It’s not even 8am and Makenzie has cried 3 times already. The first cry was because I put her back in bed after she woke up at 6:43, instead of her normal wake time of 7am. Yes, I needed those 17 extra minutes to shower and get my life. So, I put her back in bed. She cried.
The next cry was because she was running around her room and asked me to push her back so she could run faster. I explained how it is not safe for me to push her and that she could run fast on her own if she tried. She broke out into tears. As we both left the room, her dad asks why she is crying and I explain. Through tears Makenzie exclaims, “I want to run”. I tell her to run because nobody said she couldn’t. She begins to run in circles as the last remnants of her tears run down her cheeks.
The third cry was because I refused to put her coat on for her. She is 150% capable of putting her own coat on, as she does EVERY SINGLE DAY! In effort to not see regression in her dressing herself, I refused to do it. I insisted that she count to 3 (to calm down) and try. She cried.
And that is how I was done with this day by 8am.
I wish I had a deep, philosophical response to all this…but I am not sure that I do. Kids cry. That’s the moral of this story. I can go a little further and say kids cry for the most asinine reasons known to man. Toddlers are so irrational, and it wipes me out on a regular basis. God is not through with me yet. So, I sometimes respond in ways that are not the most praise-worthy. I am almost 89% positive that this is the part of parenting which, while in my early 20s, made me not want to have kids. Make that 93%. This toddler crying is not for the faint of heart. For me, it really does take much prayer and reflection. I am continuously learning that the emotions of a toddler really are flighty. There is not always going to be a reason for their shenanigans. Most times when I ask Makenzie why she is crying, she responds with, “I don’t know”. The truth is, she likely doesn’t know, and I am sure that deep down inside she is shaking her head at herself for the mess she pulls.
Both Mark Twain and the good Book of Proverbs advise against arguing with a fool. Now, I am not calling my child a fool, but I am trying to embrace this mindset and remember that I need to give up on trying to be rational with a toddler, because in the end we both look crazy. I need to discipline when necessary and at other times just let the moment happen. I think this tactic will both save my sanity and help my children as they continue discover their emotions. I am just going to ask that you all continue to pray for my strength and the strength of every other parent as we wade through this
trying time of toddler tears!