Getting settled in to a new place is definitely hard, especially when you’re a kid who doesn’t get a say in things like when/if you move, where you live and the like. If you’re a toddler this process can even more challenging, because being a toddler is really, really hard.
For starters, no one takes you seriously. Toddlers have VERY strong ideas of their own as they navigate the world around them with their newly found senses of self and freedom. I’ve literally read books upon books about the development of toddlers and their struggle and desire to exert control over themselves and their surroundings. and any toddler parent can back me up here as well when I say the struggle is REAL for toddlers.
Which brings us to the case of the cookies. This afternoon as we were playing, J asked for some cookies. It wasn’t a usual snack time but I thought what the heck live a little and went with it. I got the bag of teething cookies out from the pantry and grabbed two out for J. During the 90 seconds it took me to do this A had crawled across the floor and was trying to feed himself dog food, so I rushed over to intervene.
By the time I got back to J he had taken all of the cookies out of the bag and stacked them in a tower. I acknowledged his architectural feat and started putting the cookies back in the bag. This is when things started to get good. Apparently J was very attached to the cookie tower, like VERY attached. He immediately went into meltdown mode trying to snatch the cookies back while wailing, ” MOOOOOORE COOOOOOKIES!!!!!! MORE COOKIES, MOM!!” Now mind you, at this point he has three, as in one more than I gave him anyways, uneaten cookies in his hands.
Foolishly I tried to point this out, but J was having none of it. He wailed and stomped, and ran around the living room bemoaning the precious loss of his cookies. My hubby, who happened to be studying at the time, came out to see what the ruckus was. Again, he tried to point out to J that he in fact had cookies and again J failed to appreciate this fact.
The meltdown continued as my hubby and I watched slack jawed as we waited to see how this would play itself out, and A sat on the sidelines giggling delightedly at the whole situation. (I told myself this behavior was merely the result of the stress of the situation and obviously not REALLY because he was enjoying his brother’s woes.)
Finally, after a particularly emphatic crying spell, J sputtered out, ” T-t-tow-er.” And it clicked. This little guy wasn’t mad about being denied a cookie binge, he was sad that his beautiful tower had been demolished. Nothing makes a parent feel worse than thinking your kid is being a jerk, and realizing you actually just crushed their spirit by demolishing their Mona Lisa equivalent…whoops.
Luckily, we’re all a resilient bunch. After locating some blocks J decided life wasn’t so terrible after all and Mommy and Daddy found relief in the remaining cookies. All’s well that ends well, right?