We've been struggling a little bit in the mornings as of late. We are currently blessed with a toddler who doesn't want to get dressed, at least not for me. She doesn't want to go to school and she doesn't want to eat breakfast. She would like to lay in bed in her pajamas. Rhiannon tells me that she's two. It's a phase. I will also admit that I have not been the most patient of people at 6am in dealing with Brooklynn's phases. This morning, as I searched for Brooklynn's travel mug that we apparently left at school yesterday, Rhiannon was the one to go in and get her up. I went upstairs to find Rhiannon and Brooklynn playing a game where Ruffy (the puppy) and Rabbit, her two current favorite animals, where helping to take off her pajamas and get her dressed. And it worked. No tears, no crying. Well, nothing wrong until we got to the part where her travel mug was at school and she would have to wait until then to have her chocolate shake for the morning[1. Yes, our two year old enjoys a chocolate protein shake made with water and coconut milk. She doesn't get chocolate milk at home, so I think this is something pretty exciting for her.]
It's also times like this when I see Rhiannon making things a game succeeding where my attempt at direct logic has failed when I realize that I really don't understand children. I will happily play blocks and dance around to music, and, when frustrated in the morning, I will also tell Brooklynn that her recent behavior has been unacceptable[2. If you are chuckling in disbelief that I told a two-year old her behavior was "unacceptable", that was also Rhiannon's reaction when she heard it. No, I don't think I actually expected it to work, but man, it felt good to say it.] and she needs to shape up.
The hardest thing I think that Brooklynn is facing right now is the fact that she wants to do everything herself[3. "No, me do it me own self" as she likes to say]. She puts her own food in the microwave and closes it. She takes her own clothes off and puts them on herself. She can lift and carry that 10 pound bag of flour her own self, thank you very much.
If she gets hurt doing something, well, maybe she will allow us to give her a hug and make it better. And if she spills a little when she carries her bowl of soup across the kitchen to the table, then it's ok for us to help clean up. Every day, she does a little more on her own. She's going to be a big sister, after all. No time to act like a baby and let Mom and Dad do everything for her. Especially no at 6am when she's still a little tired and crabby.
So, moving forward, I'm going to make the attempt to practice patience and stay positive, even in the face of utter and completely irrational thought and actions.
Because, really, who doesn't want a stuffed puppy to help with putting our clothes on in the morning? I think everyone one would probably be in a better mood with a little bit more of that going on.