♥This brilliant post was written by the ALWAYS fabulous & fun supermom Melissa from Home on the Deranged♥
Welcome back to Thursday,Its time for the True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series. We’re going to change things up here at True Tales, as we begin to focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly side of parenting. With two toddlers each, we are both “newbies” on this journey, and we’re going to chronicle it for you as we go, learning, loving and laughing.
This week, it’s Melissa from Home on Deranged, and she is discussing something today that she’s been pondering for a few weeks. Why have our children suddenly started saying, “Wait for Me!” or “Don’t leave me!”? They’ve never once been left anywhere. If anything, they leave HER behind on a regular basis. They’ve never even been the last kids picked up from daycare. After some thought, She thinks she might have the answers.
Here’s 5 reasons toddlers think you’re going to leave them behind.
Within the last few months, our kids have started using some strange phrases, over and over. Things like, “Don’t leave without me, Mommy!” or, “Wait for me, guys!”, or – upon hearing their dad start the car – “Don’t leave without us, Daddy!”
Now, I’m not one to leave people behind. I mean, I’m still friends with kids I knew before I even started school. And I’m certainly not one to leave my own kid behind. We barely ever go out without our kids. In fact, when we recently went to a concert at a venue 2 hours north of us, my sister graciously agreed to go with us and stayed with the girls at a hotel room while we were gone. Seriously.
So it got me to thinking, where in the world do toddlers get these notions? And I decided to compile a list. Utterly unscientific.
5 reasons toddlers think you’re going to leave them behind
- They can’t drive. Now, I know what you’re thinking: we’ve all seen the movies where kids use a variety of tools to push the gas pedal and steer and get where they want to go. Yeah, well, our smaller-than-average girls can’t step up into the car without help, much less have long enough arms to use a bat to keep the pedal pushed down. No, I think it’s more about the fact that once you take off in a car, it’s pretty darned hard to catch someone who’s already in it.
- Stupid TV. How many times have I seen a show where one of the characters gets left behind, whether on purpose or on accident? It may seem funny to us, but to a pint-sized person, this is a big deal. How the heck am I supposed to keep up with Big Bird if he outpaces me by 20 feet? Not that I walk faster than our girls. In fact, most of the time, when I do chase them, they always get ahead of me. Maybe I should be saying, “Wait for me!”
- Daycare/preschool/school. Well, okay, they might be right on this one. How do they know you’re coming back? No one wants to be the last kid picked up from school. Isn’t that what sweet little Annie says to her dad, Jack, in Family Man?
- You might occasionally mention that you’re going to leave them behind. Okay, okay, I know I’m not going to win any parenting awards up in here. But I might have said a time or two, “Do you want to just stay here by yourself while we all go eat pizza?” or something like, “Are you going to sit here alone while we go outside and have fun in the pool?” No, I’ve never followed through on the threat. But I get that they think there’s a slim chance I might.
- Even if they’re checking out merchandise at the store, you continue walking. Do your kids like to linger over clothes, glasses, toys, books, pillows, anything on the endcap at Target? Our girls will touch everything. I mean, they have to physically put their hand on it, even if they don’t want it. It takes 20 minutes to make it down the main aisle. So, now that they are older, I just keep walking. Not fast and pretty much within 2 steps of them (I’m too helicopter-momish to go farther), but from their vantage point, it’s huge.
You should know, outside of daycare, relatives, church nursery or the trusted babysitter, I never leave our kids behind. But it occurs to me that those few spots are kind of terrifying. Heck, the 3 year old threw a fit when I locked the bathroom door last week. One freaking time in her life. But no access means you’ve left. Even if she can carry on a conversation with you through the door. Come to think of it, her dad does that, too. Maybe I need a new list….