I haven't figured this out yet . . .
I can’t imagine being a toddler. I know I was one, but I just can’t understand toddler thinking sometimes.
I took G to the botanical gardens today because he got top marks on his report card, has been behaving really well, and has even been going to the potty. Using the potty is what excited me most. That may be an odd statement to make, but let’s face it, while walking and talking are huge and impressive milestones for a child, every parent looks forward to the day when they can be freed from the bondage of changing diapers.
So back to me not understanding toddler logic (if you can even call it that). By now, I can predict some of G’s actions and desires just based on experience. I know if he sees a giant stick on the ground and I tell him not to pick it up and swing it around, he’s going to do it. He will do it because even though he’s been warned against it, he can’t understand the possible negative consequences of ignoring me, even if I spell them out for him. There are certain things that kids just aren’t ready for, and until they reach a certain age, following directions and understanding consequences falls into that category.
I get all that. What’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around is the transitional period that G is going through now where he’s very familiar with consequences, especially if he’s warned of them. I know he understands them because he fears negative consequences, and looks forward to positive ones. He responds to them now, when he didn’t before.
Back to me and G at the botanical gardens today where he loves to play in the water. There are several spots around the kids’ area with water fountains and G spent most of his time around these metal frogs that spit water at you. He got soaking wet, and then asked me to change his clothes, with me knowing full well that he would want to keep playing in the water. Five times, I asked him, “Are you sure you’re done playing in the water, because once I change your clothes, you’re done.” Five times he reassured me that he was done playing in the water and that he wanted new clothes.
I’m sure that while reading this, you’ve figured out by now what I’m going to tell you happened next, and I assure you, I knew it was coming too. The moment we step out of the changing area and we get in sight of the water fountains again, G says he wants to go play in them. Probably because he saw other kids having fun, but it doesn’t matter, I had to disappoint the little guy and remind him that he told me five times he was done playing in the water.
The thing is, I continue to trust my son when he tells me stuff like that. He told me five times that he was done playing in the water, and even though I knew this would happen, there was a small part of me that believed it wouldn’t.
It’s just sad to see your child staring out at other kids having fun, with a look of longing to join them, not just on his face, but in his entire body.
Such is life. He got over the disappointment by the time we walked back to our car.