Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Working on change

The other day, my mom sent me an article outlining why the toddler years are such a challenge when it comes to parenting.  Following is a list of traits that answer the question as to why.

1) Toddlers are stubborn.
2) They have no conscience.
3) They live by the following principle: If it is fun and it feels good, I want to do it.
4) They lack good judgment. They can’t anticipate how their behavior will get them into trouble or into a dangerous situation.
5) They’re filled with enthusiasm to explore the world.
6) They’re self-centered. They want what they want when they want it.
7) They have little tolerance for frustration.
8) They have very little self-control.

When I finished reviewing the list, I had to laugh.  This was not a list of traits that characterized my 3 kids.  This was ME.  On paper.   Right there.  #1 thru #8.  To-a-tee. 

Kind of embarrassing when you look at a list like that that should resemble the personality of a 3 year old & yet so eloquently mirrors your own.

But I need to admit it.  I am stubborn at times. 
I would argue the one about having no conscience though.
And sure, anything that is fun, I want to be a part of.  Who wouldn’t?

And yes, on several occasions, I have been known to be deficient in the good judgment department.  Mostly when it came to my choice of boyfriends really.  Occasionally, I have lacked judgment when I have allowed my mouth to move quicker than my brain.  When I have spoken words that I later came to regret.

I argue the point, constantly, with my husband that I am NOT high-maintenance.  I just want what I want.  I’m not the spa-going, weekly-pedicure-getting kind of HM.  I just want my extra lemon in my iced tea.  Or the sheets to be tucked tightly around the mattress.  I guess I am self-centered when it comes to certain things.  I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t.  But it’s probably the one thing I need to work on the most.  (ok, it’s on my top 10 list)
And the one about having little self-control…..that one got me!  I love my ice cream & it loves me right back.  It hugs my hips daily, as a sign of affection.  And when it comes to shopping, well….if there was ever a treatment plan that I would need to admit myself to, it would be that one. 

I never got to the place in the article that suggested a resolution or gave examples of how to correct the behavior of my 3 children.  I was too self-centered in thinking the article was about me to read any farther. 

Maybe that’s why I love my children so much.  Because they are just like me.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?  So we’ll move through the list together.  Working on our not-so-lovable traits, one by one.  After all, it’s better to walk the journey with someone who understands you.  And from one stubborn, self-centered, enthusiastic soul to another…that makes the change a little less daunting.

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