Toddler Tales: The Argument
As an adult, my arguments consist of an opening statement, dialogue, a closing statement… maybe a few more closing statements and maybe a few more after that. I’ve come to learn that arguments with my toddler consist of nothing but dialogue, the never ending dialogue that digs down to the bone. Why the broom can’t go to the baby sitters, or why cookie dough isn’t a good breakfast choice. What it comes down to is either break down and give in, or laugh.
My son is 20 months, and on the cusp of learning new words but insists on using his own, mainly made up of vowels and spit. The communication barrier is a thick one. Trying to explain to him that your jacket is to be worn on your arms and not your legs was a struggle. He still tries to stepping into the arms of his jacket and then walking out the door. I always wonder what he is thinking when I try to explain to him that pants need to be worn outside or that clothes in general need to be worn to leave the house.
I know he is hearing me and that little brain is working full force, I know he gets it, but he just does what he wants. Sometimes I have to stop, re-phrase myself and try again. My mom always tells me to use familiar language and try to say the same things to him. On one hand that makes so much sense but on the other hand it gets a little difficult because I am so focused on the task at hand. I usually just start debating or laughing.
As hard as these arguments can be they are colorful and ridiculous. That is what makes it so entertaining and so worthwhile. I also find it is a way to relate to other parents. Those who have either been there before or are going down that same slippery slope. Parents that have tried to talk their children out of indulging in the decadence of dog food as a snack… or is that just me?
This is just the beginning. I can’t imagine what my arguments will be in the future when he has a more developed vocabulary and can ask follow up questions. Let me introduce the infamous “Why.” The one question that is engraved in every small child's head when they learn to talk, “But, Why?,” “Why can’t I jump on the couch to the other couch?”, “Why cant I drink chocolate milk all day?”, “Why is it this way?” and “Why is it that way?”.
For now, I will take the arguments in the toddler language. The battles over why we can’t chase the cat with our juice. This makes our job hard because the response as the parent is either going to create tears or Godzilla like destruction. This happens while trying to keep a straight face and telling them why you can’t open all 5 boxes of the mini muffins.
Right now, I think I’m going to savor these small and not so understandable arguments before the talk back starts. Granted they drive me nuts and induce grey hairs often. Parenting is entertaining for sure. It is also a time I really wont be able to forget. Who really could forget something so small, specific, and hilarious?