This morning, in the midst of the get ready for work and school craziness that is the first day on a schedule after spring break, I committed an egregious error. In my haste to do my part in getting everyone fed, dressed, and out the door on time I gave the five-year-old zoologist his orange juice to take to the breakfast table AND I gave him the three-year-old ballerina’s juice to take to the table as well. This caused a meltdown by the ballerina who wanted to carry her own juice.
This type of a reaction is common to the toddler species. To be honest I don't always handle meltdowns well. Compassion isn't really my default position. I am the one who tends to respond to a kid tripping and hurting themselves by saying, "And that's why your mom and I keep telling you to pick up your toys." I am working on being more compassionate, but it is still very much a work in progress.
Fast forward thirty minutes later. We were in the car after we had dropped the zoologist off at kindergarten. For whatever reason, possibly my lack of sympathy, the ballerina felt the need to rehash this incident. She chose our time in the car as an opportunity to explain to me what the issue was. It is important to note that toddlers “explain” things by just saying the same thing repeatedly. So I never really did find out why it was such a breach of toddler protocol to let one’s brother carry their juice, but I was told several times that this was the wrong call.
Finally, feeling a little wearisome from the lecture I was receiving I said the two sentences that perfectly sum up what it is like raising a toddler.
“I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Clearly, I was wrong.”