I had somewhat of a Mommy epiphany yesterday. After telling Brennan for the 4 billionth time to not get out games, touch the buttons on the TV, or rip decorations off of the tree. It hit me. I don't remember anything from my childhood until I was maybe 4 years old. So... suddenly I understood why I have to tell my babies over and over and over to do (or not to do) something... they have goldfish memories. They are ruled by their brains and their brains are in "learning mode". So while I see a kid reaching for Boggle and visualize the mess and get flustered because I have to tell him AGAIN not to touch my games, his little brain only sees a cool little grid that dice fit into if he can master the use of his fingers, and a very fun loud noise to make if he can manage to get the lid on tight and keep it on while he shakes it. When he goes for the tree he sees a shiny thing, maybe out of reach, and his brain tells him to see what it feels like, to see if his arms can reach that high. A child this young is NOT doing something just to annoy his parents, he HAS to test himself. He needs to know what happens. Every time he notices something new... the branches give way when he touches them, he has to pull harder on the ornaments that are on strings, some of them make noise, some of them are bumpy, if he stands on his toes he's taller. Then he quickly forgets and needs to try again.

Baby brains need constant reminders and "tests" so they can learn their body's limitations. The terrible toddler years are just that. Repetition of trying the stairs, getting body parts stuck in containers, breaking Mommy's stuff... because they need to learn what they are capable of and what that means in reference to their environment. Brennan destroys an ornament and learns that "permanence of objects" is an illusion and he has power to change the way an object looks. Tristan jumps off the couch and falls repeatedly and learns that he has to plant his feet or he'll get hurt. All these little life lessons aren't easy, they have to be programmed... fine motor skills and complex thought, self realization... these things take time and practice. They're not bad, they're learning. So... let 'em learn, give them more, and try to make sure they don't get hurt :) Maybe this will increase my patience and understanding even MORE.

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