Sometimes our toddlers surprise us and teach us more about patience than we thought possible. I took my 20 month old to the grocery store today and he surprisingly behaved himself and didn’t have a temper tantrum when I picked up a box of oatmeal chocolate cookies and told him we had to wait to pay for it first before he can eat it.
I mean, yes, in the span of 15 minutes he said ‘latta’ (short form for ‘chocolata’) about 15 times; nonetheless, he waited without screaming and kicking and ripping the box apart. And once again, he showed me more patience than I thought he was capable of when we tried on a pair of sandals (yay for grocery, clothes, and shoes-shopping in one!) and once again he wouldn’t bear to take them off until I slowly explained that we have to pay for them before wearing them. He wouldn’t put on his old shoes back and he held on to the new ones with both hands, which was a good enough compromise for both of us. He did go to sleep with them on though tonight and that’s a battle I chose to leave alone.
He not only showed me patience but helpfulness as he gladly reached out for our groceries and placed them in the plastic bags, understanding when I told him this is all we need. Don’t get me wrong, my 20-month-old isn’t always this nicely behaved and mature…he’s not a perfect child and I am not the perfect mother. In spite of that, it brings me comfort to know that I must be doing something (at least one thing anyway…) right or he just must be a good boy (sometimes), alhamdullilah.
So I thought of all you mommies out there and wanted to share with you that on the days when we’re frustrated and not sure if we’re really fulfilling this great responsibility of motherhood to its fullest that we remember the greatest life lessons can be learnt in the simplest of places and least expected of situations.
Raghad is the mother of 20-month-old Hadi, and the founder and director of Destination Excellence, a professional development coaching and training practice that specializes in relationships, career, and leadership. She resides in Ottawa ON.