The interesting thing about blogging about a toddler is that sometimes when you write a post, reality clearly seems one way. But just a few days later, that reality may change completely. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

I wrote this post about a month ago, but never finished or published it :

With Regards to Obedience, One Step Forward + One Step Backward.

Step Forward: Amanda was over on Wednesday, and I had said something sarcastic to Ali.

In a playful way (which toddlers never understand, of course), she told Ali, “Ali, hit your Mommy for me!!”

Ali, who was standing next to where I was sitting, looked at me with hugely wide eyes. She stood frozen for a a few seconds, then told Amanda, “Ali obeys Mommy.”

Smart girl!

Step Backward:

On Thursday, we were about to head upstairs for Ali’s nap. I went to the fridge to put up her juice, and she headed for the stairs. I called out twice for her to wait for Mommy, and I thought she had.

She did not.

And despite the fact that we have followed her up the stairs hundreds of times without helping at all and she has never fallen, she fell.

Thank goodness, I think she must have only been on the second or third step, but she was still quite frightened and upset.

We talked about obeying Mommy and how it keeps you from being scared and getting hurt.

Hopefully it will sink in.

I was going through my drafts that were never published the other day and found this post. Here’s the amazing thing about that day: that step backward ended up equaling at least three more steps forward in her obedience and wisdom.

To understand why, I will have to elaborate on one of Ali’s quirks.

I am afraid that Ali is going to be a huge grudge-holder. She remembers things that hurt her months back and avoids them like the plague. For instance, one night, Chris asked her if she wanted to sit in a particular chair. She shook her head and informed him, “Ali fell out of it.” I thought about it, and sure enough, about 3 months ago, she fell out of that chair. I hadn’t realized until that moment that she had never sat in THAT chair since.

Anyway, although I am afraid that this will be a limiting characteristic later in her adult life, it is quite nice now, so I am appreciating it while it is an asset. And ever since that day that she fell down those stairs, she has been overly obedient, nay even paranoid, about stairs. She always waits for me and makes sure that I’m behind her. Every now and then, she will tell me, “Ali fell down THIS stair. Wasn’t wise, was it. Wait for Mommy.”

So, what I learned from this, and what a lot of you Moms I’m SURE have already learned is, don’t get too hung up about it when your toddler disobeys you. It might turn out to be a huge milestone of obedience and understanding what is wise and what isn’t.

5 thoughts on “One Step Forward + One Step Backward. = Three Steps Forward

  1. Jackson fell down on the playground at school about 5 months ago, and to this day, if you ask him what he did at school today he will say, “I fell down.” It’s gotten to be a running joke in our family. Kids are like sponges!

  2. Her and Mia are so much alike in personality, it’s not even funny:) I love it when you see progress though…it makes it all worth it.

  3. Stinkerbell has held a grudge against the faucet. She turned the water to hot in the bath tub the other day. The hot water hit her legs and scared her really bad. This was about a month ago and she still gets a little freaked out when I turn on the faucet to wash her hands or in the bath tub. She starts saying, “hot! burn me.” By the way… I think it’s really cute how Ali always refers to herself as Ali. I’ve noticed that from your posts. Too cute!

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