Me, Me, Me! How My Toddler is Finding Her Independence

Zaynab is quickly finding her independence and it’s making her strut around like she owns the place. If I previously used to do it for her — like, you know, everything — she now wants to do it herself.

Me, Me, Me! How My Toddler is Finding Her Independence

Nearly all aspects of our day include her enthusiastic exclamations of “me, me, me!” Except it’s actually in Arabic, so I hear “ana, ana, ana!” From getting dressed to her favorite household chores and everything in between, Z wants to take over. She dismisses my clothing choices for her own selections. I can forget about helping her put away the utensils, sans knives, as her sisters empty the dishwasher. Who cares if everything ends up at the very edge of the drawer in one jumbled stainless steel heap? Not me.

What’s that Z? You want milk? So that’s why you’re standing in front of the fridge. Certainly if she could reach it, she would have brought it off the shelf herself. She’s fearless in her quest of independence. She’ll streeeetch to reach things beyond her grasp, perhaps leaning too far off the edge of a chair. I have to stop myself from making the objects easier to reach. I do not want to hinder her. I do not want to stand in her way of learning and development. I want to see just how much this little gal can do. And boy, she does a lot.

I can completely forget about feeding her. She manages to get more food on the floor than her mouth. What I love is that she’s able to listen to her body and stop eating when she’s full. She’ll clear her plate off the table and put it in the sink. She puts her laundry in the hamper and her diaper in the trash. She loves to try to put on her PJs and is usually successful getting into her coat.During bedtime stories, she’ll take the book from my hands and insist she “reads” it herself. She’s even tried to buckle her own car seat. Sorry baby, I’ll take over on that one. Safety first!  After I’ve folded a load of laundry, she loves to put her own clothes away. I’m not going to lie, I’m always down for an extra set of hands. Even if those hands may be tiny.

Her swagger through the house screams, “I’m a big girl now!” It pulls at my heartstrings to know that my once itty-bitty newborn entirely dependent on me, is becoming her own little self with goals and ambitions. For now, the extent of her goals are getting her PJs on and peeling her own banana. I don’t think I’m ready to let go more than that.


How is your toddler expressing their independence? 

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