I often preach the importance of encouraging independence in your toddlers. They need to try things for themselves to discover what the world has to offer. Oftentimes, they will try something new but won’t succeed. Part of the lesson is in figuring out how to do something differently the next time, until they ultimately figure it out.
Kudos to 2 year old Brady’s mom. Her little guy so desperately wants to be just like his 4 year old big brother, that he is constantly trying to do things he isn’t yet ready for. For example, Brady was convinced he could brush his own teeth, and he actually succeeded…sort of.
Brady hopped up onto the bathroom stool and grabbed his brother’s toothbrush from the stand. He found the white stuff that he was sure goes on toothbrushes and began brushing furiously. At that moment, his mom stepped into the bathroom and realized that Brady was brushing his teeth with hand soap!
It’s not so easy to get an overabundance of hand soap out of a two year old’s mouth. Though Brady’s mom was somewhat exasperated, it was actually a wonderful moment for her son. He may have been confused about the toothpaste, but he was successful in brushing his teeth all by himself.
On another occasion, Brady observed his older brother blowing his nose into a tissue. Brady’s mother found him sitting next to an empty box of tissues and a toilet bowl filled with the ones he’d used in blowing his own nose. My kids were pretty old before they could blow their own noses, but Brady figured this difficult skill out on his own. Sure, he used up an entire box of Kleenex, and there could have been a nasty overflow in the toilet, but he taught himself an important skill.
God bless Brady’s parents and all the other parents out there with the understanding necessary to allow toddlers to learn new things. It takes a sense of humor of to be a parent. Remember that in the moments when it’s easy to forget.