of the logic of toddlers

She’s a sweetie about letting me wash her hair–if I tell her the plastic mermaid wants her to. Strangely, it wasn’t convincing that her hair needs a wash because it has dirt, blue paint, and tuna in it. Nor was “because I said so” a particularly effective strategy (except for the mermaid).

Goat is her most prized possession. If I tell her she can’t bring Goat out in the city because he will almost certainly be lost, she weeps. If I say Goat must stay behind because he is very sleepy and wants a nap, she tucks him tenderly into her bed and trots out cheerfully.

For a time getting pajamas on if someone was over-tired was a bit of a crying fest. Then Daddy discovered the Tickle Spider lurking in a trouser leg. Now it’s an evening highlight. (The Tickle Spider is a very sneaky arachnid–he has appeared unexpectedly during morning routine and even on bus rides.)

But aren’t you spoiling her, you ask.  Shouldn’t she know that no is no is no and that no amount of emotional display will sway the Mommy in this Family? After all, children have to learn that sometimes we must do things we don’t want to do. Certainly they must, and inevitably she will. Meanwhile we’re doing a bit of artistic maneuvering through a challenging and emotional phase. Her hair is and will be washed whether she likes it or not. But it’s so much nicer if she likes it.

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One Response to of the logic of toddlers

  1. Janet says:

    And speaking as an old Mom who tried some of the same with two boys, we have kept the lines of love open through many difficult situations. Creative love and a firm hand are God’s gift to our children. God is gentle and firm with us, isn’t He?

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