The Most Dangerous Word In a Toddler’s Vocabulary
Most people would think it’s the word “no,” but parents have a way of overcoming that word. It might grate on your patience for a little while, but in the end, you can typically win.
I’m talking about a different word. I’m talking about the word that can make you feel like your toddler truly is the real head of the household. Just when you think that you are the master of your own schedule, your kid turns and utters the word “Again!?”
It doesn’t matter what you are doing with your kid, when he or she utters that one, you know that you will instantly be behind schedule and/or extremely exhausted. There is no moving on from the current situation without a battle.
The other day I was pushing Jamie around the driveway in his wagon. Every time I stopped to readjust the handle he would turn and say the word. “Again!? Again!?” Sure it was in the form of a question, but there was an overwhelming sense of urgency to the situation that left dad with little choice in the matter.
I’ve also heard the word as I do bodyweight exercises with him, lifting him over my head as we play. That can only happen a finite number of times. I hear it a lot playing games like hide and seek or peek-a-boo. It’s usage can become more frequent directly before driving to daycare, or directly before bed.
Toddlers are creatures of repetition. It doesn’t matter if it’s the second time or the MILLIONTH time, if they enjoyed it, they cannot get enough. Most adults get sick of watching a movie after just a few times. I’ve never met an adult with the same tolerance for any movie that Jamie has for Frozen.
Jamie’s also been clamoring for “Outside?” since January. Now that he’s on to the warmer spring weather, every time we exit the car at home, he tugs on my hand and says “No!!! Outside!” If I take him out there on his tricycle, wagon or toy car, he’ll start saying “Again!?” the second I try to bring him back in the house.
It doesn’t matter if it’s dinnertime, you worked all day and you’re tired, or you simply have to go to the bathroom. It doesn’t matter if your arms are about to fall off from lifting him over your head.
Gut check time. Toddlers are slaves to repetition, and you’re not the head of your household. That’s what makes “Again!?” so dangerous.
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