I am done apologizing for my toddler. Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely apologize for the milk spilled on your new tablecloth, the missing scissors from your coffee table and the empty Kleenex box/Kleenex pieces littering the floor.
My toddler, is in fact, at toddler. She is learning and discovering. She is being guided, taught, loved, praised and disciplined as a young child should be. My child is not a grown adult trapped in a small person’s body. She has a toddler’s mind, in a toddler’s body. She is exactly where she is suppose to be. In fact, if she didn’t throw all of her toys (and yours) in the garbage can or fuss when someone takes her crayons away, I would be gravely concerned.
But, I discovered I am not as accepting as I once thought. When my daughter would do something that I personally didn’t value, like being loud, I would say, “Oh, she definitely didn’t get that from me!”, or getting frustrated quickly and fussing, “Oh, I’ve seen that reaction before, she didn’t get that behaviour from me!”. And of course, when she was compassionate, I would say, “She definitely got that from her mother!”, or when she was simply being cute and sweet, I would say, “Oh, I’ve seen that face before, she is definitely her mother’s daughter!”. But as I took a look at my heart, I noticed something: I wasn’t accepting the temperament and stage of my daughter.
I am growing to accept my daughter for who she is, right now. A toddler. I am not sorry she isn’t more adventurous. I am not sorry that she likes to sit on my lap at the swimming pool instead of splashing with other kids. I am not sorry she doesn’t like vegetables … or pasta … or ground beef (this list is endless). This is who she is. Today. This is called parenting. I accept her for who she is today and in light of who she might become.
[Please note: I do not let my child run around like a wild goose with no direction, afraid to “spank her inner-child”. We discipline, we say no, and we give lots of hugs and large doses of encouragement. I am not out to crush her spirit. We accept her. As she is. Right now.
And yes, I am very sorry for any hurt feelings about the delicious meal you spent hours preparing only to have a nose turned up, or the misplaced scissors you found in your garbage can. I would be happy to replace any of these items.]