The journey into toddler-dom is a fast and furious journey! Who knew what an incredible difference there was between a crawler and a walker?
And most importantly, WHY DIDN'T YOU WARN ME?!
The result of this adorable tangle of curls toddling about the house is a slightly less-than-adorable path of destruction. It's impressive really, the sheer amount of disarray that can come about in 2 minutes flat. Each day, I preform a series of mommy-math calculations to determine the cost/benefit analysis of the each activity.
It looks a little like this:
one private potty trip for mommy > or < possible toddler catastrophe mid-bathroom usage
benefits of unloading the dishwasher > or < Tupperware lids thrown across the kitchen by the kid
Now, if you know anything about me, it's that sometimes I struggle with loving 'things'-- attaching sentimental value to inanimate objects. As a girl, I sealed my Barbies and special toys in labeled Ziplock bags to save for my future children. *weird kid* Even now, I like to temper these tendencies by watching episodes of Hoarders. This sentimentality has it benefits, like the fact that I cherish most of the items in my home, and I have a special affection for preserving family mementos and traditions.. but my toddler doesn't share this passion.
She breaks things, you guys. She BREAKS them. While I was still pregnant and only envisioned snuggling and cuddling the little baby hiccuping in my tummy, I resolved to communicate several values to her throughout her life. Coincidentally, one of those values was that:
There will be many ways for to Selah to learn this lesson as she grows older, but during the toddler stage, it's my responsibility to demonstrate this lesson for her. This means that when an object is broken, or a mess is made, my reaction is far more important than the destruction of any material object. If I speak negatively, raise my voice, or act hostilely as a result of a mess or a ruined 'thing,' it communicates to Selah, that she is less important than my 'thing.'
I'D RATHER HAVE A BROKEN PLATE, THEN BREAK THE SPIRIT OF MY CHILD.
By extending an attitude of grace and forgiveness to our children within the home, they will then learn to do the same outside of the home. Proverbs 16:24 says "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Appropriate discipline and instruction is a necessary part of parenting, but in my life, I've found the most transformative experiences are true encounters with forgiveness and grace-- I can't help but think the same is true for our little ones.
Lots of love,