those four words describe almost every toddler on the planet, but for some reason, parents always act like it’s surprising when they act that way. It’s not. But, I digress. She’s a typical toddler. She sees where the boundaries are and she tries to push them as far as she can, in every direction that she can. She is trying to figure out just what’s what and who’s the boss. We are also trying to figure out just what’s what and how to show her that we are the boss.
Her father says that she talks too much and listens too little. But, overall, we both agree she does pretty well. She is learning to respond appropriately to discipline and follow the rules. The key word is learning. Of course, she doesn’t always do these things. In fact, she most often doesn’t. But she’s figuring out the concept of “1, 2, 3”, timeouts and apologizing.
This week, she had two (separate but similar) opportunities for a test in trust and obedience. One with me and one with her father. She failed them both. And both times? Evan and I were left giggling to ourselves behind her back, shaking our heads and thinking to ourselves, and each other …. we are in for it.
Lately, as I’ve mentioned multiple times, Evalyn is super interested in caring for her babies. One of her favourite things is to “change bumbums” when they are “doorty”. With that, she wants to wipe them, “keen” them, and put a new diaper on them. I have been teaching her that she’s not allowed to play with the disposable wipes. When she wants to change a dolly’s bum, she is allowed to get a cloth diaper liner from her drawer and pretend that it is a wipe.
The other day, she and I were playing in her room. She wanted to “change bum bums” of one of her dolls. We started the typical process. She looked at the container of wipes under her change table and then looked at me. She waited a few seconds and then said, “Mommy. Out peas”. Hm, perfect learning opportunity, I thought.
The rest of the conversation went something like this:
Me: “You want Mommy to go out of your room?”
Eva: “Yes, peas”.
Me: “Okay, mommy will go to the kitchen for a minute. You can play in here.”
Eva (as I start walking out of the room): “Shut door, peas.”
Me: “Okay. You be a good girl”.
Eva: “Good girl”.
I went out and shut the door, clearly knowing what she was up to. Two minutes later, when I went back to her room and opened the door I was not, in the least bit, surprised to see the wipe container open and wipes flung everywhere.
Immediately she looked up at me, all guilty like, and said “Oops. Sowwy Mama” as she quickly attempted to shove every single wipe back into the container.
Then the next day, she and Evan were playing outside of her room. She got up and walked inside, began shutting the door and said, “Bye bye Daddy”. Again, perfect learning opportunity.
He left her for less than a minute before opening the door. Any guesses what he found? Yep. She was sitting in the middle of the room with the wipes beside her. This time she hadn’t had time to open them and get them out. But when he walked in, she looked up, said nothing more than “Oh”, quickly put them back under the table, took Evan’s hand and said “Come on Daddy. Yet’s play!” and lead him to her toy box.
Of course, the issue is not really whether or not she plays with wipes. It wouldn’t be very hard for me to clean up after her and put the disposable wipes back into the container after she’s done spewing them all over her room. The issue lies in her learning that this is an item that is off limits, not a toy, and we’ve told her she can’t play with it. And let’s not forget the other issue – this kid is just too smart for her own good.
Let the fun times roll.