When I first became a parent, I was adamant that my children needed to be taught independence. After all, I had no desire to spend all of my time catering to every single need of theirs, especially when they have two little hands and there are things that they can do on their own. For the most part, I feel as if I have succeeded but I don’t think that I quite realized the downside to having them be so independent. For example, my two year old is often heard saying “No, Mommy, I dude it.” (And no, he isn’t referring to some surfer dude he has hidden in his room, he means he can do it.)
Yes, indeed there are certain things he can “dude” and certain things he cannot. Make coffee: not. Bring me his shoes: yes. And then there are the things which lie more in the grey area of things which can be done or not done.
1.) Yes, he is capable of getting his own milk cup, the milk out of the fridge and bringing it to me so I can pour him the glass. However, being that he is quite good at his fine motor manipulation (milk cap), it is not good when he then tries to pour himself a cup of milk. An entire half gallon of milk on the kitchen floor was not on my list of items to clean up.
2.) Yes, it’s good that he can go into the bathroom and remove his own diaper to try to sit on the potty. It’s not so good however, when a) either the diaper already has a number 2 in it or b.) he tries to wipe himself and decides he needs the entire roll of toilet paper.
3.) It’s nice that he can open the door for me when I have an arm load of groceries. However, I have learned never to leave him in the house for a minute without bringing my key since he has now also figured out how to lock the front door.
4.) I can tell him to go to the fridge and get himself a snack. Of course, what I mean for snack is the conveniently located yogurt, cheese or apple slices and yet what he brings me is the whipped cream, bowl and spoon.
5.) It’s nice that he knows our plants need watering, knows how to turn on the hose and water the plants. Now, I wish he could just figure out how not to water the mini music docking set, the cat, the window, the inside of the house and the neighbors patio. At least his intentions are in the right place.
6.) It’s always good when your child knows that the bedtime routine includes brushing their teeth. However, if they manage to start this routine before you get to the bathroom, be prepared to be buying a whole new tube of toothpaste. Even if the one that you had was new.
7.) If you are going to let them wipe their own noses, be prepared to wash their hands, face, neck and possibly the couch cushion.
8.) If they are walking funny after putting on their own shoes, it’s probably because they are on the wrong feet. Or they have a wood chip in the “clean” socks you sent them to find and put on.
I’m sure as we progress further into the realm of what he’s capable of doing, what he should or should not be doing, I will find even more to add to this list. For the time being, however, I should probably go and check why a two year old feels the need to lock himself in the bathroom.
hmm.. he looks so innocent here…