My mother bore two children that were merely one year apart. I’m sure there were many things that drove her crazy and many things that she found to be extremely important to offer us ( on a solitary and collective level). Being the mother of an “only child” a huge concern of mine has always been making sure that he isn’t selfish and for him to learn that life does not evolve around him. However, the busy holiday season has proven to me that even though we stress things such as sharing and working together we need to respect our children’s need to be alone also. Especially during toddlerhood.
At the age of two my so gets excited at the thought of “company”. Although he has an older sister he is an only child in my home. Having someone to play with, giggle with, and run around with is exhilarating. Yet, it is tiring all the same for children who are used to being the only child. Its funny to use the word respect as it relates to a toddler, but we have to respect what is theirs. Their routine, their emotions, and even their space. Today was the first day in many days that my son could do whatever he liked without being told to share, to wait his turn, or anything in that realm. Today he played alone…peacefully with his toys. Today he laughed at the t.v. shows of his choice, ate snacks in solidarity, and was able to be selfish with mommy. There was no whining, no crying, and no fussing.
Its vital that we dig deep and learn exactly who our children are, even while they are exiting infancy. By doing this we are able to accommodate their emotional needs as well. I often tell people that my son is a friendly loner just like mom. As my mom would say, “it is what it is”. Does he have to learn that life is not all about him? Absolutely. Yet, it can be sometimes like it should be with us even as adults (every now and then) to avoid burn out and panic attacks.
Today, it was he an I. He loved it, I loved it, and it gave us both peace after a family filled and activity driven weekend. I can’t speak on how tomorrow will be…but today was good enough.