As much as I love Katy, there are times I wish I had a different kind of toddler. I don’t know which kind. Just one with less propensity for drama. This is one of those times.
There are also times I think it would be so much less tiring and frustrating to be a parent that goes with the flow and lets her kid do the same, instead of insisting on naptimes and bedtimes and mealtimes and all that jazz. This is definitely one of those times.
At times like these, I try to remind myself that, because this is the kid I have, this is the kind of structure our life needs. Because – at all of 14 months – she really, REALLY wants to bend the world to her irrational little will.
So I try to remind myself that the routines and the discipline are as much for James’ and my sake as hers. We do this in the hope that when – God willing – this strong-willed opinionated toddler grows up into a strong-willed opinionated young woman, she will know (better than I did) that it is important to learn what the rules are and how to follow them convincingly before you can start bending them and breaking them for good reasons, and not out of sheer obstinacy. And we do this knowing that an alternative outcome could well be an entitled, angry and unhappy grown-up who thinks the world unfair when it doesn’t give her exactly what she wants.
Of course, for all we try to discipline her now, she could still turn out selfish and entitled. Which is why I say I do this for myself too – should that fate come to pass, at least I’d know I did my best to prevent it.