'No, I Can Do It!' Sweet & Silly Ways Kids Assert Their Independence

Independence: it’s what all parents want for our kids eventually, and it’s what all kids start to demand at toddlerhood. Once they start walking they think, “What do I need these bozos for? I can do anything! You, grownup! Bring me my blue sippy cup and my Moo Cow doll and the keys to the car, please.” It’s a bittersweet time, for sure. On the one hand, there’s the anxiety that comes with watching your baby do things on their own for the first time, but on the other hand, it’s pretty amazing seeing them start to grow up.

Here are our eight favorite times that kids say "No, I can do it!" as they start to take on the world by themselves:

Doing their own hair

You've spent many moons brushing and braiding, spritzing and combing your kids’ sweet little locks, but those days are over. Now, they want to do their own 'dos, and that means they want the hairbrush, they want the elastic bands, and they want all your hair sprays and gels. You haven't really seen style till your kids do their hair for the first time -- it might be large, and it will probably be crunchy, but it will definitely be photo-worthy.

Going potty

It’s a little nerve-wracking when your child insists they can go to the bathroom “by myself” for the first time. But the day will come when they will tug their Pull-Ups® training pants down, do the deed, wipe their butts, flush the toilet and get their Pull-Ups® and pants back in place -- without a single moment of help from you.  And you will be so elated, you’ll be throwing your child a party and giving high-fives to strangers.

Bathing themselves

No sooner have you changed into your “time to bathe the kids” clothes then your child decides they want to do it themselves. This is a time to take a deep breath, and find a comfortable corner of the bathroom to have a seat and watch the ridiculousness unfold. Will there be water everywhere? Yes. Will they use bar soap on their hair and shampoo on their bodies? For sure. Will they drink bath water? Almost definitely. And will it be a messy, bizarre, and hilarious adventure? You’d better believe it.

Brushing their teeth

You’d think that after watching you brush their teeth for them for all these months, they’d understand how it works, right? But there they are, with half a tube of toothpaste on their brush, trying to smoosh it around their tiny little teeth. It’s hard to get angry at a face full of toothpaste.

Dressing themselves

There are few things as hilarious as the first few times your children try to dress themselves: shirts go on backward and inside out, they hop around with both legs in one pant leg, and yes, they would like to go to the grocery store in a tutu and swim goggles. You have to love it -- or at least take photos to show at their wedding.


Yes, Mother, I will pour a gallon of milk into a bowl filled to the brim with dry oatmeal because that is how I breakfast and I will add chocolate chips to your pot roast and I will cook because I am 3 and I can do anything.

Feeding the pets

Your pet -- be it a goldfish, dog, or hamster -- will never eat as well as they will when your small child decides to feed them for the first time. There will be mounds of food spilling out all over place, and your pet will love their littlest human more than ever before.

Turning lights on and off

Nothing reminds you of the optimism and persistence of children than when they get upset at you for flipping on or off a light switch that they can't even reach. In some ways, it feels like you’re living in Crazy Town, population: you and small child. But this is also one of those small matters where you can let go, and instead of saying “You can’t” discover the joy of saying “Let’s find a way you can.”

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