Dear HT, Sometimes when I do something, my mom or dad lean in too close and say, "WE (insert alternate behavior)." What do they mean? -My Own Woman, 26 month-old, New Jersey
First off, you're two. No need to address your age in months just because your mom does. She's crazy.
Ah yes, the royal "we." Parents and caregivers use this word to convince you that you are incapable of original ideas and rob you of good times. Toddlers around the world hear it on a regular basis.
- We look with our eyes.
- We don't hit.
- We stay out of the trash can.
No mommy, YOU look with your eyes. YOU don't hit. YOU stay out of the trash can. I DO ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE. How do they know who we are? They don't. But they're intent on telling us. The next time you hear "We don't____" just stare blankly with your mouth slightly open like a red snapper and wait for an opportunity to carry about your important business.
We. What, are we in a gang? Are you human resources of my life? Is this the scouts? Are you a colonist? No. Please old people, keep your generational limitations to yourself and allow toddlers to forge their own way. Stop projecting your weaknesses.
Take a lesson from Dora. Does she say "Swiper no swipin' " or "Hey Swiper, how ya doing? Ok, look, WE don't swipe."
Toddlers should start throwing out their own We's.
- Mommy, WE don't buy clothes that don't currently fit.
- Daddy, WE don't pretend to not know how to load the dishwasher to get out of doing it.
- Mommy, WE don't fall asleep on the living room floor while playing Legos.
- Daddy, WE don't pretend WE can't smell my chocolate thunder diaper explosions.
See? It can go both ways. Save the passive aggressive conformist syntax for another baby because we're done.
Do you, MOW. Do you.