A couple weeks ago, Luke and I made the decision that it was time to move Lillian into a toddler bed. She had taken up residence in our bed for several weeks and I wanted to nip it in the bud before my aching back would begin making a local chiropractor a millionaire. I thought the excitement and thrill and something new would make the transition easier. Thankfully I was right, but part of the experience left me with a new learning curve: seeing life through my daughter’s eyes.
My friend Mia gave me a great idea to make picking out her bedding a big deal. We would go to Mom Mecca (also known as Target) to pick out her new bedding. She would pick it out. Lillian would have full control over what her new comforter and pillowcase would be. It was going to be her first “big girl” decision as she chose her own “big girl” bed decor.
As we were packing up to head to the store, Lillian insisted on bringing her “baby.” She doesn’t have one specific doll she loves all the time, but whichever one she loves that day is destined to join us on all of the day’s adventures. This special day was no exception. As we got the kids strapped into the race car portion of the grocery cart (because there is no other kind when you have two toddlers), I thought it’d be funny and cute to “buckle” her baby into the basket part of the cart as well.
She thought it was awesome. I was well on my way to earning my Mom of the Year award.
We reached the toddler bedding aisle and I perused the selection. I know I said she’d get to make the choice, but there were like thirty options and I wasn’t going to spend all day there. So I picked out three and drug them over to her. I lifted two up onto the cart and, as I was about to ask her which one she preferred, I was met with a terrified scream.
“Mom! Baby! Mom! Baby hurt!”
As I looked to where the baby was, I realized I had placed one of the giant bed in a bag monstrosities onto her baby. The doll was now crushed beneath a giant death trap as far as my daughter was concerned and I was quick to hurl the bedding to the floor and set the baby upright.
“Okay, baby? You okay?” Lillian asked with more maternal concern than I could ever muster.
I assured her the baby was fine and once she was no longer concerned we went through the surprisingly swift process of choosing her new comforter and pillow case.
In the moment, the whole scenario was hilarious. My daughter was freaking out because I had harmed her inanimate baby. But, to her, that was her baby. Her child. Though it now resides somewhere in our minivan, at the time it was her world and I had mercilessly tried to harm it.
It is the first, and for sure not the last, moment where I learned I need to start trying to see the world through her eyes. I’ve gotta get down to her level and engage with her there. This means when she brings me fake food from her kitchen, I better let her know it’s the best plastic broccoli I’ve ever had. And if she decides her baby needs a blanket to take a nap with her, I better break out a bandana for the baby to use.
It’s cute and it’s fun and it’s going to be pure joy to learn about her personality as we travel through this mother daughter life together. I just hope I never injure one of her babies ever again. I don’t think I could live with the guilt.