To my toddler
A mother’s response to a toddler’s rant (as seen in this blog here)
If only parents and toddlers could communicate this well.
Dear child of mine (though you like to pretend that you are only daddy’s child and, in all honesty, sometimes I do too)
First of all, I can hardly wait until you are old enough for me to show you the videos I have collected of you and your ridiculous tantrums over the years. I’m thinking it will be best for me to save it until you have a child, a child which I’m certain at some point will give you at least the amount of hard time you have given to me. When this happens, I will gladly pull out the clips and say “See, do you understand why now your nickname was little monster (among other ones.)” But until that day arrives, I will gladly respond to your rant.
I understand that you seem to have many grievances with my parenting style, however you don’t make a very good counterargument when your only response is “NO!” Now, granted, I understand that the primary reason that you know this answer is because you probably feel that’s the only answer you ever hear in your universe. And I won’t deny that you hear a lot of it. But there really are reasons for the seemingly constant nay saying (and I promise you good ones) It doesn’t give me joy to say “No” or “please stop” a million times a day, especially since my response is usually greeted by you throwing yourself on the floor. There really are good reasons for why I won’t let you play in the litter box or flood the bathroom floor. There is a good reason why I tell you not to go in the street, but, as all adults have muttered to the younger children at some point in their lives, these are all things which you will understand at a latter point in your life. All I ask of you in these time, tantruming child of mine, is to listen and please try not to go limp scare crow when I tell you it’s time to leave the toy aisle.
I will also address your concerned issue of why I must verbally ask you if you need your diaper changed. This point is simple: I really would rather you cooperated with me when I try to put you on the potty so that I don’t have to change your diaper. If you would poop in the toilet, I wouldn’t have to ask you. Believe me, every time I change your diaper, I am well aware that it is .25 cents a change. At a minimum of 6 changes a day, I have now spent 1.50 on your poop and pee. That’s $45 a month! I don’t know about you but I can think of something way more fun to do with $540 a year rather than let you poop on it. Literally. So if you can please accept my bribes of cookies or treats any time you use the toilet, I think both of us will enjoy our lives a little bit more.
The issue of language barriers is probably going to be one which plagues us our entire lives, to be quite honest with you. Sure, right now, our barriers exist because you don’t have very clear language (despite what you think you are communicating so clearly to me; it’s not for my own entrainment that I ask 5 times what in the heck you are saying.) Another reason for our constant language frustration is, well, because you are two. You don’t yet understand the complexities of the universe and neither do you understand when I explain them to you, instead usually falling back on your standard “but why?”. I realize that this “why” can lead to 10,000 more questions, all of your response to each will be “Why?” This is the why sometimes I choose just to say “all done, no more questions.” It’s not because I don’t have the answers, but because you won’t understand them quite yet.
Later on in life, our language barriers will most likely exist because you will claim that I just don’t understand how you feel. Rest assuredly, I will understand your feelings, because like you, I was also once there in both age and feeling that towards my parents. I also know that it won’t be until many years down the road that you might be able to speak (and listen and we both will have mutual understanding) and I will try my utmost not to lose my patience until that happens.
In closing, I would like to state that I did read your rant and while I understood it fully, I have to admit that much is not going to change around here. While you may constantly try to be the boss, I have some wake up news for you… you are the smallest in the house. Only the cat is smaller than you and to be honest, even though I told you that you could be the boss of him, I don’t think he’s going to listen very well when you tell him to go to his room. Now, I realize that size factor could be a dangerous example for why you aren’t the boss as I am quite certain that someday you will outgrow me, but just heed the advice once stated in a very clever movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “A man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head whichever was she wants it to go.” Heed these words of wisdom as your father did and I can guarantee your life will be much easier on you.
So, here I leave us. I’m glad you so willingly vent to me, however, I believe the saying “Just deal with it” will be very applicable throughout your young life. Also know, you better never utter that phrase to me.
With all the love of a mother,
Yes.. this little face is not mischievous at all….