From the point of view of a toddler, if you’re told no for everything, then how do you figure out what’s really off limits?
I thought I could avoid it. I thought if I used a word other than “No”, my twins wouldn’t say the word back at me. That theory worked until they started daycare and saw the power of the word. But for a long time, whenever something spilled in our home or somebody got pushed by mistake, my response was “Oh oh”. With the exception of biting because that called for more drastic measures. In our house, physically hurting someone was a no-no and everything else was oh-oh.
Pretty soon, “oh oh” became the standard if some crumbs fell onto the table, or if milk dripped onto the floor. Whenever we heard it from Little Mister and Little Missy, Mr. Mama and I knew to arm ourselves with a paper towel (or better yet, dustbuster!) before going to see what they were oh-oh-ing about. Instead of getting upset about the mess, we give them each cloths to help us wipe it up. This way, everybody wins and both of them get started on solving the problem.
Toddlers are very keen at observing when something is not right with their world — even if it’s a crumb on the floor. Granted, it can be hard to stay calm when messes occur, especially when you and the kids are overtired. However, remembering that they are not dropping things on purpose to annoy us (even if at times it feels like it!) helps to keep things in perspective.
Now our toddlers’ cleanup skills are coming in handy by shovelling the snow left by this weekend’s snowstorm!
Ambereen blogs at 2cute.intiaz.com and is constantly chasing after her twin toddlers, paper towel in hand.