When our Girl was pretty little the Sweetie and I got in the habit of saying "Well that's what babies do! Poopy leaked out of diapers and all over mom's clothes as well... "Well that's what babies do!" Spit up all over the couch... "Well that's what babies do!" That little five word phrase really diffused frustration fo us. Sure we didn't enjoy some of the usual baby spew but once we reminded ourselves that this is what we signed up for all the messy baby stuff became comical. It really was possible to accept things the way they were. I mean what else were we going to do. It wasn't as if a less poopy version was available to us anyway.
As The Girl grew this mantra of ours would come in pretty handy. When I would wonder why she did something particularly vexing like pouring all the cereal out of the box and on to the floor, squeezing toothpaste all over her arms or dangling head down off the back of the couch and waiting for her stuffed hippo to catch her, We could once again say,"That's what babies do!" It truly has become our mantra when nothing else explains her behavior.
Of course, being first time parents, we weren't particularly clever about our use of this mantra. We routinely say it in full earshot of The Girl so she has also become pretty astute about the use of the phrase. Once, when she had just turned two, while waiting for lunch in a restaurant Sweets decided to squirt ketchup all over the table in front of her. I looked at her in amazement and asked why did you do that ? Sweets looked at me and without hesitation said, "That's what babies do!"
Sadly our acceptance tool has become her excuse for everything she knows she shouldn't do. Now at three years old she uses it to "explain" things she otherwise doesn't want to discuss. Why are you on the counter? Why is water all over the floor? Why are you naked? Why did you dump all those stickers on the floor? Why of course "That's what babies do!!"
I believe in acceptance as I have defined it. I think accepting things "as they are" is the only place to begin. OK so babies do this stuff but not three year olds right? Big Girls don't get on counters. Big Girls wear clothes. Big Girls listen to their mothers.
Denial. It's what mommies do.
Next Post: Wordless Wednesday