I read a saying once that you should listen earnestly to anything your children tell you, no matter what, because if you don’t listen to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them it’s always been big stuff. In this world where there are so many dangers lurking around every corner it resounded with me, because my children wanting to and being able to share every concern with me is definitely something I hope to achieve.
But this starts when they are young, and it’s hard to not sweat the small stuff. Perhaps understanding that to them it’s not so small will help us to understand next time. For example, while you may be worried about whether to take your toddler to the Dr because she’s had a snotty nose now for two weeks, or if you should phone insurance to lodge a report about the tree that fell in the heavy rain this past weekend, issues that seem big in your life, your toddler is trying to decide if she wants the Doc McStuffins mug or the Minnie Mouse mug, issues that seem big in her life. In the same vein, her choosing what top to wear to school is a big deal to her, even if you’re running late and she’s chosen a sleeveless summer top on a cold wintery day.
It’s not always easy to understand how a different juice mug can cause such an impact, especially when they are both pink after all, but just take a minute and see it from her perspective and perhaps you will understand. In our busy lives today with the pressures and stresses of daily living when a toddler starts to assert her independence and it’s over a juice mug tempers can flare I won’t lie. But it’s human nature for us to want to be in control of some aspect of our lives. Just imagine we tell our children what to eat, when to eat, when to bath, what to wear, and control so many aspects of their day to day life.
Let’s try to give them a little control of their colour juice mug and be understanding and see where it gets us. Aside from the smile which will brighten your day, your child will see you understanding how important the little things are to her, and one day will hopefully share the big things with you too. And that’s something to strive for, something to make sure we swallow our impatience over, and remember that we too were small once and the colour juice mug was a big deal in our lives then too.
I wrote this almost a year ago to the date, when Amy was really showing me what those toddler years were all about! At least I should be more prepared for when Ethan arrives at this stage.