Choices.. If you read it this way, it looks like you're about to read a very heavy piece right now.Rest assured, this is not too bad. In this case it is about toddler choices. Little moments of choice can feel quite heavy for the little man.
This mom recognizes this ‘phenomenon’ from the past.
I'm quite a few years older than my brother and sister. I was a teenager when they were born, because of this I did experience their childhood very consciously. Super fun, even if I say so myself.
I see a lot of my little brother back in our little man. Sometimes it is as if my little brother, at the age of three, is sitting next to me again. Ideal, because then certain things are no longer a surprise.
Our toddler is now three years old and sometimes finds it quite a task to make a choice. One moment he does it with two fingers in his nose, the next moment it looks like the world is ending. Yup, little brother had this problem too. (Sorry bro, I don't mention names;))
Last Friday he had one of those’s days when he could easily make choices. We went to lunch for our wedding day. Cozy on a terrace in the bustle of the party week.
Mister was in a funny mood. I asked him what he wanted to eat. The choices were not huge because of the party week, but fine for the little guy. I get the reply that he would like a cheese sandwich with poop.
Prankster. Of course poop and pee jokes are totally the top when you're three years old. Ok, fine, you order that when the waitress comes back.
I never thought he would actually ask. Error! The waitress took our order and asked little man what he wanted to eat. ‘A poop sandwich’, he exclaimed proudly and with a smile from ear to ear. We couldn't keep up.
The waitress chattered along delightfully and eventually it became a cheese sandwich with poo without poo. Toddler happy, us happy.
Sometimes choices can be very difficult
Sometimes, in a restaurant, choosing is not so simple. Every now and then a little frustration comes along with this. The moment the waitress asks what we want to drink, it usually comes too soon for the little guy. Doubt strikes when he can choose from so many goodies. He often gets sad and then wants nothing more.
My solution then is usually to tell the waitress I'll give a shout later. As soon as she leaves I get an angry look from the little guy. I see that he really wants something to drink but just can't decide.
Fine guy, we'll call the waitress again later on.
Meanwhile, mom and dad's drinks are brought over. The little man still doesn't know. Together we go over the choices, which I then limit to a maximum of three options. I can see him thinking. Yup, apple juice it is.
I order him an apple juice and everything is solved again. He just needs a little more time.
To avoid the frustration mentioned above, on the part of toddlers, I now do things differently. These days I often start on the road by naming the options. I tell him we are going somewhere for a drink.
Then I ask him what he would like to drink. By the time we were seated and the waitress came, he could give his own order. He then had enough time to make a choice. Secretly he likes to order by himself.
The only chance we run then is that he orders a poop sandwich. I think that is still allowed when you are three years old. It would be different if the husband made such requests.
I would crawl under the table with shame.
Do your kids sometimes find it hard to choose?? How do you handle this?
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