There are a few words that a parent dreads hearing from their toddler. They strike fear into the heart of any Mum or Dad and it seems that once uttered once they can only increase in frequency.
The first word is “why?”. Hugh has started with the ‘why’ and contrary to what Simon Sinek will tell you (leadership nerd reference there) starting, asking and continuing with the why will not lead to great things. It will just push your Mum to breaking point when she will yell ” BECAUSE I’M THE MUMMY THAT’S WHY!!” Much earlier than she was expecting to.
But the ‘why’ pales into insignificance once the next words are uttered. Three little words that can cause so much pain, confusion and horror. I can guess what you’re thinking and believe it or not there is not a single ‘F’ word in the bunch. People who are not parents think they’re cute and adorable, They’re not. Those words, those terrible words from the mouth of a two year old are….”I do it”.
“I do it”. Sounds like it should be helpful. It.Is.Not. Let’s be clear. “I do it” does not apply to all situations. It’s not applicable if you would actually LIKE the toddler to do the task and it would be genuinely helpful if they did “do it”. Like packing up toys, connecting their own Thomas trains together or wiping their own hands after eating.
“I do it” only comes out when the task at hand has the chance to be messy, time consuming, hold you up OR is impossible for the toddler to do leaving them extremely frustrated and angry at the end of the process (and you having to “do it” anyway).
Classic Hugh “I do it” moments have included:
- Blowing his own bubbles. This resulted in a wet Hugh, bubble mixture all over the pavement, an empty bubble want and in the end, no bubbles and a pissed off two year old.
- Opening his own yoghurt pouch. Impossible. He physically can’t do it but it takes him at least 5 minutes to admit he needs help. And god forbid you should try and help before he asks for it.
- Wielding dangerous cutlery including knives that we are trying to use to safely cut up his dinner. We refuse to give him knives which works out a terrible show down for the family.
- Walking in the middle of dangerous car parks.
- Carrying things that are way too heavy for him and therefore take about three hours longer than normal to complete anything or go anywhere.
- Reading books/not getting you to read the book them demanding that you read the book again.
- Finally, using the new stamps that his Nanna bought. Must stamp himself which makes for some very edgy parents, grandparents and passers by, watching Hugh do some sort of contortionist act with a very uncovered inked object trying to prevent anyone from interfering in his very strong desire to stamp anything and everything in sight.
I should be excited that the little guy is really starting to test his skills and assert his independence. This will lead to more independence and make life easier for his mum and dad. Maybe one day this will come to pass but at the moment it’s an uphill battle with none of the useful things getting done. Just another reason why no one should expect Tim or I to actually be on time for anything for the next five to six years. And why you might see a toddler around the shopping centre dragging a giant back pack he can’t carry with yoghurts he can’t open and weaving dangerously in front of shopping trolleys and other shoppers while his parents trail apologetically behind.
If you listen closely your might hear him muttering those fateful words “I do it” under his breath while he shows his Mum and Dad who the boss is in this family one more time.