parent opinion

6 things I know to be true if you have an indecisive child.

SmarTrike
Thanks to our brand partner, SmarTrike

I’m not an indecisive person.           

I know what I like and I know what I want. You can likely tell from one glance at my Instagram, which is heavily documenting my love for organisation in our home.

Plus, I work in law, where I'm making decisions all day long. I think you've got the full picture now. 

In my experience babies and their decision-making is always on rotation. They need your love and undivided attention. And they generally want one of four things – a cuddle, a feed, a nap or a nappy change. Or a unique combination of all 4, and they need you to figure out the secret combination in a matter of seconds. 

Or they'll throw in a wildcard, like not wanting to leave the park, and you're still dealing with one (or all four) of the above. 

Then your baby turns one, is promoted to toddlerhood, and everything changes again. All of a sudden your baby develops from wanting a handful of things to wanting 87 of 5 million things, all at the same time.

The training in this department when they were smaller just wasn't enough. This is a truly steep incline. 

They are discovering more of the world with many 'firsts', and they want a piece of all of it – or maybe a piece of none of it. 

They haven’t decided.

I have a baby and a toddler. Anna is 10 months and Olivia is 3 years. Their indecisiveness keeps our world... entertaining. And with no two days the same.

ADVERTISEMENT

Parents will see where I'm going with this. The things we know to be true if you have an indecisive child.

Let me count the ways.

1. Solidarity will lift you up.

Solidarity. That look from another parent, grandparent, aunty or uncle that tells you they see you and your indecisive baby or toddler, and they get it. 

They don’t think you’re trying to ask the world of your child by simply suggesting that they get in, or stay in, the stroller or the trike. They’ve been in your situation. 

A single eyeball exchange with a stranger who “gets it” is sometimes all you need to breathe and continue your negotiations with your indecisive child in the hope that you will leave the playground soon. Hopefully before the sun sets.

2. An indecisive child spends more time out of their stroller than in it.

We live in the inner city of Sydney surrounded by traffic and mostly commute from A to B by foot, rather than car. 

What does this mean for our family? We spend a lot of time pushing the kids around on wheels. And I have spent a lot of time pushing an empty stroller with the said indecisive child on my hip, on my back, wrapped around my leg. 

I will never forget as a new Mum setting off on a lovely walk with Olivia giggling and singing in the stroller and walking and walking and walking. The step counter on my watch had hit 5 figures. 

The sun was out. The endorphins were flowing. We stopped for a play in the park. And then the fun stopped.  

Olivia was cold. Oh no, she was hot. She wanted some water. No, she wanted milk. She wanted to stand. No, she wanted to be held. 

One thing was certain for the child who always changes her mind: she was not getting back in the stroller. I pushed the stroller all the way home, uphill, with Olivia on my hip. We must have walked for an hour. 

Again, the look of solidarity from others kept me walking. Then there were the looks from others querying why I wasn’t putting her in the stroller. Okay, you try then. 

3. No more stroller life. A SmarTrike will stop your indecisive child in their tracks

Olivia had a traditional stroller as a baby and into toddlerhood. Refer back to truth number 2 above there to see just how successful that turned out.

Last month, I discovered the SmarTrike STR7 J Folding Tricycle for Anna and I’m convinced I won’t ever be pushing it empty with Anna on my battered hip again.

Image: Supplied. 

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s super fun for her – Anna’s eyes light up when she sees it and its obvious she is enjoying the sense of independence and control she has sitting up in the trike.

Apart from the fun factor, this folding tricycle is a sensible buy for parents since the SmarTrike STR7 grows with your child from 6 months until they're 36 months. This SmarTrike has 7 stages to ensure the product’s longevity. I was quite impressed that it was a 7-in-1, in that it can convert to what works for Anna at each stage. 

The pedals are just one of the modifications to grow with your child; the high-back seat reclines for nap times, plus it converts from a baby trike into a training tricycle for 18-month-old toddlers and a tricycle for when she's around 2 years. So good.

Image: Supplied. 

ADVERTISEMENT

You can tell she is itching to be big enough for us to switch out the footrest for the pedals so she can really drive it when her legs are long enough. I’m a nerd when it comes to childhood learning and development and I love that SmarTrike encourages Anna’s sense of learning, engagement and adventure instead of sitting fairly idly in a traditional stroller.

Right now at her age and stage, she's enjoying the exciting ride seated upright, with the extendable canopy. She's strapped in with the 5-point harness, safety bar and got those little legs on the baby footrest. When she hits around 12 months is when we'll remove the baby footrest, and unfold the toddler footrest. This will get Anna sitting more upright while resting her feet in a downward position.

When she develops more skills too and grows around the 18 month mark, we can remove the canopy and watch her build her balance, curiosity and confidence on her rides with a wide-eyed view. I'm anticipating her wiggling in excitement when we get to do this.

There are other models in the SmarTrike range, in several price points and a variety of colours, so in case your picky baby/toddler doesn't like red, there's something for everyone!

(Oh and side note, it packs down beautifully for the car).

Image: Supplied. 

4. An indecisive child is most indecisive when it's bedtime. Or when leaving the playground. Or when it comes to food. They can’t be sure.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bedtime. When an indecisive child hits their peak. 

Last night, Olivia put on 6 pairs of pyjamas. At once. I kid you not. I would have just let it go through to the keeper. Pick your battles, right? But I wouldn’t have been able to sleep knowing she had that many waistbands around her little waist. 

Floral shortie pyjamas, then a purple tracksuit, a yellow short and top set, a hibiscus satin number, some sort of giraffe, animal set. Then a terry towelling onesie. Because her sister was wearing a onesie and Olivia wanted them to be matching. 

Oh, and she refused to wear her sleepsuit. 

“That’s silly Chickenhead (a reference to me, I know how endearing), I’ll be hot.”

Okay Olivia, you know best.

Then there are the foods they loved on Friday, but hate on Tuesday, and you can't figure out what changed in between then. You question whether you made it differently, and they've picked up this slight nuance in how you chopped or boiled it differently? Then assure yourself it's just another one of their indecisive curveballs here to keep you guessing (every. mealtime).

ADVERTISEMENT

Then there’s the playground. Letting the girls know that it’s time to leave the playground will undoubtedly be met with a raft of clever but now highly predictable delay tactics from Olivia, with Anna crying in the background.

Questions can include, but aren't limited to:

  • “I’ll only go and look for a purple and pink coloured leaf. I’ll come straight back when I find one.”

  • “I’ll just go on the big girl swing. No, I’ll just go on the baby swing. No, I’ll go on both swings.”

  • “How about I go and get in the boat and then I’ll come back to you.”

  • “I’ll just be three more minutes. No Mummy, actually I want two more minutes” (Not yet understanding that 3 minutes is more time than 2 minutes – I’m not about to clarify that one for her)

  • “Mummy is cauliflower a flower?” Unusual questions are Olivia’s most effective delay tactic. I’m always proud of her inquisitiveness and embark on a ten minute explanation before realising the score just hit Olivia and Anna - 1, Mummy - 0 as we still stand in the playground, no closer to getting a move on home.

5. You’ll be noticed using a SmarTrike at the park but not because your indecisive child won’t get in it.

Ever been the victim of onlookers while you try to put your stiff as a board kid into the stroller? I'm imaging a sea of hands.

Only to leave the playground, head down, child strewn somehow across your body, belongings everywhere and the useless stroller turning and flipping about supported only by your one spare finger.  

You’ll be noticed when using a SmarTrike at the park or playground like I was, but not for the usual mortifying, head-down reasons associated with traditional prams. 

It’s bright and overtime your child can learn to steer it and pedal. The only decisions your indecisive child will need to concern themselves with is whether to control the to pedal fast or slow. Or steer right or left. Or be really indecisive and just spin themselves in circles, like Olivia probably would.

6. Your indecisive child(ren) will stir up every emotion possible

Your indecisive child (or children) will test your patience, make you question everything you thought you knew about this parenting gig, and make you late despite the best plans. 

But amongst the chaos and challenges, you will laugh. You will laugh so hard, you will either cry or wet yourself. Or both in the spirit of indecisiveness. 

What does the trick for your indecisive kids? 

Check out thSmarTrike STR range to find a trike they'll want to hop in.

Feature Image: Supplied

SmarTrike
Smart-Trike™ is the world leader in the tricycle field and provides smart innovative solutions to all cycling stages : babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. The first SmarTrike launched over a decade ago and was no less than a revolution: An all-in-one trike that grows with parent and child.

Today, we continue to create innovative products that deliver a superior user experience for growing families.

Find us on smartrike.com.au or at our retailers, Baby Bunting, Mr Toys and ToyMate