On My Own

When your toddler develops a mind of her own, it is a wonderful revelation, both for her and for you.

Lately, it seems as if Diva the Kid’s favorite word is “own,” as in:

On My Own: “Nooo…pants on own. Do it own.” (see 13 Ways to Get a Toddler’s Pants On)

I Have My Own: Proudly, upon seeing another child with a father at the playground: “Own Daddy. At Home.” (and is this a short step away from “My Daddy is stronger than your Daddy”?)

I Want My Own: Repeatedly until her Granny purchased one for her: “Mama wobe (robe). Baby wobe. Own wobe. Peas (please).”

This is My Own: When a cat sits on her chair: “Nooo…green chair own. Uddah chair. Loki chair. Green chair OWN.”

At these moments, I wonder where to draw the line between fostering independence and a politely assertive sense of self versus teaching sharing and cooperation.

When she gleefully shares her dinner with Daddy and tries to give her toys to the cats, I realize there is no need to worry.

Still, as she attempts to bodily lift the 17 pound fur ball off the green chair he is occupying with stubborn glee, I contemplate whether (or rather, when) she’ll progress to deeper notions of property rights.

Perhaps soon she’ll start charging rent on the green chair? Will she execute a hostile takeover and kick us out of the house? And what does this mean for our upcoming expansion of our family–will her little brother be viewed as labor, or competition?

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