Have you ever gotten to that stage with your children when you’re just like, “Okay, sure.” For instance, Choo-choo wanted to sleep on his floor for nap and bedtime. I initially wanted to say no. My urge was to think, “He can’t do that!”
But why not?
I mean, I always told him no to this when his crib was still intact. I worried about him being out and about upstairs without everything being fully child-proofed. But now that his crib has now become a toddler bed and there are locks in place to keep him out of rooms he shouldn’t be in, why couldn’t he sleep on the floor like he wanted to?
I let him, of course. I did tell him it was going to be uncomfortable and had him lie down in a spot on the floor away from anything he could hurt himself on if he rolled in his sleep.
Then there was the day Choo-choo asked if he could have both a spoon and fork, instead of one or the other, with his soup. Or the time he insisted on wearing his pajama shirt when we left the house rather than wear the nice shirt I’d picked out for him.
All of these things initially spark a feeling inside me, something like, “No he can’t do that because that is not what I decided for him!” And that is such an ugly thought. Why should I feel the need to control every little thing my son does?
Well, to be honest, I’m sure part of it is my OCD. It’s my desire to be in control of as much as I can in order to fight the anxiety that comes with chaos. But this is detrimental to my child, me wanting to make him say and do exactly what I decide. He is a toddler, after all. He is finding his own voice, his own ways of doing things. I don’t want to impede on this important stage in his life.
You know, I hear and read stories of parents who say they tended to be more uptight with the first child and didn’t start to relax until the second or third.
I think Diesel and I are pretty lucky that we have moved into more a chilled style while still raising our first (and probably only) kid. Well, I think I’m lucky that I married a man who has always had a relaxed temperament. It takes a lot to get him riled up, which sometimes keeps me calm as well.
Not everyone will agree with our decisions about Choo-choo. Even in the cases when we believe it’s in Choo-choo’s best interest for us to let him do things his way. I know this from experience. But that’s okay. We all parent differently.