Experience is the teacher of all things said Julius Caesar.
As a relatively new parent, I’m cautious about offering parenting advice. After all two years’ is barely anything to brag about. But a recent vacation has taught me that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been parenting it’s the experiences we share with others that end up providing the best lessons. That being said; here’s what I learned from my 2 year old during vacation. Yes, FROM my toddler.
I hate leaving my little boy’s side for more than his scheduled trip to daycare. However, when his godparents volunteered to take him on vacation to their family cottage in Pennsylvania for a week, my husband and I just couldn’t resist. We recently learned we are expecting two new additions to our family: a new baby, and our 18 year-old niece. Our niece is entering her second year of university and has decided to live with us rather than go back to residence to save money.
Knowing our lives are going to fundamentally change in the next few months, I agreed to the idea of our toddler going on his own vacation (without me).
Turns out, not only was it the best thing for my husband and I, who had a chance to reconnect with our adult selves, but also for our little boy, who grew by leaps and bounds on his vacation – without me!
Here’s what my toddler taught me on his vacation.
- He will eat carrots. There are foods he just wouldn’t eat with us around but apparently carrots taste different in the company of others and in Pennsylvania. He has since enjoyed his carrots.
- Chores are fun and he’s not allergic to them. While we were gone his godmother sent us a picture of our toddler hosing down their truck. Apparently he also enjoyed taking the compost out and picking vegetables in the garden. He has since helped me water the lawn and set the table; I’m still working on getting him to clean up his toys.
- Potty. Yes, I don’t know how she did it but changing a diaper in our house usually produces a fair amount of tears. Not only did he want to go potty but there were no tears. This one is still a work in progress at home, but he has sat on his Lightening McQueen potty a few more times since we’ve been back.
- Taking care of others. Generally speaking our toddler is a pretty sympathetic kid. During his vacation he made 10 small little friends. (His godmother’s parents breed award winning Tibetan Spaniels.) Every day he was first in line to help feed the dogs and even took them to the dog show on a couple of occasions. On the day we were scheduled to pick him up from his vacation his new friends had a big competition. He was so sad that he couldn’t be there for it. (More tears.) He has since found a new appreciation for his own dog at home and now wants to help feed her and take her on walks.
- Words are best used in a continuous string of questions. At home he has two people to talk to, me and his dad (three if you count the dog). Maybe it’s being exposed to more people and experiences to talk about and surroundings that are also very different (country vs. city), but his vocabulary exploded during his time away. We hope to keep exposing him to new things so his language skills keep flourishing.
Edyta McKay is a working mom with two amazing kids; Jack who is 4.5, emphasis on half and Kaia who isn’t even two, yet insists on doing everything her older brother does. She lives in the big city of Toronto, Ontario with her very energetic family spending her days working as the Corporate Communications Manager for CST and a full time blogger for Parentwise. She’s dished out parenting advice on CTV and Global News where Jack has made some appearances as her side-kick.