Monday's have become one of my favorite days of the week. On Monday's Gianna has ballet and although the hour drive each way gets old I love seeing her so excited about something, Something of her own that doesn't include Ethan or myself. She loves her friends, her teachers, her tutu and of course dancing away to princess music. And I love the company of the other mom's.
Most of my friends here in town either have older kids, kids around Ethan's age or 4 or more. I only have a few friends that have a child Gianna's age. So in regards to parenting through toddler hood I don't have many friends to compare notes with or to get toddler advice from. But when we do get together I am amazed at how carefree and laid back it is when compared to playdates with older or younger kids. Mom's of toddlers tend to be more laid back, and carefree when it comes to their child's behavior and the behavior of other toddler's. I think it's because we are so used to dealing with the special behaviors of 2-3 year olds that we have learned the hard way to let things go, pick your battles and to go with the flow
And that's how it is on Monday's as well when I hang out with the other mom's. We talk and laugh and vent about our terrible toddler's. IN a class of 6 girls they all behave pretty well but they all take turns being the kid who isn't listening, paying attention or the one whose being bratty with the other kids
And since we are all mom's of toddler's we laugh it off. We know the drill. Next week it will be my kid so I'm not going to get irritated with a little 2 year old who hit Gianna and then blame it on the mom's horrible parenting!
Us mom's all had this talk the other day about how hard it is to be around other people who have older or younger kids. It's as if everyone forgets about the toddler years and instead focus the blame and comments on you, the parent.
Don't get me wrong I'm not using the fact that my daughter is 2 as an excuse for her behavior but in some ways I am. She is not a mini-adult. She is going to test boundaries, push limits, act out, throw a tantrum, etc. And if you research toddler brain development all this behavior is normal for kids their age. It has nothing to do with parenting. The brain develops the most during the toddler years and the kids are struggling to figure out this big bad world they live in. They are also trying to find themselves, find some autonomy from their parents and to exert their independence.
The toddler years are maddening at times but they are also hysterical and so much fun. The things Gianna comes up with and does crack me up on a daily basis. And she's so smart. I can't believe how smart she is. So while she may not listen at times, and test her boundaries I am enjoying this stage
I love watching her interact and engage with other kid's of this age as well. Like we all said the one day during class, every one of our kids has acted up and been naughty at one point or another. And we all came to this conclusion, if they are all acting the same way we can't all be bad parents. Right?
When at times you feel like you are the worst mom in the world because your daughter won't share, or hit another kid in the nursery or colored on your walls with marker, or having a massive temper tantrum in the store remember that for the most part this is typical toddler behavior and realize that it is no way your fault as the parent
It is our job to guide them and teach them during this stage. I am going to remember that the next time I am frustrated by my toddler's crazy behavior and want to blame myself for her acting this way.
After all we can't all be bad parents. Right?