It’s been a rough day with my 18 month old. He has been cranky and irritable and frankly, so have I. He is an exceptional toddler with some special needs that make the toddlerness a little worse than other kids. That being said, some days are good and some aren’t, with all toddlers. There are some days I am just enduring the toddlerhood and waiting until the day when he gets older and isn’t doing these toddler things, like meltdowns. But it makes me think about some adults I know who seem to have not gotten past toddlerhood, me included, at times.
Toddlers are famous for being demanding, irritable, and unreasonable. They throw fits over the smallest things and refuse to give in when they don’t get their way. They think the world revolves around them and that no one else has any needs at all. Now doesn’t that sound like us all some days? But we have to put away these childish things and become adults, at some point. And there are times when that toddler inside us all sneaks back up and rears it’s ugly, tantrum throwing head. We don’t throw tantrums like toddlers do, by kicking and screaming, at least most of us don’t. But we do other adult things to get our way sometimes. We have road rage or yell and scream at people around us, just like a 18 month old would. We whine when other people have better “toys” then we do. And some people do worse things than that.
Why do we do this?
I would say it’s because we have not gotten rid of our inner toddler. You are born being the most selfish creature on earth. Babies think that everyone else is put on earth to serve their every need and in the way and time in which they want it. And if you don’t, you will hear about how you have angered his royal majesty. You don’t have to teach babies to think only about themselves. No baby has ever thought “Well, I should not get up so many times tonight, because my poor mother is exhausted and needs to sleep.” No, they are only thinking, “I am hungry, FEED ME NOW!” So, as we grow older we have to work this selfishness out of ourselves.
How do we do this?
Hopefully our parents have done a good job of “helping” to rid us of that selfishness by early childhood. But we too have to finish the job in adulthood. Everyday I have to submit myself to God so that I can rid myself of “ME”. That part of me that wants it all my way and in my time. Usually this “ME” is in direct conflict with what God wants in my life. I have to die to self, not just daily, but every minute. Especially when I am pressed or in an uncomfortable situation, that “ME” comes out really quickly. I find it most these days when dealing with my toddler. He really makes me want to be selfish right back at him and kick and scream and so forth. However, I have to remind myself to be a good example to him and “help” him get rid of his selfishness by appropriate means and with a good attitude. (All you mom’s of toddlers know what a challenge that is). I hope that today I can die to my toddler self and put on my big girl pants and act like an adult, especially when dealing with the toddlers around me, short and tall.