Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Who would have thought a tiny toddler would know the secret sauce to successfully navigating life? Definitely not me.
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. - Angela Schwindt
Quitters Never Win
When Dylan was about 8 or 9 months old, she started trying to pull herself up to a standing position. While this stage of development is considered a right of passage for all little ones, there was something admirable about the way Dylan refused to give up.
For weeks, and for hours at a time, Dylan would try to pull up on whatever she could find...her favorite place to practice was the plastic baby gate that my parents kept in front of their tv. Once she mastered pulling herself up to a standing position, she moved on to balancing while holding on to the baby gate and watching tv. Once that became a breeze, she began trying to remain upright with only one hand on the baby gate. Finally, she was attempting to remove both hands and stand up unassisted. I sat on the sofa and watched in awe as my baby stood next to me, let go of the side of the sofa try to balance, fall...and get right back up and do it again.
She's just as persistent, determined, and driven today as she was back then. I hope to one day develop a fraction of the dedication to succeeding she possess.
Fearless is the New Black
There aren't too many things I'm afraid of - bugs & mice, falling from a super high height, knocking my front teeth out (don't ask lol) and taking unnecessary risks. You know, normal stuff. Dylan on the other hand is a true dare devil. From screaming "weeeeeee" when we drive down hill, always being interested in trying new foods, climbing on any & everything - you name it.
Now don't get me wrong...she's extremely cautious. But she's also not afraid to experience new things which is super awesome. The perfect combination IMO lol. I pray she never grows out of it, and that she continues to show me just how cool it can be to live life with intention.
Big Girls DO Cry...And it's ok
My Dylan has big feelings...just like her Mama lol. I'm the kind of person that will cry at any emotion; tears will fall when I'm upset or angry just as easily as I will cry when hearing good news. In most cases this isn't a big deal, but I come from a family where I constantly heard "what are you crying for?" and it led to my choosing to bury my feelings rather than letting them out. Even worse, I found myself repeating the same cycle with the Little One. #MomFail. To this day I'm triggered whenever someone says it to me and I felt horrible when I realized I was repeating the cycle.
As parents, we know that crying is a natural response during the toddler stage and as adults, we are not exempt from the same feelings of being overwhelmed, misunderstood, unable to articulate our feelings - you get the idea. Allowing myself to feel those big emotions, and crying as a means of release when needed has been freeing. Absolutely FREEING. I'm proud of my Mini's comfort in releasing those feelings, even when she doesn't know how.
And, don't we all feel better after a good cry?
Ice Cream for Dinner is Almost Always a Good Idea
How great would it be to do all of the things you wanted, with no regrets? That's what I imagine toddler life to be lol. So as a treat (and because I'm a working mom, who is also completing her MBA...during a pandemic), I will give in to Dylan's occasional request for dessert for dinner.
She honestly might be on to something. I mean think about it - isn't ice cream at any time of the day the perfect meal? Yeah, I thought so too 😊.