Here is my eldest, back in 2007 when he was 14 months old, messing with the cat food:
If we forgot to put the bowls up when the cats were done eating this boy could sense it from across the house. He would run full speed to get to them to plunge his had in them and dump them out as fast as he possibly could. It was an obsession. It was his first act of defiance and we were beside ourselves with worry, not knowing how best to handle it.
I had friends with older kids who told me their children had done the same thing and not to worry, that he'd lose interest. And logically, any person without kids could also deduce that it was indeed just temporary, that he wouldn't do it forever.
But. But when you are doing the whole parenting thing for the very first time you have no concept of time. You know logically it won't last forever but you also don't know if it is going to stop the next day or if it could be months. You also wonder if the way you are reacting to it is making it worse, prolonging it. "How do we get him to lose interest?" "Do we just let him do it so it isn't taboo?" "Should we put a gate on the kitchen so we don't have to deal with this?" And so on. The whole "issue" seems to last forever. You even talk about it with your mother. At the time, it is a Very Big Deal.
Enter the second child.
Here is my youngest at 13 months, messing with the cat food:
Sure, it is technically worse this time around since the cats eat soft food now. Stinky tuna, soft cat food. But it isn't a big deal. We think back to the first time around and realize what a small blip on the screen it all was. We can barely even remember it actually.
So this time around we (mostly) remember to put up the cat food bowls up. And vinegar spray cleaner works really well for the times we forget.
What a difference this perspective makes! Gosh, parenting is so much easier when you just relax. Who knew?!
What new perspective do you have thanks to experience or time?