A preschooler has a different view of the world. It is fresh, new, exciting, and frustrating every single minute of the day. But their zest for life – their sponge-like ability to take it all in and “go with the flow” is amazing and something we should all try and do from time to time. As I watch my “baby” (who isn’t a baby anymore) learn something new every day, explore life, and delight in the simply things, I sometimes think I might be learning more from him than he is from me.
I learned a few things from my “baby” this week.
1 – Take time to sit and watch your favorite show with someone you love. – My son loves Toy Story 3. He thinks it’s the greatest show right now. Now I have been through this with two other children. I know every line from Monsters, Inc. and every minute of The Little Mermaid. Now, thanks to my son, Toy Story 3 no longer makes me cry at the end because I’ve seen it so many times (ok, maybe sometimes I still well up a little). But as we watched it for the 3rd time this week, he comes across the room, where I’m sitting and working at my computer, takes my hand and asks me to come and watch it with him. If I say “Just a minute bud” he crumbles to the floor, crying and sobbing “no.” “Come watch it with me mama,” he says. I leave my blinking cursor and head to the couch to snuggle and watch Buzz woo Jessie in Spanish and chuckle as my son watches in awe as all the toys go into the trash compactor. But what I learn from him is that sometimes, in the craziness of our busy lives, we need to take a minute and snuggle with someone we love and watch our favorite show and leave work and the dishes and laundry behind. It will be there when the movie is over. Taking advantage of some time to snuggle is more important than we remember sometimes.
2- Roar as loud as you can, race your cars as fast as you can, and have fun. – My son enjoys his dinosaur roar. He thinks he is very convincing. And when racing cars, zooming as loud as possible is also a necessity. I watch him play with his new “talking dino” (aka Switch and Go Dino – T-Rex) and his new Diego Jeep and helicopter and love the sound effects that go along with his play. The dino talks to Diego, he changes into a car and zooms along with the Jeep and then needs a tow from the helicopter. He never stops roaring and screeching and “bamming” into the each other. He gives it his all. As I watch him I think of how important it is to give something everything we have. Giving it our “all” can be difficult sometimes, especially when we are spread so thin between work, schooling, family, and extracurricular activities. I feel that sometimes all I do is multi-task. But taking the time to give one task everything is something that I need to do once in a while. Even if that one task is playing with my kids. Sometimes, I need to stop multi-tasking and concentrate on one thing and “roar” as loud as I can to get through it and do it to the best of my ability. I might just find that I enjoy myself a little more.
3- Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel. – My son is NOT afraid to tell me how he feels about something. “I’m mad at you” echoes through my house daily. “I’m going to run away” he said to me today. Well, who hasn’t felt like running away before. Though I get frustrated with his harsh words; it made me think that these are feelings that we all have from time to time but we rarely voice him. Obviously, as an adult, there is a time and a place and we don’t have the luxury of being a preschooler the “doesn’t know any better.” But, now and again, it doesn’t hurt to tell someone how you really feel. If you are upset with something your spouse has done, maybe telling him or her is better than just ignoring it. My son tells me he is mad and then I address what he is mad about. I validate his feelings. Tell him it’s ok to be mad and then tell him why things are the way they are. He tells me he loves me and moves on to the next thing. “You’re the best mom,” makes my heart skip a beat. “Mama, I love you” as he runs off to play – what a great feeling. I think that watching him learn to state his feelings, talk about them, and then overcome and move on is a growing experience for both of us. As adults, I think we hide our feelings more and more. Maybe having a little preschooler truth in our relationships with regard to our feelings couldn’t hurt.
My son is amazing! Watching him grow and learn each day is a blessing. I love that I have the opportunity to watch him each day and learn from him just as he learns from me. Don’t get me wrong, I learn from my older kids too. But there is something about the honesty and openness of a preschooler than can have you second guessing how you handle things and feeling that you are learning something from them just as they are learning from you.
What do you feel you learn from your preschooler?