One of the biggest things I’ve had to learn since becoming a mother is that things don’t always have to be done a certain way. To a toddler, everything is new and everything has a different way of being done that what we’re used to.
It’s been interesting having to teach myself that in the world of my toddler, there isn’t a “right” way to do things. It’s always so tempting to tell her that she’s doing something wrong, or to try and tell her the right way to play with a new toy. We’re so used to following rules or reading instructions that as adults we too easily forget that we once had an imagination too, and that sometimes and little rule breaking is so much fun.
Here are just a few things that my daughter has taught me about the way things are “supposed” to be done.
I always preferred my crayons in their whole state and fresh out of the box. Colouring with crayons just pretty much sucks once they get dull or broken. Well boy am I wrong! According to my daughter, crayons are actually all supposed to be broken in half and then all of the paper needs to be peeled away. Most days we start out colouring or drawing stick figure family portraits but quickly end up just peeling crayons instead. It’s actually a bit of a relaxing task! The best lesson I’ve learned? Well that’s definitely that when colouring, you don’t have to stay inside the lines for it to look nice and apples can be any shade of purple you so desire. Also, be sure to take a bite when you think no one is looking and enjoy that waxy goodness.
-On Little Tykes tiny indoor slides:
Not only are slides oodles of fun for sliding down but they also make a fantastic ramp for cars, balls, and whatever else floats your boat. For even more fun just flip it on its side and you’ve got yourself and instant fort! Hours upon hours of peek a Boo! And “I see you mum!!” fun!
-On sidewalk chalk:
Sidewalk Chalk is great for so many things! It’s fun to draw outside on the driveway with it of course but even more fun is to bring it inside! Not only is it fun to draw with the chalk on paper, but you can carry it all around the house and even use it for blocks! Best part for mom? It vacuums off of the sofa, and the carpet, and the stairs, and the shoes easily!!
-On Bows (aka plastic barrettes):
Here I thought all of this time that bows and barrettes were good for holding your hair out of your face! Turns out, playing bows is even better! I’ve recently been taught the game of bows. It’s quite simple really and tons of fun! (Well, for my daughter at least!) Playing bows consists of opening and closing those fun plastic barrettes and then moving them from ones spot to another, or lining them up!
Just throw out the directions. Seriously. Toys are WAY more entertaining with you just watch your two year old play with them her way. Suddenly piggy banks are for holding blocks, toy pianos are to be played with your bum not your fingers, and toy cars need drinks of water and bum changes. Oh and books never need to be read from start to finish. It’s perfectly acceptable to read a story from the last page to the first, to skip a few pages, or just read the ones you like over and over and over again.
-On getting dressed:
When picking out clothes for the day it’s entirely acceptable to wear a pajama top with a skirt and rain boots. When picking out pajamas for the night if you don’t like a certain pair, just throw them outside of your room, slam the door, and forget they ever existed. Oh, and it doesn’t really matter which ones you pick because it’s also okay to just take them off halfway through the night and then wake up your mom because you’re cold.
-On Hide and Seek:
Hide and Seek is actually the incorrect name. It’s actually Hide and Scare. The object of the game is to have one person count while the other one runs and hides. Once the person begins to look for you, you wait until they’re close and then jump out and scare them.
I’ve noticed that both my husband and I had a bit of a hard time learning when to show our daughter how to do something and when to just let it go. Sometimes I still cringe at the way she paints or each time she snaps a crayon in half but it’s also been so amazing just watching the way she figures out the world around her. What’s helped me the most in trying to figure it all out is to just step back and watch things happen. The best thing to remember is that as long as no one is going to get hurt then all rules are out the window.
We’re just at the beginning with her showing us how things are done and I can’t wait for more. Every day she reminds me to just relax and that things don’t need to be controlled all of the time. I love that she’s reminded me that it’s okay to dance around and sing in a funny voice. I love that she’s shown me of how fun it is to have tea parties and to eat cheerios out of a cup instead of a bowl. Each day she teaches us something new and with her beginning to talk more and more, I can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next.