Before this particular mommy phase began, I thought I knew the latest toddler-rearing theories (picked up from my elder sister who has capably managed two kids on her own — in the US — away from all ‘sorts’ of help Indian mothers bank upon). But I had grossly underestimated the practical challenges of raising a feisty toddler like mine.
My boi has just begun to test his independence and seems to be experimenting each day how far he can loop me before being reined in. Experts — and by that I mean fellow mommies — claim that this is normal and exactly what the bulk of their kind do at this age. Some babies, I am told, began testing the mommy’s limits as early as age 1.
*slow clap for those brave mommies*
Coming back to the subject of my boi — who is beginning to assert himself, can communicate likes-dislikes by shrieking, & act independently (as much as he can) — it’s beginning to hit me that I have to change gears as mommy and step back a little.
Children’s wilfulness and opposition can easily frustrate parents. It is hard to accept, at times, that a previously biddable baby could grow to toddlerhood and be so intent on doing exactly the opposite of what we want, or what is safe.
Yea, so the above is exactly what has happened in my household. One day ago, he was just a baby cuddling alongside and today he’s all about walking-eating-playing as desired. Frankly there seems to be no easy way to manage toddlers.
According to a fellow mommy,
They just need lots of time and lots of hands-on guidance. We always need to be on duty when we have toddlers because they keep jumping (at times literally) from activity to activity.
My boi (perhaps like every other toddler) has simply the shortest interest span. Give him a colourful book and he will happily turn a few pages before it’s abandoned for some thing else. On weekends, I have to tune myself closely to his world by making it safe (keeping hot pots out of reach, lifting electrical cords out of the way, locking cupboards that contain precious items) and by physically helping-directing his actions.
Be patient. This will eventually pass.
Or so tells me everyone. Right now, I am not so sure that this independent streak of my boi will ever pass.
And since he insists on opening kitchen drawers each time he is there, so I had to do some extra work too. Now all I don’t have to scream “No!” all the time, boi is happy to explore as much as he wants, nothing gets broken although there’s some extra amount of bending to retrieve lids and flat vessels abandoned under the furniture.
I have to do some extra practice of resisting the temptation to take over and do everything myself to save time and frustration. Sample this: A bag of building blocks was recently added to boi’s play stuff. And while he seems to be getting a hang of putting the blocks together, it is no fun for mommy to keep retrieving blocks from all corners. So, I tried to teach him to put blocks back in the bag and this he has learnt but insists that on putting one block at a time. It’s very hard for me to control the urge to quickly shove all blocks back in the bag but I refrain myself from doing what is boi’s work.
Toddler-hood is surely going to make me a better ‘restrained’ human being if not a better mommy. Sigh.