I’m going to get right to the point here. I’m beginning to suspect that these self-proclaimed “baby and child-development experts” or “pediatricians” don’t know their asses from their elbows. At your most recent physical, your doctor suggested that toddlers “love routine” and you would learn to embrace a larger selection of foods if they were “offered regularly.” Every article I’ve read on toddler-hood touts the importance of routine like Tom Cruise preaches about alien salvation. I’m calling bullshit. Here’s why:
1. Your sleep routine looks like this at 8pm every night:
Daddy: “Sleep time, munchkin!”
Eva: “NO, dada, NOOO!!!!” (while throwing puzzle pieces all over floor and wailing at the top of lungs)
Daddy: Let’s read a few books, come with dada (swoops a flailing Eva into bedroom)
(45 minutes later)
Eva: “Goodnight Moon again, dada! Again. AGAINNN!!!!!!”
Daddy: “No, Eva, it’s time for night night.”
Eva: “AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!” (screams…. and screams… and screams)
(45 minutes later)
Daddy: (creeping out from Eva’s bedroom like a prisoner escaping Alcatraz) “She’s out.”
Sure, I guess you can call that routine. I’m pretty similar means of torture were used routinely at Guantanamo Bay, too.
2. Breakfast at 8am:
Mommy: “Would you like yogurt or eggs for breakfast, Eva?” (these same “experts” suggest I offer you finite choices to give you the delusion that you are an independent being)
Mommy: “EGGS OR YOGURT, EVA?!”
(mommy cooks eggs and brings them over to Eva)
Eva: “No, mommy!!!”
Mommy: “Yogurt, then?”
(mommy brings over yogurt)
Eva: “No, mommy!!!” (proceeds to swipe her arms violently at yogurt and eggs)
Mommy: (looks at yogurt and eggs splattered on floor and envisions her patience and energy laying smack dab next to them)
This scene is as routine as the sun rising from the east. The only real difference being the gut-wrenching anxiety that comes with the surety of the former.
3. Preschool drop-off at 9:30 am on Mondays:
(Mommy and Eva pull into school parking lot)
Eva: “Mommy, I go to coffee shop.”
Mommy: “No, Eva, you’re going to school. It’s going to be so much fun!”
Eva: “No, mommy, I GO TO COFFFEEE SHOPPP!” (bursts into tears)
(Mommy wrestles with Eva to get her out of car seat, then drags her to stoop of school)
Eva: “NO, MOMMY, NO!!!!” (the tears have turned to convulsive crying)
(Mommy opens door to school, scoots Eva in, shuts the door, and leaves)
I’m told this routine form of abrupt departure is a formative lesson of toddler-hood. I’m not sure what the truth is, but what I am sure of is that cup of coffee I get to drink, alone, and in complete silence after I drop you off is always calling my name so loudly that it drowns out any other noise.
Coffee. In silence. Now that’s a routine I can get behind.
With Loving Impatience,