“I do it”.
It’s a phrase I hear a good thousand times a day, and I’m only exaggerating a little bit.
Well, actually I should say that, technically, the phrase I hear is “You do it”, because the conversation would go as follows:
Me (doing pretty much anything)
BigBro, in utter panic: “YOU DO IT?!”
Me: “We say, ‘I do it'” (more or less)
BigBro: “I DO IT!”
Me: “Okay, you do it.”
BigBro: “YOUUUU DO IT!”
It can be a real “Who’s On First” kind of conversation. But it’s important not to mistake that “YOU DO IT” means that you best get out of the way. Toddler on Mission: Independence here.
Many of these tasks, like climbing into his own car seat, makes me pull a muscle just to watch. He’d make a good rock climber. I’m impressed that he would still rather go through all that each time than just let me lift him in.
Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s quite traumatic if we are in a hurry and don’t have time to realize this pursuit of autonomy at every step. Not surprisingly, we are in a hurry often. Especially after a morning where he’s insisted on doing everything himself.
I dared help him tidy up his mini Mr. Potato Heads the other day, and was blasted in the face by a panicked “YOUUU DO IT”, followed by his removing the body parts from the bucket… setting them down on the floor… waiting a beat… then putting them in the bucket himself. Well, excuse me, then.
I’ve tapped into this, though. As mentioned in a previous post, he takes great pride in pitching in, which I will not discourage in the least. He has learned the steps to making my coffee with the Tassimo in the morning, which he always looks forward to. Obviously at this point I take over once he’s pressed the button, but I like where this is going.
Toddlers are not about taking the easy route. Isn’t it inspiring, though? Can I bottle some of this perseverance and enthusiasm for when he’s fifteen? Heck, can I take some for myself?
My little boy, becoming more independent by the day *sniff*.
As we head out to the car, he’ll hang off the driver’s side door, saying, “you drive?”
“Only Mama and Dada drive. You can drive when you’re big like Dada.”
“Okay,” he says. “Tomorrow, you drive.”
I laugh, but then, with how fast it’s going, it will probably feel like tomorrow.