I am so grateful for DeAnne Watson, editor extraordinaire, who does an amazing job finding articles that cover a wide range of parenting stages, from newborns sleeping through the night to prepping teens for the future. No matter what phase you may be experiencing, we have helpful insights for you.
While I don’t have toddlers any longer, I still love reading the toddler features because they bring up so many memories for me. Things I have done right, things I have done wrong and the things you just could never believe until they happen.
Toddler spoiler alert: Yes, a toddler will eat a random Cheeto off a grocery store floor and put lipstick on the dog. The memories were definitely flowing this month as I read The Toddler Instruction Manual, by Sarah Lyons.
One afternoon, which does not feel like it was that long ago, I walked in from the store with my three girls, ages six and under. My arms were full with bags and I needed to get dinner started. As we walked in the door, my “eagle mom eyes” immediately noticed a tub with a bazillion plastic beads in it, sitting on the counter, leftover from a craft we were doing earlier. We normally kept that WAY out of reach, so I stealthily went to grab the tub to move it.
Before I could, my lightening fast three year old excitedly pulled down the forbidden tub spilling beads everywhere. I immediately scooted the girls out of the kitchen into one of their rooms so nobody slipped, stuck one up her nose or tried to eat one. As the girls were leaving the kitchen, one of them asked if they could play with the Easter eggs.
Knowing they had baskets of plastic eggs in the kitchen I said, “Sure, just grab them on the way to your room.” After cleaning up the beads, I went to check on the girls playing only to find little white and yellow bits of who knows what all over the bedroom and one daughter standing on the bed, boiled egg in hand!
Yep, that’s right. I had totally forgotten in the chaos that, in addition to the plastic eggs, we had some eggs we had boiled earlier that were cooling on the counter for dying. First a billion beads, now crumbled boiled eggs, all within minutes of each other. Needless to say we ordered pizza that night…
Toddlers are often very busy and want to do everything themselves but, as parents, it is natural to want to do a lot for them, knowing how things might go. The challenge is knowing when and what to allow them to do on their own. Sandi Schwartz provides us with some tips in this month’s feature, Stop Doing Everything for Your Kids and Set Them on the Path to Independence. Her advice is valuable to all ages and stages of parenting, even as kids get into the tween and teen years and we start passing on more responsibilities and chores to them.
You know the above-mentioned child who spilled the beads and threw the boiled eggs (yes, it was the same child)? She is now driving, and just the other day she texted to let me know the A/C in her car was not blowing cold. By the time I had a chance to call her back she answered and said, “Nevermind, I just stopped by the auto parts place and told them what was going on and they showed me how to put Freon in my car…it’s all good now.” So, you see, one day that very busy toddler who wants to get their hands on everything will grow into a self-reliant teen who makes you oh so proud.
Whether you are washing the lipstick off the dog or helping your child prep for the ACT, I do hope you find this issue both entertaining and full of helpful resources.