Nora and Tessa are 20 months old–going on two years.Â Nora likes to announce this fact by constantly declaring, “Nora do it! Nora do it!”.Â Needless to say, she likes to do things for herself.
Tessa likes to try things out, but she often, and without hesitation, asks for help.
As a mother who has about 1,000,001 things to do all the time, you may be able to imagine how time consuming it can be to allow your daughters to “do” everything themselves.Â And, sometimes, how it is frustrating.Â This roaring independance, which sometimes ends up on the floor kicking and screaming and crying, is frustrating for meÂ because I want to encourage Nora and Tessa to be confident, able people.Â I want them to learn and grow and explore their world.Â I love that at the age of 20 months they can mostly put on their own shoes and coats!Â I love their determination to “do it” all for themselves because it makes them capable, self-sufficent, curious, intelligentÂ human beings.
But, we all get frustrated when “do it” doesn’t work out…when the frustration of being almost two-years-oldÂ has limitations that are beyond their understanding.
It is frustrating for them and it is frustrating for me.Â And, so, I am trying to learn that it is the journey that I should embrace, not the end result.Â Nora and Tessa live in the present, not the future.Â It is the walk to the park…the dilly-dallying over every rock…the challenge of holding hands while crossing the street…the feel of dirt and concrete on our hands and knees, not the park itself, in which we learn about life.Â
It is the washing of the hands, not the clean hands, in which we learn about what it feels like to get your whole shirt wet and how the floor becomes slippery when there is water all over.
So, I’m learning to pick my battles lately.Â And I’m learning patience (although it’s really really tough sometimes).Â And I’m trying to embrace the reality that in order for Nora and Tessa to become confident, happy and helpful people there are many life lessons to be learned, albeit within the boundaries of love and guidance from Mommy.Â And we’ll try to pepper in a few “please” and “thank you’s” along the way…