My little ones make choices all the time, though they are only one and three-years-old. Sometimes the decisions they make are good, and other times, I wonder how why they even have ears. Still, I do my best to make sure that I give them the chance.
Today, Kairo made a choice to run out of the room during our nap routine.
Since Kairo was a baby, I made sure to develop habits during certain times of the day.
- My alarm goes off at 1 pm every day.
- I allow the kids to finish whatever they are doing and provide them with a soft warning.
- Kairo hears, “It’s almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do.” (He hates sleep.)
- Kalel hears, “Are you ready for a nap?” (He loves sleep.)
- We often read a book of Kairo and Kalel’s choice. (I usually don’t add options, but Kairo is becoming more rebellious as a three-year-old, so I give him autonomy).
- We listen to “Sleeping to Dream,” by Jason Mraz. (Kairo pushes the “button” for the song on my phone. This is where the conflict arose.)
- I read a book from memory, “The Shape of Me and Other Stuff,” by Dr. Seuss. (The abridged version for babies and toddlers).
- I kiss both boys, say “I love you, and have a good nap.”
Today, Kairo contested his nap. I told him that he could read two audiobooks on Epic as his “last thing.” Then, I forced him into the room.
Kairo climbed in bed willingly but verbally objected to sleeping. Before he could get too rowdy, I passed him my phone to start the song. He pushed the button for his night time routine and sat up straight. (This is what he normally does to delay the process).
I’m fuming a bit internally, but keeping my cool.
Me: Kairo, that’s number one. Push number three.
Kairo: Huh? (Scoots away from phone).
Me: Push number three, and hurry up. My battery is low, so you might not get to hear it.
Kairo: Oh! (Runs away).
I considered screaming or demanding that he gets back to bed, but I didn’t see the point. Kairo is old enough to make decisions, though I don’t expect them to be the best ones most of the time.
Therefore, I proceed to read the book to Kalel, imagining all the ways that I will drag Kairo back into the room without upsetting his brother.
Halfway through the book, Kairo reappears by my side holding a charger.
Kairo: Here you go, Daddy.
He brought a charger because of what I said.
My little ones make choices all the time. Today, Kairo warmed my heart with his.