Most days, I wish I could be a toddler again. The worst part of your day is when your parents make you take a nap. Let me repeat that…MAKE…YOU…TAKE…A NAP!
My twins have come face-to-face with some major first world problems, like when Anna and Elsa plates are in the dishwasher and they need to use Sesame Street instead…how dare you Mommy and Daddy. So when they’re scared of my electric toothbrush, the hair dryer, or when Mommy makes a smoothie, it’s really no surprise. These things have all come in handy when we’ve needed to threaten them, but can also be a little silly when my wife making a smoothie can reduce them to tears.
And don’t even get me started on automatic toilets or hand dryers. My children would rather poop in their pants than have to hear either of those. My daughters and I have literally run into public restrooms, only to have an automatic hand dryer go off and game over, the crying and clinging ensues.
Recently, my wife and I had a long stressful week, and like any working parents of toddlers, we wanted a relaxing Friday night with some good sleep. Then Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, decided it was time for a thunderstorm. If an electric toothbrush can make my kids run away, just imagine what happens during a summer thunderstorm!?
I thought it was appropriate to post this especially today, because explaining weather to a curious toddler can be a bit tricky. They ask lots of questions and describing the hydrologic cycle just won’t cut it as a valid response. So our default response has become because Mother Nature said so. The funny thing about toddlers is that 1.) they’re satisfied with that response and 2.) that they’re way more scared of the noise that thunder makes than getting struck by one billion volts of electricity. Thunders is just a noise kiddos!
That relaxing evening we were planning turned into a 3-hour bedtime ordeal, thanks to the thunder. We tried jacking up the Sleep Sheep volume, singing loud bedtime songs, telling them it was Grandpa George bowling in Heaven, etc. Nothing worked. Finally, we told them that we were scared of it too and needed them to keep us safe. This could’ve backfired big-time, but turning the parenting on them was the best idea we could’ve had. Instead of us doing the hard work, they now had to keep us safe, and they totally owned it. It went from being a crappy bedtime to I’ll keep you safe Daddy. I can’t complain about that.
I’m not going to pretend that they’re suddenly unafraid of thunder. Anytime there’s a stomach rumble, the floor creaking, or even the rare Daddy fart (ok, not so rare), they’ll say What’s that noise? Thunder!? But now, whether it’s real thunder, or just some thunder-from-down-under, they make sure to keep us safe, along with plenty of Why? Why? Why?
Thank God they’ll be napping today during the total solar eclipse…otherwise I’d have to tell them that Mother Nature got drunk!