For example, sometimes (sort of out of nowhere), Hannah will say, "It's all my fault!" From what I can tell, she has very little idea what this means. I suspect that she likes that the word "my" is in there, and assumes it must means she owns something, which is always a good thing in a toddler's eyes. On closer observation, I realized that she usually makes this proclamation during some time of intense stress (i.e, transitions. Time to go somewhere/do something new. Bed, bath, school, whatever). Which must be exactly when she sees me say it. Also, she says it really dramatically, usually throwing herself onto some furniture or blankets. And I have to wonder if that is how she is interpreting my behavior? Because if so, holy cow. I need to tone it down. Hopefully that is just dramatic toddler re-enactment.
Before I heard Hannah utter the phrase, I didn't even realized I said it. Or said it that much? I usually throw out the, "Ah, I'm sorry. It's all my fault" in a moment of high stress, where I feel like I could have done a million things differently to have prevented the chaos. Because I have magical powers that could prevent ear infections? Or powers that grant sudden, remarkable mastery of receptive and expressive language? Or miracle of miracles, I somehow can control the toddler volume in our house?
Maybe Hannah isn't the only one who likes to think she owns something? Maybe it somehow makes me feel less stressed out to think that the occassional out-of-control feelings that little kids can inspire are something that I actually can control, I'm just not there yet? While there might be some calculated risks I maybe shouldn't always take (naked time after baths), or some ways I could be more organized (clothes and bags always ready the night before), I think the larger issue is that I need to just be more accepting of the inherent potential for chaos when little ones are involved. It isn't my fault, it isn't the kids' fault, it just is what it is.