When a toddler starts having their own ideas

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 Photo: Getty Images

Up until now, my 15-month-old daughter and I have had a great relationship. Part of the reason we got along so famously was because we shared many views.

She liked sleeping; I like sleeping. She liked eating; I like eating. She liked making ridiculously cute faces that I just wanted to smother in kisses; I liked smothering that ridiculously cute face in kisses.

All was going smoothly in our world.

But recently, we've gone a little off track.

We've started to develop differing ideas on a range of things and it's causing more than a few issues.

For one, I view safety as a priority. My baby does not.

Her favourite activities involve anything in which she can come into immediate body harm. For instance, she loves climbing onto chairs and then onto the kitchen table and walking around.

I think babies walking on tables are a bad idea. When I try to relocate her, she thinks that is a bad idea.

I also think dishwashers are places for dishes to be cleaned. My toddler has other ideas. She feels the dishwasher is a place to climb into and try to grab things out of. Her favourite item to grab is knives. I think this is unsuitable; she does not.

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We also have different opinions on where she should spend the majority of her day. I feel the floor is a great place for her, as she has access to any number of activities and can use her legs to take her there.

She, of course, has other ideas. She prefers sitting on my hip and using my legs to take her where she wants to go. She navigates my legs using a complicated series of grunts and whinges. (I would prefer she pointed or used her words, but again, our opinions differ)

If I'm being honest, I have to say I totally disagree with her ideas on hygiene. They weren't great to begin with, but frankly they've gone downhill since she's become mobile.

I realise babies love putting things in their mouth but, once we go to the park, I prefer her not to put anything in her mouth.

We went to the park yesterday and she decided to challenge my views on this.

She started by seeing if sand was an exception to the rule. It was not.

Rocks? She pleaded. "No," I said.

Dirt? Grass? Leaves? Tanbark?

"Surely this is okay?" She seemed to say, as she grabbed for old chewing gum. She was sad to discover she was wrong again.

We looked at each other, both a little baffled by how strongly our views towards life now differ.

I foresee a challenging few months ahead of us, as our new relationship adjusts to accommodate our separate views. But that's okay. We don't need to share views for now. She can keep exploring the world around her and being her usual, inquisitive self and I'll focus on things like keeping her safe.

Besides, I'm sure that in time we'll find many more views we share. For now, I'm happy to report we still have lots in common.

We both still love eating. And sleeping. Plus, she still likes making ridiculously cute faces, and I still love smothering that ridiculously cute face in kisses.

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