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So THIS is Why We Do It…

October 7, 2009

On Raising a Toddler

Sometimes the tantrums, the early mornings, and the mindless, repetitive games start to grate a bit on the nerves. And I’m that girl who used to think that 2-4 year-olds were her very favorite! Well, apparently it’s different when you’re the mom. You might have heard this before, but parenting? It’s a full-time job!

The good news: just when you realize you’d rather pluck out your own eyeballs than deal with one more playdate where your child is the one snatching toys relentlessly from other happily playing, well-adjusted kids, and your child is the one telling the darling infant present to “Go Away, Baby!”, and your child is the one screaming for more potato chips while his friends contentedly munch on apple slices, JUST when you think you can’t deal with it anymore, your child will pull out his ace in the hole. Because God, in all His wisdom (and desire for human life to continue) created toddlers with a remarkable tendency toward self-preservation. And it usually manifests itself in the form of the Cuteness Factor.

Basically, at the very moment when I’ve used up all my carefully crafted tricks and gimmicks to coerce good behavior and I’m ready to sell the Kid on EBay, he’ll say or do something so charming, brilliant or just plain CUTE that I can’t help but laugh and hug him.

After a week of adjusting to HK again and conquering jetlag and missing the family, I’ve had several such moments that saved me from a meltdown. Here are a few choice examples from the last couple days:

  1. We’re working on manners. You know, “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” “Gosh you look really lovely tonight, Mommy.” Yesterday I handed the Kid a bowl of blueberries and gave him the now-it’s-time-to-say-thank-you look, so he obligingly said, “Thanks.” Just then, the phone rang, so I was distracted, and the Kid, realizing that something was missing, filled in the rest of the exchange by calling out “Yur yell-come” as I walked into the bedroom.
  2. The Kid’s aunt and uncle just got married and are on their honeymoon in New Zealand. He loved spending time at their house while in the US and frequently talks about “Tom and Becky’s house.” When he mentioned that he thought there was a “monster dere,” I reminded him that they are in New Zealand. “Yes, honeymoon!” he replied enthusiastically.
  3. While poaching some of my green salad, the Kid pointed and asked for grapes. I gave him one. He shook his head and said, “No, tiny grapes!” Momentarily confused, I looked down and realized that he wanted some dried cranberries, which he knew weren’t raisins but for which he didn’t have the name.

These are the things that get us through the day. With smiles. Along with the fact that the Kid is the best eater EVER and a pretty consistent sleeper and has the most darling mop of curly blond hair.

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