You know, the one where things get a little frustrating so you just throw yourself on the floor, roll around for a bit, and maybe yell for good measure. Yes. That’s where we are right now. And, honestly, I’m okay with it.
She is also doing that really great thing of looking directly into my eyes and smiling as she is doing the the thing I am telling her not to do. While mildly frustrating, I am okay with this as well.
Because my daughter is learning to be a human.
She was not born knowing all the rules of life. Heck…I’m still figuring them out and I’ve got over thirty years on her. Being a human is a “learn by doing” thing. And I’m not sure if you ever really stop learning.
So, yes, she is going to flop herself on the floor when things get irritating or overwhelming because that is what she knows right now. If we are being completely honest, there are times when I want to get down there and join her. However, I have realized that, while tempting, it is not overly productive. This is where I get to model ways to calm down. Some days we use distraction. Some days we use big hugs. Some days we just have to close our eyes and breathe.
She is going to test each and every boundary. That is how she learns where the boundaries lie. She does not know that riding the dog is not an option until we stop an attempt. While she may look totally adorable doing it, she needs to learn that petting the dog is great, but riding him…not so much. Again, it may take five, ten, or even fifty reminders, but this is how she is going to learn. With each nudge at the boundary line, she learns a new lesson. She now knows that toilets only need one flush, standing on the slide can result in a bumped head, and trash cans are not meant for snacks we still want to eat.
Teaching our little girl about being a human is hard.
Heck…just being a human is hard!
We are on this ride together. I can tell her the rules. I can allow her to try again. But the best way for her to learn is by watching her momma and daddy. It is up to us to model the kindness we want her to show others. We are responsible for showing her that laughter has healing powers and to never take life too seriously.
And, like humans, we are going to mess up. But the biggest lesson we can show our sweet girl is grace. Grace for others. And, most importantly, grace for herself.