“Let’s go!” “Get in the car.” “Get out of the car.” “Hurry up!” I could record these phrases and play them on an endless loop almost daily. I have a toddler whom I have affectionately nicknamed Molasses Man. When planning departure time, I would be remiss if I didn't add in at least ten minutes for him to get from the family room to his car seat, (a space of approximately 30 feet.) He is distracted by any and every little thing.
Over the past year I found myself biting my lip in frustration in attempts to get him where we need to be. Why can’t he move faster? Why doesn't he understand the urgency? Why is looking at an ant so important at 7:15 in the morning when I have a staff meeting at 7:45? Another phrase I frequent: “I know you don’t understand time, but we have to go. Now.”
This week, I got it. Three and a half years is not a long time to be on this earth. It is not long enough to accumulate a vast knowledge base or wide range of experiences. At 3 ½, so much is new and exciting – and none of it involves the clock.
I’m pretty sure I had this revelation two years ago, when my oldest was 3, but, if you are a parent of more than one child, you bury some things deep away in the parenting file of your brain.
But I am learning a valuable lesson, too. Maybe I should be taking more time to notice the little things. Maybe I don’t need to be in such a rush to get from point A to point B. Maybe there’s a lot I am missing out on.
So, when we are supposed to be going to the grocery store and we decide to look at the ducks…
or we are supposed to be going home and we want to check out a
cool fish fountain…
or we are supposed to be leaving to pick up your brother from camp and you want to see how high you can spray the hose…
I should give you those few minutes to experience and explore. And I should take a few minutes to enjoy it as well.