Archived Story

Mindset of a toddler

Published 11:32am Wednesday, October 3, 2012

“EE oo it!!” (Translation: Me do it.) “No, ee wanna oo it!!” (Translation: No, me want to do it.”) “It ine, it ine!” (Translation: It’s mine, it’s mine.) “Ee elp, ee elp!” (Translation: Me help, me help.)

If you’ve ever had a 2-year-old or had the privilege of working with them, then you’ve heard these words or similar words. They seem to be the cry of independence of the little creatures.

I love the “Toddler Creed” because it so aptly describes the toddler’s mindset. This version is written by Jason Reeves.

The Toddler Creed

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it’s mine.

8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.

So the question becomes, “Should we let toddlers get away with it. Should they always win the battle of “Mine”?” My answer is: “No, of course not.” I have heard many parents (and grandparents) say things like, “Well, they’re just babies.” Uh, not really. Part of our job as parents is to set limits and help our children grow through these little stages of childhood.

You can’t expect a two-year-old to be willing to share their favorite toy, but you can expect them to share some of their other things – even if it involves tears in the learning stages. I had a friend that refused to let her child play with other children, because her child didn’t understanding sharing. My friend’s feelings were that it upset her daughter to have to share anything. My friend did not want to upset her daughter so my friend kept her daughter away from other children and gave into her every whim. It was very hard on the mom and child when this “baby” started kindergarten.

No matter how frustrating toddlers can be, they can be more fun. For example, one time when my son Logan was a toddler my husband was looking for him to change his diaper. Logan decided he did not want a diaper change and “hid” from his Daddy under the desk. As hubby is looking for him he walks into the room and says, “Anyone seen Logan?” Logan calls out, “I’m hiding.” Too cute.

When Wade was born, our oldest daughter was not quite three3. She had been a particular headache one day; trying my patience in just about every way possible. In a fit of frustration I said, “Young lady, you’d better straighten up and fly right or else.” She looked at me, stood up as straight as she possibly could and then in the most puzzle way said, “But Mommy I can’t fly, I don’t have wings.” I could not help but laugh. Toddlers can be so literal!

When my third baby was born, she was jaundice and we had to “sun” her each morning for several days. I had gotten a plant from a friend when I was in the hospital and had made a big deal of having my two older children “help” me care for the plant. I talked about the sunshine and water it needed to grow. I was out on the porch one morning “sunning” the baby when my two year old came out to play. He asked what I was doing and I explained that the baby needed sunshine to make her healthy. He looked at me kind of strange and said, “Do we need to water her too? Can I do it?” Ummm, let me try that one again.

Toddlers can be challenging, difficult, hard headed and temperamental. They are also loving, fun, and the absolute best at making me laugh. (Well, most of the time!)

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