Toddler P has made me laugh tonight. Proper belly laugh, tears in my eyes the works. She’s becoming a mini me, in more ways than one. I tell tales of her to friends and colleagues and get met with laughter and comments of, “I wonder where she gets it from!”
She’s bossy, bolshy, confident and sassy. She knows what she wants and thinks up ways in which to get…ways which usually result in the naughty step or me counting to 3 with no idea of what I’m actually going to do once I get there so I keep counting in hope that she’ll pack it in! She has my sense of determination and my inner strength. She’s becoming more and more of my mini me everyday.
Toddler P’s copying off me can be testing and frustrating at times but as much as it’s frustrating arguing with a miniature version of myself, it’s also hilarious! She mimics me to her toys and teddies, lining them up on the naughty step, she copies my phrases, telling me that she “won’t tell me again” or that I’m a “naughty girl about to go in the naughty step!” However I’m proud to say she’s also learning some of my kindness. She cuddles her teddies and puts them to bed or looks after them like me. Only tonight did little P line them up in a semi circle and talk to them about their day, “what did you do today Baa Wamb? Ooh painting, that’s nice! And what did you do today Peter Wabbit? Ooh da park, that’s nice!” It’s fun being a fly on the wall hearing her take on my traits and develop her own version of my personality.
But (there’s always a but) I don’t want her to be a carbon copy of me. I want her to be her own person, taking on my life lessons and positive traits but also developing her own inner strength, confidence and personality. Developing her own humour, her own interests, talents, hobbies and ambition. I want her to be toddler P, child P, teenage P, adult P and inspirational woman P, I want her to be P through and through. I don’t want her to take on my faults, I don’t want her to make the same mistakes as me or lose any of her sparkle like I did at one time. I can’t stop any of this though, I can only guide.
I know I’ve taken on a lot of Granny T and Poppa M’s traits. The good, the bad and the ugly from both at times. But I’m also trying to learn from their experiences. I’m often like my dad, carrying around unnecessary nerves or anxiety, getting worked up over seemingly nothing and preventing myself from enjoying life to the full. However, I handle it differently to him, I acknowledge it’s a problem and try really hard to change my mindset, rationalise my thoughts and focus on what’s important. I’m not always great at it but my determination to not end up like him, to not be as sad as he was does help. Dad struggled to see the good in his life sometimes and I don’t want to make that same mistake.
I’m lucky, I have toddler P to invest my time in, some people don’t and her lust for life, cuddles, humour and playfulness is one of the best therapies anyone can offer (her temperament, desire to do everything “I-self” and love of climbing could also make me bed therapy). I guess what I’ve learnt recently that it’s relaxing and enjoying time with her or anyone else for that matter that helps overcome unnecessary angst. Live in the moment and focus on the here and now. I hope to demonstrate that to toddler P and not just say the words like Poppa M did to me. He needed to practise what her preached, I’m hoping to lead by example.
As much as I’m a chip off the old block, I’m fighting some of it to help my chip off the old block be even better than me.