Entertaining a nearly two-year old can be oh so simple, despite their myopic attentions spans, their ‘creative’ use of whatever you give them (‘please don’t eat that’ might be our motto), and the frustration they feel when they want to do more than they’re yet physically capable of.
It takes just a few simple things to wade these parenting waters, suit up!
1. Patience- be ready for a mess. Be ready to have a plan that takes a turn. Be ready to hold off on ‘no’ until you’ve really thought about it- if you hang your shoulds, there might be a lot more ‘yes’ in your life. Sometimes a simple switcheroo can stand-in for a direct and toddler-jarring ‘no.’ These kids have barreling energy and intention- a no is like a brick wall. Wouldn’t you cry if you constantly were running into brick walls? A nice switcheroo directs that energy right past the danger zone and into something fun. You’ll see what I mean in a minute…
2. Simplicity- toddlers have a TON they’re learning and putting together. It doesn’t need to be fancy to be riveting. I remember when I absently started writing out the alphabet while ‘ABC’ was sung on Pandora radio. My son looked like the clouds had parted and God was smiling upon him. That song and those squiggles go together. He’s never looked back- sometimes his ‘lovey toy’ is a puzzle-piece of the letter ‘a.’ So think, what’s something simple that you take for granted as a given, that a toddler might get a real kick out of?
3. And for today: markers from the dollar bin at Target.
When we play with markers, we mean business. Sure, I didn’t want him writing on the walls, but we found some other fun surfaces for our ‘worlds most washable markers’:
I washed most of it off his face 🙂
Nonetheless, our markered limbs got us a few glances while we were out n about.
Easy peasy fun on a tired day.
It’s funny- thinking about Munchie’s feelings when he hears ‘no’ all the time gets me thinking about how I feel when I tell myself ‘no’ all the time. No, you’ll never pull that off. No you can’t move that weight. No, it’s too much for you to pass on cake again. No you’ll never be a real bodybuilder. It’s exhausting!
Like with Munch, for me the better approach is sometimes to find something to which I can enthusiastically say ‘yes!!’ So while it may not fit my goals right now to have a giant bowl of ice cream, I can find things that will help me get what I’m needing. Do I need fun? Yes, tv! Do I need to relax? Well put down that broom young lady and cuddle up to that couch! Do I feel lonely? Call, hell, even text someone, anyone! Am I just HUNGRY? Maybe drink some water, and bust out that amazing mango salsa and some veggies- that will tie you over till you eat next.
How about you- what’s your approach to ‘no’? Do you always tell yourself no? Or have you found ways that you can say yes, while sticking to your goals, fitness- health- nutrition- or otherwise?
Also, did you enjoy coloring as a kid?
I once thought to draw a beautiful landscape of hills and trees and birds across our entry wall when I was little. My parents were less pleased with my handiwork than I was 😉