A few days ago, one of our eight month old twins woke up with a new talent: shaking his head “no.” This was something we had seen him do as a soothing technique as he drifted off to sleep, but when he started doing it sitting up right in the daylight, he was rewarded with thunderous applause and many giggles from his family.
As we delighted in this cute baby performance, I noted to myself that in a few months, he and his brother both will be exerting their toddler-tastic independence, shaking their heads and maybe even saying “no” far more often than we would like. Knowing this day is on the horizon doesn’t exactly thrill my soul.
Toddlerhood is not my favorite season of parenting.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore toddlers. Their newfound mobility and language and personality that bursts at the seams are endlessly endearing. As a parent, however, toddlerhood is exhausting. It’s day after day of discipline.
Does that sound harsh, the concept of daily discipline? If you associate the word “discipline” with “punishment,’ then that would absolutely sound harsh. The word “discipline,” however, shares its roots with the word “disciple,” so the connotation there is the idea of teaching.
And that’s what I mean when I say that toddlerhood is day after day of discipline. Parenting a toddler is the practice of teaching a little one – all day, every day.