Oh, toddler-hood. How I love you and loathe you all at the same time.
My daughter turned 2 at the end of February. She was already a spunky, strong-willed, confident young lass, and the age of 2 intensified that to the nth degree. Now she can furrow her brow, point at whomever, and speak a very clear, “No!” or “Drop it!” (Yes, like we tell our dog) or “Are you OK?” after someone coughs.
This age is joyous, frustrating, and downright hilarious at times. My husband and I definitely let our daughter be her own person, with boundaries of course, and the little personality that has developed is beyond me. So often I find myself having to turn around, or walk away and laugh because I can’t believe some of the stuff my daughter says or does.
Her speech is blowing up right now and one of her favorite words is “delicious!” Everything is delicious, from her baby wipes to her boogies. Even a pillow was touted as being “delicious!” earlier this evening while I was making my bed.
She has also become even more agile, doing this sort of side-skip-hop thing, as she gallops around the house. I usually stop in wonder and think, “Where did she learn this?” I definitely don’t skip around the house, or exclaim “delicious!” to describe certain items.
I can only conclude that my daughter is just this amazing being, with such a strong personality, and we’re truly enjoying every moment as she grows and discovers her world. I believe allowing her the freedom and independence to grow, explore and wonder, has aided in her ability to be confident, curious, and compassionate.
My own mom was a woman who let my brother and me explore, get dirty, or hurt, and this has helped shape our own lives. We’re not afraid to take chances, or fail. We’re not afraid to think differently. We love to wrap our brains around new concepts and ideas. We love to figure things out on our own. My mom let my brother and me be our own person.
This is something that my husband and I strive to do with our daughter, within reason. Being overprotective or overbearing really does not serve a positive purpose. Our children will get hurt. They will experience disappointment and failure. Instead of focusing on trying to avoid those things, let’s embrace them, and hope our children learn from these things.
Let’s allow our children to be their own person, and let their personalities flourish from toddler-hood and beyond. I love just sitting back and watching my daughter play, explore and interact with others, without butting in. We sure can learn a lot when we take the back seat!
Jane Walker is a Menifee resident, a wife and mother of a 2-year-old girl. Every Thursday, she shares her experiences as a Menifee mom. Jane welcomes your comments here.