Think Like a Toddler

On our last visit to Sunshine’s grandparents, she slept in the spare room bed for the first time.  It’s a tall double bed with two sliding cupboards in the headboard—a big switch from the toddler bed we usually made for her on the floor with a mattress.  Sunshine was excited about having her own room, and spent much time playing with the puzzles and board books on the big bed.  At night, we tucked her in with her Lambie and fuzzy Pooh Bear blanket.

The next morning, Sunshine had been playing for several hours when panic suddenly ensued.  Lambie was missing.  I checked the toys downstairs, where we’d been playing earlier, and the couches upstairs and her bedroom and the toy wagon in the hall closet.  No Lambie.

A toddler's stuffed lambSunshine’s Grandma checked everywhere I had checked.  Still no Lambie.  We tried to ask Sunshine where she had left Lambie, but she didn’t remember.  When Grandpa got home, I was going to ask him to take me outside to look for Lambie in the barn and wherever else they had walked, though we’d told Sunshine not to take Lambie with her when they went to feed the cows.

Then I walked through the house one more time, telling myself to think like Sunshine.  Where would be a good place for a toddler to leave Lambie?  In her room, I caught sight of the sliding cupboards on the bed.  I slid one open and there was Lambie, tucked in with a doll’s blanket for the night.  I laughed as I brought her out to Sunshine.  Of course Sunshine would have wanted to put something in those cool cupboards.

A few hours later, I was packing the diaper bag for a trip into town and couldn’t find Sunshine’s water bottle.  She’d been playing with it earlier that morning, but had remembered to take it out of her purse before putting the toys away.  Since then, I hadn’t seen the water bottle and now it was nowhere to be found.  I checked all the same places I’d looked for Lambie and finally said I’d just take a juice box to town and the water bottle would turn up later.

Then Grandma walked out of Sunshine’s room, holding the missing water bottle.  She said that since Sunshine had hid Lambie in one side of the bed, she thought she’d check to see what was in the other cupboard.  Sure enough, that’s where Sunshine had stashed her water bottle.  I laughed again as I put the water bottle into the diaper bag.

If I’ve learned anything about living with a toddler, it’s that she’s very logical—even though her logic might not look the same as my logic.  Sometimes, it’s good to set aside my own preconceived ideas and think like a toddler.

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