I have a toddler and life is nothing but full of fun but then of late I noticed that there is one word that I have been using too frequently and that’s ‘Sorry’. I keep saying sorry for everything that is actually a simple characteristic of any child.
One day, my daughter was sitting next to me and talking; and in that conversation I realised that she had used the word ‘sorry’ more than ten times for absolutely no reason. I told her, “Why are you saying sorry, baby? You did not make any mistake.” But it seemed like she was using this word after every two lines. The word ‘Sorry’ has lost its significance for her.
REASON: She is seeing her mother using this word every now and then. That’s what she thinks the word means, that you have to say it every minute. Then suddenly she said, ‘Mujhe maaf kar do (Please forgive me)’ for absolutely no reason. I was shocked because I don’t want my little baby to apologize like this for no mistake.
That was the day, I did a little self analysis. I had been apologizing to everyone for the slightest of things.
I am sorry that my toddler blocked your way on footpath simply because she is a baby and walks slowly.
I am sorry that my baby did not say hello to you for she did not feel like it.
I am sorry that she does not want to share her things with your child. For she can be a little protective or possessive about her things, I felt guilty and apologised to you.
I am sorry that she disturbed us while we were having a conversation, simply because she wanted my attention.
I am sorry that it took me more than usual to open the door just because she wanted to open the door herself.
I am sorry that she touched a few things at the shop I went to simply out of curiousity.
I am sorry that she did not give up her swing to your child.
These were just a few instances. A little speculation and I realized that this is a phase in her life where she is still trying to understand the ways of the world. And while it is important to teach her good manners, it is also important for me to understand that she is just acting her age and I need not apologize for everything. I am no longer sorry for the following things:
I am no longer sorry that she did not greet you. Sometimes she would smile at you and wave and sometimes she would not even look at you. There is nothing I can do about it. It is her choice and her mood and being a toddler, I guess she is still trying to gauge her emotions. Neither am I going to force her to greet someone if she doesn’t feel like it nor am I going to apologise for it.
I am no longer sorry that she blocked you way on the footpath and that I took up the footpath. I really can’t do anything about it. She is a baby, she takes baby steps and I can’t stop her every time especially when I am carrying a bag, some other things that we bought and holding her as well. Of course I will try to move as much as I can for anyone who needed it more than me (elderly, disabled) but in certain situation when I am genuinely not able to do that and when you are a group of young girls, giggling and then giving me a harsh look for simply letting my baby walk at her own pace… too bad but I am not saying sorry this one time.
I am no longer sorry that she wanted my attention when I was talking to you. I know we are having an important conversation but she is a baby and still she does not understand the concept of not disturbing people, especially when one of them is her mother, on whom she has all her rights, as of now toddlers think they own their mothers, that the mothers are there only for them. They are not really ready to share their Mom’s attention. I know she will learn that Mommy needs to talk to other people also. Till then I am not sorry.
I am no longer sorry that she does not want to share her tricycle, or any other toy with your child. See, I am trying my best to teach her that sharing is important but as of now, she does not seem to understand that concept too well. Sometimes, she herself gives all her toys to your child and sometimes, she just does not want to. As much as I would want her to share her toys with your baby there is a limit, I can ask her to do. So, till then, I am not sorry.
I am not sorry that she does not give up the swing. This is just a toddler thing. Toddlers are all about themselves and no matter how much we try to intervene they have their moods. Some days she herself says, ‘Mamma, we will go on the swing one by one.’ Some days she would not share at all. Until she learns to follow the one-by-one rule completely. I am not sorry because I am too tired to say that anymore.
‘Sorry’ is an important word. It has some significance, it has some emotion attached to it. I want my daughter to understand that when we say sorry we have to actually mean it and not just use it to get out of a situation. For that, it is important that I stop doing so myself. I understand how important it is to teach good manners to my child but at the same time I want to allow her to take her own sweet time to understand the difference between good and bad; right or wrong, only then she will be able to understand when she has to apologize and mean it and when there is no need to be apologetic.