Parenthood is the one job in the world that you cannot train for (it probably isn’t, but as a first-time mommy, I am comfortable claiming so). It is a completely hands-on kind of a job that you learn each and every day since the time you hold your little bundle of joy for the first time. After all, did anybody really teach you how to change the diaper while reading a book? Or did you ever take a class on understanding the complicated reasons behind why your kid absolutely has to go to the washroom just as you sit down for dinner? Or was there a training session I missed on how to make a baby comfortable by roaming around the house like a zombie at 2 am every night?
Apart from the brilliant multi-tasking and time management skills that we learn from being a parent, here are a few more things learnt from Toddler.
Accepted that they have absolutely no depth perception or any life preservation instincts (try explaining to a toddler why he cannot be an Airplane in the middle of a busy road), but their courage is truly commendable. I mean, when did we start being so scared? When was the last time you tried to jump from the Settee using just the curtains? Or tried to check the ‘hot-ness’ of a fry with your tongue? Well, probably not since you could fit in a buggy but still…
We are oh-so-polite at all times. While it has taken us years to edit our internal thoughts for public consumption, somewhere along the road, we did lose out on being frank. We are always trying to be politically correct, whether it about the fact that our neighbor’s pet pees on our door or that relatives have no respect for our privacy! Kids aren’t like that. They start off by calling a spade a spade.
My son saw a very beautiful lady waiting for the lift and asked me if he could tell the aunty that she was very beautiful. Of course, in the next 20 seconds he refused to give her hug because she was stranger-danger (yup, I was red with pride… and embarrassment), but he was honest about it. Every time I dress up, he tells me that my new ‘shirt’ is so pretty and sparkly. And every meal I feed him, he tells me it is yum in the tum. Yes, he also refuses to eat at times because apparently, my curry makes him ‘ewwww’. But that’s honesty for you.
Some might claim that kids have a memory span of a goldfish (I believe I have done so in the past, quite vehemently), but they are very forgiving. While I pack my bags to take a guilt trip after every single reprimand and screaming session at my baby boy, he barely remembers the context 3 seconds later when he hugs me and tells me he’s done so many ‘naughties’! Of course, the fact that no amount screaming sticks is highly irritating but on my road to ‘feeling-like-a-terrible-mommy’, I am happy that he forgot my screams along with my instructions to keep his fingers out of the socket!
Live in the moment
While I run myself ragged creating, completing and adding on to my million to-do lists all over the house, plan every meal and every single day, my little one only wants to know, ‘what we doing NOW?’. Whether he has just woken up from his sleep in the early hours of morning or finished his 153rd trip to the potty, he wants to know what now. I miss that feeling of enjoying the ‘now’ at times. Agreed we all have much more on our minds than mindless toddlers, but it is a nice feeling. So, on weekends (on some “planned” weekends), I plan not to make any plans.
Yes, I see the irony but it does work. I go along with my baby. If he decides to get up, I do. Other than feeding him at regular intervals, I allow him to call the shots. That does mean I sometimes end up creating a railway track with all the pillows and bed sheets in the house and manage to transport my entire kitchen to his toy room (because he cannot make real food with toy utensils). And however frustrated the clean-up makes me, trust me it feels so good to just live in the moment and not plan or wonder what next!
Remember the spider who went on building her web even though she kept slipping (or some similar story… after 4 books of 365 stories I have difficulty keeping my Cinderellas out of a castle tower and my jacks away from the bear’s cottage!)? Well, kids are like that. They are perseverant, maybe at all the wrong things, but still. Like, my little one would probably throw all his blocks as soon as they break for the first time but no matter how many times I scream and shout and threaten him with a time out, he does find a way to climb on the chair because he wants to be ‘bigger like mumma’!
So these are the things learnt from Toddler. If you thought your life with an infant was full of teaching moments, wait till they grasp the nuances of a language and argue why he pottied in the morning and how he see-d everything yesterday!!! Whatever the lesson, I am not trading… #Besttimesofmylife
Happy Parenting with Budding Star