Raising a toddler can be (at times) trying, tearful, and tumultuous. You know, kind of like a breakup. There are feelings, a barter-like exchange of household goods ("hand me the sharp fork and I'll give you this blunt spoon,") and clothing is usually thrown. It’s no wonder that, given the circumstances, cliché breakup lines can be used in everyday #momlife.
It’s not that I’m trying to do anything even close to breaking up with my toddler. I mean, I’m definitely not. That kid and I are in it for the long haul. However, sometimes it's easier to rely on tried and true phrases that oversimplify pretty complicated, frustrated, and exhausting feelings. See? Even the nastiest of breakups can serve a purpose. Plus, sometimes I’m gritting my teeth and I can’t think of anything else to say. When my mind goes blank thanks to sleep deprivation or just annoyance, I lean on the old faithfuls that got me through (and out of) a handful of sticky situations.
However, unlike the breakups I’ve been through before, I really can’t blame him at all. My toddler is, like most young kids, working with a limited vocabulary and feelings he’s only beginning to understand (and yes, I am withholding comment about people I’ve been through breakups with who might have this in common with him). Plus, his needs and interests are pretty simple: snacks, trucks, snuggles, and books. Anytime something else is asked of him when he’s got one of those in mind, things get a little, um, complicated. So, if more than two years of parenting has taught me anything, it’s that patience, reason, and logic can only get you so far. Sometimes, you just need to simplify: