“Which pjs do you want to wear tonight?”
“What do you want for dinner; dinosaur nuggets or fish sticks?”
“Do you want to wear your crocks or your pink shoes?”
“Ponies or braids?”
“Wonder Pets or Jack’s Big Music Show?”
“Do you want this shampoo or this one?”
All day long I ask C questions; asking her to choose between multiple options. I’m not crazy, I don’t give her open ended options, she is two after all, I wouldn’t want her to think she’s completely in control. I do however want her to be able to make choices, and I firmly believe that decision making is a skill that has to be honed.
Each time that C spends a minute or two pondering the merits of pink pajamas versus purple ones with butterflies and successfully chooses one, I give myself a mental pat on the back. Maybe when she’s older she won’t be one of those people paralyzed by restaurant menu options. When she carefully examines her shampoo bottles and points out the one she wants me to use, I hope that in the future she won’t be phased by the little obstacles that life throws our way.
Perhaps because I helped her learn to make small, inconsequential decisions she’ll be able to make more important ones without torturing herself about the roads not taken. If it works then it’s well worth the time spent hemming and haaing in front of her closet or in front of the fridge. Even if right now those lost minutes sometimes make me want to scream.