Jillian R.
If you're a mom who is sometimes most times stuck watching an "educational" TV show with your toddler/kid(s), or simply forced to be in the room until said toddler falls asleep, because otherwise said toddler gets up and starts playing with their toys in the room, then I'm sure you are armed with a smart phone/tablet during these times, lest you are either staring at your little angel's adoring face or most times; a blank wall because God forbid, you make eye contact and the toddler takes this as a cue to get up and play.

Don't get me wrong, I love my two and a half year old to death, but sometimes, reading parenting articles online makes me feel like I'm either being a very bad parent or am setting up my own child to be a monster when they grow up.

I haven't written in a while, so there's a lot to catch up on, but here's what happened today. After our weekly grocery shopping, after unloading all the groceries from the car - while being almost seven months pregnant, in the heat, I went to unbuckle my child from the car seat. Being a two and a half a year old, of course she thinks she can do anything by herself (and would not accept any help!), which I don't doubt for a second, but for now, there I was standing in the heat waiting for her to SLOWLY climb off her car seat, and just when I thought she was about to descent from the car, she backed up and tried to climb into the driver's seat to "beep beep" the horn. We are currently going through a phase of her wanting to explore everything in the driver's seat. Obviously this is not wrong and I would gladly sit with her and let her explore, but not in almost 40°C heat.

Now, if you read online articles from the many many parenting blogs/websites out there, you would know that you are expected to very calmly explain to your child that we need to go inside because well, it's freaking HOT! And if this doesn't work, I don't know, you are supposed to propose a trade, maybe a favorite toy, or whatever, to get the toddler to come with you - because in a picture perfect world, your toddler would very happily come with you and all will be well.

Against my better judgement, I always try to be calm, in a "soothing" (yes, soothing is the key!) voice, albeit through gritted teeth, I tell her what I want, do I ever get results? Yes! She runs farther away, she touches whatever I tell her to not touch, she laughs/screams and THEN runs farther away.

So I told her, calmly, that it was hot and we needed to go inside *continues to stand between the two front seats, one more step, she'd be in front*. I told her the sun was "Ouchy-ing mommy (this usually works for most things, she's super caring, if anyone ever says ouch in our home she runs to the medicine cabinet to help) *continues to look longingly at the horn*. After a few more tries, I reached in and tried to grab her. Screamed bloody murder. At this point, the heat, my feet about to give out from under me and the frustration of standing there in front of our house, pleading with a two and a half year old to get out of the hot vehicle was too much, so I became a bad parent - and raised my voice! I hate yelling at her, but I yelled and reached in to grabbed her. Confronted with a physical challenge that she knew she couldn't win, she told me in between screams that she wanted to do it herself, and she slowly climbed out of the car.

Yes, the neighbors might have heard me, they might have judged me, how dare I yell at my child in 2016! But, parenting isn't all about doing everything you read online. It isn't about shaming and judging, it's about you and your own child. I'm not saying my child only responds to yelling, she is actually a pretty amazing human being, a much better person that I ever hope to be. She is loving, caring, very generous, kind, and if anyone's ever upset, she goes up to them and says "Don't worry, Scarlett's here", oh and the wisdom she shows at such a young age is truly remarkable. I know I might be biased but I swear it's all true! And the point I want to make here is that this little person CAN be reasoned with. Oftentimes, if we just explained to her why we want her to do something, she understands and does it, but she is two! We should just let two year olds be two year olds sometimes.
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2 Responses
  1. I LOVED this article. Very well thought out and written. My mother passed and I am forced to contemplate what life is really all about. For me, this article really spoke for me.

  2. Jillian R. Says:

    Oh I'm so sorry to hear that! And I'm glad this helped.

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