The Best Laid Plans—Toddler Style Tests of Patience

by Debbie Twomey on January 7, 2013


Have you ever set out with some definite plans only to have your toddler make mincemeat of them? What do you do? Do you lose patience and worry about those plans or do you roll with the punches?
You know what they say about best laid plans or don’t you? What does the quote "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" mean? Things often go wrong even though you have carefully planned what you are going to do–especially with a baby or toddler. The true rule of thumb is to except the unexpected.
The origin of this saying dates back to Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse, 1786. It tells of how he, while plowing a field, upturned a mouse's nest. The resulting poem is an apology to the mouse:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
In 1937 John Steinbeck wrote a novel titled, “Of Mice and Men.”  It tells the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small migrant workers who were misplaced and in search of better jobs. Their dream of opportunity and success are destroyed by a series of troubles, one of which is Lennie’s problem with stroking furry things until they end up dead. George finally realizes that their dream of a better life is not possible and so the “best laid plans” dies too.
 Our episodes of plans gone astray may not be quite as dramatic but the effect on our day can be upsetting. Perhaps you made plans to run some important errands or you had a job to do that while may not have been crucial, you wanted to complete that particular task that day.
What do you do when the unexpected happens? Do you lose your patience when you are all set to go out the door and your toddler suddenly decides to pitch a fit and not cooperate?  Do you lose your cool when you are in the middle of an important project and your baby wakes from their nap earlier than normal cutting short your free time? How about being all excited to go visit friends and you get your toddler all dressed and ready to go and next thing you know they have had a messy accident and by the time you get them all cleaned up, there is no time left to go?
While as parents we know such interruptions will most certainly happen, we may also experience days where our patience is not there. How do we handle that crisis? Do you cry or yell and pull your hair or just get angry? You are not alone.
I believe most of the time, we handle such changes in plans with grace. But I also know there may come a time when it is not so easy to do, when we are tired or it has been a bad day all around. What to do then becomes very important.
Take a deep breath
Slow down
Count to whatever you have to
Remember this is the unexpectedness of having a child
Look at it in a different way that might be humorous
Think of this as just a small glitch in a lifetime of parenting
I recommend Young Living’s Peace and Calming for the tougher times
Think like your toddler
Understand “patience being a virtue” is sometimes unobtainable
There are many tips to help both you and your child: being consistent , know yours and your child’s limits, make sure you have an outlet for your feelings, when the reason for a change is behavior, find distractions and try and pick your battles.
And always know, the best laid plans can fall to the unexpected, which is what you learn to expect.

"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogger– the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ellen Barbagallo January 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Great, great advice Deb!!  Wish I had you in my life with all your knowledge about 46 years ago when my husband and I started our family:))


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