I had a light bulb moment this week, and it struck me that I need to step back and just let my babies be little. I’ve recently been researching early potty training, and I had this great plan to have Corbin and Lynley introduced to the potty and beginning training at 18 months. My intentions are good. I just want the best for them, but I realized that I need to slow down and just let them be toddlers. We will never get this precious time back, and I think our culture focuses too much on reaching that next milestone that we forget to enjoy the day-to-day moments.
I always look to the next big thing. You could say it’s a personality flaw, but I’m a planner and a dreamer. I have a passion for doing my best and achieving big goals. But right now, my goals for Corbin and Lynley should be to raise happy, healthy children who know they are loved. Remember my post on leaning back from our kids? I have to remind myself of this often because my big hopes and dreams get in the way of what’s happening right this minute.
Even if my twins know what the potty is at 18 months old and how to use it by the end of this year, I will still have to be wiping little tushes and washing their hands for them, etc. So, why rush them? They will eventually learn to use the potty, and it’s perfectly normal for kids not to be completely trained until age 3 or later. I’m not giving up on starting a little bit early, but I’ve decided to delay my plans for now. Who knows, maybe they will start showing interest before their next birthday, but maybe they won’t. I should at least give them that chance!
We rush our kids through so many stages in life, especially these early ones. Comparing what our baby can do versus other babies their age. I do it all the time. Maybe even more than other moms since I’m just so amazed at what my little preemies can do. It’s not in a negative way, but some people take it that way. We’re proud of our children, and we can see their potential. But we shouldn’t constantly be looking toward the next milestone that we don’t make memories of the current ones. Awesome if your child can count to three at a year and a half old, but it’s ok if mine can’t. Let’s stop spending so much time on pushing our kids to do things they may not be ready to do. Like eating with a fork….
I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to teach Corbin and Lynley how to use dinner utensils since we had their 15 month checkup. I realized that it does not matter if Corbin can eat properly with a spoon at 15 months old. If he wants me to feed him, I will feed him. One day, in a few short months I am sure, he will be completely independent. I get that being able to use a spoon is a test of fine motor skills, which is important to develop at this age. He and Lynley both can hold a spoon or fork and get it to their mouths, but they still want my help the majority of the time. That’s perfectly ok. I know they are not delayed in fine motor skills, so I’m not going to force them to do something they aren’t ready to do.
I’ll also stop making myself feel guilty for not doing those lesson plans I have floating around in my head to teach numbers, letters, colors, etc. They are barely past age one. The time will come for more formal learning. For now, I’ll just let them play and be little. I’ll let them depend on me. I want them to need me. I am not ready for them to be independent yet, so I’m enjoying this time, as exhausting as it is, that need me for everything. This is the time of my life, and I am done rushing through it! Are you?
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