Making Time: Toddler Logic
Sure…that makes sense

“Daddy let’s check on Adam.” These are the words I hear when I go into Brandon’s room each morning to get him up to start the day. Life is certainly different these days. We are not only adjusting to a family of 4, but also to the vastly different world outside our front door. We’re doing our best to keep things as simple as possible while we attempt to find our new normal.

Our new morning routine begins with Brandon waiting until the light on his clock turns on to get out of bed. Then he approves or vetoes the clothes I pick out for him before we brush his teeth and hair. But once that’s done, Brandon immediately runs over to check whether Adam, his little brother, is awake with Mommy or asleep, and whether or not he’s ready to come downstairs with us. Most days, Adam is awake and more than ready to eat, so we bring him down with us to get the day going.

One morning while getting breakfast ready for both boys, I looked over to see Brandon leaning towards Adam and heard him ask, “Do you want to have a bottle? Maybe an Oreo?” I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard it and asked Brandon why he thought his little brother would want an Oreo when he didn’t have any teeth yet. Without hesitation, he looked back at me with a straight face while shrugging his shoulders and said, “But Daddy, he can have them with his milk.” His look and explanation seemed to say that I was silly not to realize that if you are having milk (which is what he thinks is in the bottle), you would want to have cookies with the milk (even if you don’t have teeth to chew them).

I have come to determine that my son has what I call toddler logic: a level of thinking that is completely its own and deserves its own appreciation. Even if as a parent you don’t always completely understand it, and even if it might cause you to question your own thought processes, toddler logic leads your toddler to ask to wear his rain boots into bed for naptime because “it might be wet if you pee the bed and you have to be ready,” or that you can ride your new big-boy bike in the house without a helmet if it’s raining outside “because it’s safer than being outside right now.” Toddler logic always manages to have some answer to justify whatever question or concern a parent has, and the answer makes absolute sense in the child’s brain. And in my toddler’s case, I find his thought process fascinating, hilarious and often infuriating, all in the same moment.

This mix of feelings reminds me of when Sarah was pregnant with Brandon, and we were talking with my mother one day about how I was a challenging child at times growing up. (I may have pushed the limits on things a bit.) She jokingly said that she wished we would have a child like me so I could understand what it was like. My wife said she hoped that wasn’t the case, because she had heard some of the stories.

If we go back to the cookies, I guess I should realize that it was nice of Brandon to offer to share his cookies, especially because Oreos are a favorite that stand in a category of their own in our house. Recently, he came up to my wife Sarah and asked for a snack, but when she pointed out that he just had cookies, he said, “That’s not a snack. It’s a treat. I want a snack.”
And at that moment, I realized my mom was right. As it turns out, my son is my mini-me. He is inquisitive, while constantly questioning the world around him. He already likes to challenge authority and rules, ever stalling and often attempting to manipulate the situation to get his way (at 3 years old), all while flashing a smile and trying to act cute, in the hopes that you won’t notice what he’s really doing. Nice try, kid. I did it first.

Read more Making Time here

May 2020
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