Friday, 12 July 2013

Pick Your Battles

All things considered, I think E is pretty ace and pretty well behaved. But it's undeniable that as she gets older she is starting to assert herself a bit more, explore, and test boundaries. She usually only tantrums when she's hungry or tired, but there are a few things that she does that I don't seem to be able to 'nip in the bud' and I find myself saying "no" far more than I'd like to be saying it. I also remind myself that I need to pick my battles, but how do I know what battles to pick? I ignore that she won't let me brush her teeth and accept that sucking the toothpaste off and maybe brushing one tooth is ok for now. She's learning what that brush is for and I don't want tooth brushing to become a negative thing she associates with a battle.


But what about throwing food on the floor as an indication of being finished? Do I ignore it, I'm sure she'll grow out of it. Or do I tell her no? Or do I just catch her when its about to happen and remove everything from site, avoiding the situation all together?

She has stopped batting the TV and shaking the electric fire with repetitive counting to three and warnings. Do I take the same approach and deal with the mess along the way?

My mood and energy levels play a huge part in the decision I make in such a circumstance. I'm probably not consistent enough. Really it's not going to take her that long to realise that we adult folk do no not throw food at meal times. But she might assume that there's always a hungry dog to clean up after her...

I know her understanding is excellent, it's just selective at the moment, I feel. If she gets "can you go and find the book just like this one (noisy book with button) but about elephants instead of monkeys?" then surely "please stop dropping food on the floor" must make sense too? Or am I missing something?

Regrettably, I am constantly fretting about being judged. Although I am 26 years old I still feel quite in the depths of 'young mum' and when my toddler is smearing herself in something and throwing her breadstick on the floor of a pub and waving at each piece as she does it, I can't help but feel eyes on me and that everyone is thinking "look at that YOUNG MUM not disciplining her child!" What they don't see is how great she is at bedtime, nap time, how she eats virtually ANYTHING she's preserved, how she helps tidy up before bed. They probably are not thinking this. They probably think its endearing and are remarking on her big blue eyes (like daddy? No?! Oh...) but actually I'm not 100% cool with the stuff on the floor, however well mannered its departure may have been.

I realise that this is another post where I don't feel I can draw myself to any conclusion or have come up with any answers. I guess if its dangerours, if something could be broken or someone hurt, then thats a battle worth picking. Food on the floor may only benefit the dogs, but its not hurting anyone... So, much like the toddler and the knife scenario, I'll put it to you, dear reader, to suggest which battles I pick and which I leave alone.

Or maybe I just ignore her completely and hope that at some point she becomes self-aware enough to realise that wearing a yogurt pot and some of its contents on your head is simply not a good look. Ever.


  1. As you say, you have to choose your battles. It sounds as if this is something you're not happy with, so say no. And keep saying no. All parents worry about others judging their parenting in public - we shouldn't worry and they shouldn't judge. But if it worries you, just say no in public too. Let other things go. It's clear this is something that is bothering you.
    Popping over from Clairejustine's bloghop.

  2. That's the hard part is realizing that their understanding is selective with their age.
    It does get better but still .. so frustrating.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo


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