Toddlers Shouldn't Have to Perform on Command Like Circus Animals

charlotte pigtails
My daughter in a rare hammy moment!
Let's just say Katherine Heigl's adorable 3-year-old daughter Naleigh wouldn't make it very far on Toddlers & Tiaras (thankfully!). The actress clearly expected her pig-tailed tot to ham it up for the audience when she brought her out on Jimmy Kimmel Live -- apparently the little girl is quite the performer at home.

Naleigh, however, wasn't feeling it. The ridiculously cute kid completely ignored her mommy's cues, and I don't blame her. Why do we expect toddlers to perform on command like circus dogs? I mean really, what's in it for them?

My daughter would have done exactly what Katherine Heigl's daughter did in the same situation. As a toddler, her standard response to requests such as "Say your ABC's for Grandma!" or "Show Mommy's friend how you sing the song about the wheels on the bus!" was stony silence and a withering glare.

The look on her face said it all: What am I, a clown? Do I amuse you?


Look, I know some kids are comfortable in the spotlight and don't have a problem being the center of attention. They won't just sing the song about the wheels on the bus at the drop of a hat, they'll add all the hand motions and throw in an encore.

Hey, that's awesome. If my kids were like that, I'd probably dress them like gypsies and get some tambourines and we'd travel the world with nothing but a hurdy gurdy and a monkey! And an open violin case where passersby could toss their spare change, of course.

Anyway, enough about that. Because my kids don't like to be put on the spot, I learned long ago to stop trying to get them to sit, beg, and roll over on command (so to speak). They shouldn't have to do something that makes them uncomfortable solely for the entertainment of others. How would you feel if your husband tried to get you to sing "Fireworks" in the middle of a dinner party? Come on, honey, everybody wants to hear you! Come on, I'll sing it with you!

Yeah ... no.

Is your toddler the type who willingly performs on command?

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