One of the little snippets I read somewhere has really changed the way I handle toddlers. I actually don't even like the word "handle," like they were show dogs (nevermind that Patrick has taken to wearing bows everyday). The way I interact with toddlers, let's say.
I couldn't tell you what I actually read; suffice it to say that it mentioned toddlers always being rushed through an adult's fast-paced world. I'd never thought about it before, but it's true. As we grow up, we get used to hurrying from one task to the other, and if something takes longer than it has to, it's a problem.
For example, Patrick likes to squirm around in his crib for awhile in the morning. I pull Lilly out of hers, get her dressed, and go get him, but he's rarely ready. Usually I grab him within the first few seconds, because after I get him dressed, we go downstairs for breakfast. It's occurred to me lately, though - what is the big rush to get to breakfast? Does it matter if I starts ten minutes later than it sometimes does?
This has bled over into everything we do. I don't always maintain my same sense of calm, relaxed timing, but I'm learning to stop and question why I always have to accomplish things on my timetable. So what if I call them to their chairs to eat, and they grin at me from the other side of the room, wiggling their little diapered bottoms? They'll come running at me in a minute, arms outstretched, grins even wider.
I can hear the counterclaim that they're learning to disrespect. If I ask them to come, and they don't, isn't that disobedience? But my brain is telling me that there are more important things, like them enjoying life at their own pace. As I said, they will come. And it will be much happier than if I'd gone over and grabbed them. Their timing is becoming more important than mine, and I like it.
And now, the chicken dance just came on one of the twins' cds, and I started doing it. Lilly is staring at me like I'm a complete idiot. So, I stopped.