Saying that a toddler is irrational is as obvious as saying Ryan Gosling is hot. If you don't agree with me about the toddler part, I invite you to come over and try to convince my daughter that her string cheese, orange or banana are going to taste exactly the same, even if they are broken.
|Post not about Ryan Gosling, but it can't hurt!|
I realize that part of my job as a parent is allowing her to have feelings of disappointment about such devastations as broken string cheese. It's important to me to validate her experience, even if I don't agree that the world is going to end due to a piece of cheese. I also know that it is my obligation to teach her that things break, and to commiserate about the fact that life doesn't always work out the way that you planned.
I don't often feel so philosophical in the moment. I kinda just want it to stop. The drama-queen side of my daughter seems to have a way of taking me off my center. And when she wants things just so, I start to get paranoid. I wonder whether my daughter's predilections for whole pieces of food are just typical toddler behavior or something much more dire. Perhaps, she's inheriting some of my own OCD tendencies. In reality, it's impossible to predict which of my bad qualities she's going to inherit, so I don't know why I bother trying.
But the bigger problem is that I really do want to be able to take all of Claire's problems away from her. It kills me when I can't fix her string cheese. I want to continue to be the all-knowing, all-powerful figure in her life. With each string cheese incident, I have a shorter distance to fall from my pedestal.
With each string cheese incident, I project into the future all of the disappointments that she is going to have in life, which I am powerless to stop from happening. I imagine the teacher who will make her feel stupid or small. Mean girls will surely enter the picture at some point along the way. She will endure a broken heart for the first time.
I am not psychic. How do I know these things will happen to her? Because they happened to me! My parents did not do a good job helping me through these times. "Buck up" was the general Germanic tone. I could go on in greater length about my own childhood, but I'll save that bit of ranting for another post.
This post is about how I want to do things differently with my daughter. I don't want to minimize my daughter's feeling like my parents did with me, when I was little. I also know that being a supportive mom doesn't mean constantly stopping Claire from falling, but, rather, being there to catch her when she falls.
Knowing and believing are two different things, though. I guess I'm as irrational as my toddler!
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