Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life is a classroom and a playground

Caution! My children are learning and playing in daily routines

We are running around the grocery store…It is six degrees and we have not played outside in weeks. We are not pulling things off shelves, we are not screaming, we are not eating food out of containers. I know you came to the grocery store with your list and your podcast hoping to get in and get out and not have to wait on someone to get out of your way. I will not apologize for my child who is pushing his own cart through the grocery store. He is learning to watch out, he is learning to walk on the right side, he is learning that there are other people who should get to go first. I will not apologize for grocery shopping with three small kids in tow…we need food too!!!

We are loud…it is typically from excitement. Little things like cookies with icing AND sprinkles in Kroger, snow falling, mommy finding their favorite t-shirt that has been missing, a Spiderman balloon…well, Spiderman anything; getting hot chocolate, pancakes with chocolate chips, getting to decorate the discarded Amazon boxes with paint or our favorite song playing. I will not apologize for laughing or singing loudly. We are celebrating, we are happy, we are joyful and it is spilling out of us. I am not sorry that today in this minute we are happy because we won’t be in three minutes so don’t ask me to quiet their joyful sillies because I also won’t apologize for their screams when I carry them out of the store kicking me!

We are messy…not intentionally but sometimes by necessity. We are still learning to feed ourselves, we are still learning how to pick up without being asked. We are still practicing how to hold things and understanding Murphy’s Law which says that if a full glass of milk is on the table it will be spilt! We don’t understand organizing and putting things back because we will always play with them again.

We are enthusiastic…about everything! We are easily excited and easily angered. When daddy walks in the door it is the best part of our day and when someone marks a dot on our crayon masterpiece it is the worst part. We experience best and worst moments a hundred times a day. Our enthusiasm doesn’t pick sides it rears it’s head for the happy and the angry. I will not apologize for their emotions. They are learning how to express them, how to understand and name them. They are learning how to feel them. They will eventually learn to have self-control but not until they can experience the emotion because they will not teach them to ignore the emotion.

We are hungry…all the time. It is not because we are bored, it is not because we love banana bread and you just made some. We run around constantly, we are growing, we are learning about the world, about people, about emotions, about math. We are sponges that soak up everything in it’s path and that takes an immense amount of energy. I know it is not typical for your food to evaporate at such a rate and then be asked for more as soon as the dishes are done. We are hungry and though we can live without food every two hours we will not apologize for asking for more or eating what is given.

We are tired. We don’t get tired slowly. We don’t know when we will be tired. We are immediately tired. We go from one extreme to the other faster than you can blink. Remember we are growing, remember how we are learning, remember how we are loud and messy? We get tired and need sleep and we will not apologize for running around for twelve hours and then crying ourselves to sleep because we can’t articulate our thoughts enough at hour eleven to tell you we should start winding down.

We have opinions. We are learning who we are in a family of five, how we are different and how we are the same. We were created as individuals. We want to choose the song, the road we take home, the snack at the grocery store and the way our PB & J is cut. Yes, we are obstinate. Yes, we are not very flexible. Yes, we are confusing. But, we are learning who we are, what we like and why. We will not apologize for learning to explore and communicate and be confident in our differences.

We have lots of questions about everything. A child who asks over and over again for one-hundred things is confidant they are loved, is confidant someone cares and knows what it means to have their needs met. They don’t get everything they ask for so I will not apologize for saying “yes” when you hear their ridiculous request.

We are friendly…with everyone! I know you walked into this restaurant for a dinner and not a show. I know you didn’t want to hear a knock-knock joke or play twenty questions about your job that you just want to finish. We are learning what strangers are since we have never met one. I will not apologize because we are learning how to be polite and say thank-you and not point.

I know we get in the way and make things slower and louder, we also make things more fun!

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