Anyone with a toddler knows that every day is a test in patience and endurance. Every morning when I wake up, I give myself a pep talk that goes something like this: He’s three years old, cut him some slack, he’s curious, just trying to figure out the world around him. Be tolerant. Be kind to him. I will admit though, I am not too good at the whole patience thing. But I try. I really do. For example, here are a few things I say to my son versus what is actually going on my head.
What I say: Yes honey? What can I do for you?
What I mean: How can you possibly say my name that many times in a row? Say “Mommy” one more time. I dare you.
What I say: No, you may not ride your brother like a horsey.
What I mean: Why did you think my answer would be any different than when you tried 5 minutes ago? And 3 minutes before that?
What I say: I have to go to the bathroom, I need some privacy.
What I mean: Please give me a few seconds to pee without banging down the door. No, I do not need your help. How is it possible that you just eloquently described what an “excavator” is, but you cannot grasp the meaning of the word “privacy”?
What I say: Can you keep an eye on your brother for a second?
What I mean: I want to make you feel important in your role as Big Brother but I don’t trust you for a second alone with him, so I’ll be peeking around the corner at you guys the whole time. And by the way, if you try to ride him like a horsey again, you’re in big trouble.
What I say: Well….ummm….because it comes after Friday, and before Sunday.
What I mean: Seriously, how the heck do you expect me to answer the question “why is it Saturday?”
What I say: Aww, it’s alright. Next time let’s try for the potty ok?
What I mean: Ahhhhhhhhhhh! When? When you will stop using my floor as your toilet??
What I say: I love you.
What I mean: I love you baby boy more than I can ever put into words. I would do anything for you and your brother. There are no words powerful enough to describe my feelings so I’ll just leave it at that.
What I say: Because I said so.
What I mean: I told myself I would never utter that phrase, that you deserve a more logical and rational response, but I am saying it nonetheless. Sometimes the answer really is because your mother said so. So accept it. This won’t be the last time you’ll hear it.
What I say: No, don’t worry. There is no lobster in your milk.
What I mean: Child, you are so weird.
What I say: Of course you can get dressed all by yourself, like a big boy.
What I mean: I love that you want to be independent, and I will always support you. But sweetie, those are pants. They don’t go on your head.
What I say: It’s ok, I’ll help you.
What I mean: Seriously kid, how did you manage to get your head stuck in the freezer?!
What I say: Yes Love, I’ll carry you up to bed.
What I mean: I know you’re growing up and don’t want or need my help as much as you used to, so on the rare occassions you want me to “hold you like a baby” I will never say no. No matter how big you are.
What I say: Sure, I’ll put on Caillou for you.
What I mean: I swear if I have to hear that annoying little kid’s voice one more time I’m going to lose it.
What I say: I’m right here baby.
What I mean: It’s very sweet that you want to know where I am at all times, but when I’m sitting right next to you and you ask “Where’s Mommy?” it’s just kind of weird.
What I say: You’re my best friend.
What I mean: You’re my best friend.