She sees: Art on canvass
I see: Grafitti on our bedroom wall!
What was she thinking when she got that marker and scribbled on the wall? (On a side note, thank goodness she hit another wall or she’d strike through the entire house!)
Here’s the rub: She wasn’t thinking, she was exploring. And during this particular exploration, she realized that this activity will never be done again aka “not nice.”
Jane Meredith Adams from Parenting.com shares some insights on understanding the toddler psyche in her article, “The Secret to your Crazy, Adorable Toddler” :
It’s not that toddlers are trying to exasperate their parents; at this age, their abilities simply haven’t kept pace with their ambitions. Between birth and 36 months, their brains crank out cells to develop memory, coordination, and self-control. Until it all falls into place, those skills and traits just aren’t available on demand.
She enumerates a number of things that are still developing within the toddler namely:
I’ll be tackling these in the next couple of weeks with some examples so we can all hold hands and say “Me too! We can do this!”
I’m realizing that it’s not just about how kids see their environment alone, it’s also about why they perceive it at this stage in their development. The keyword is development. (i.e., it won’t last forever!) If we internalize this as parents and caregivers, I sincerely think we’ll have smoother days ahead and actually delight in our toddlers’ misadventures rather than be exasperated. Time to activate child x-ray vision.
To cap off the graffiti incident, my daugther had to erase her art from the wall with a toothbrush. Ok, she assisted. But she showed it off to her daddy that night and apologized. Pretty civilized for a 22-month old don’t you think?