It’s lovely when you look back and realise just how much your children have grown into people. In the end, the whole point of parenthood is to grow them into responsible adults, right? As part of that, there are several basic adult skills that are necessary to demonstrate to your children. The unexpected part? Watching them successfully use it… on you.
Diplomacy. A useful skill. Except when it’s used to negotiate dessert. Hard to argue with logic, yet argue I must. By argue I mean put my foot down anyway, and silently tell myself to make sure the fine print is clear. I am learning to be more concise.
Attitude. It’s important to learn that we have the ability to change our attitudes even when we have no control over situations. However, I just gotta say, watching Biggest fix his attitude, and promptly confront me about my own… Awkward. The other day he threw out his attitude. He literally pulled it out of his proverbial pocket and chucked it on the walk to school. And forgot about it entirely. I am learning to let go with immediacy.
Positive Thinking. While I have made considerable strides in my own positive thinking, it’s lovely to see the unexpected ways Biggest and Littlest put these skills to use. Like, when I say “We’ll see”… Biggest excitedly turns to Littlest and says “THAT MEANS YES, I THINK!”… I must attest to the difficulties in denying the playing of Zombies with that kind of attitude. I am learning to be more decisive in my answers. (Which also means I’m learning to actually choose No as an acceptable answer.)
Patience. Littlest is a foodie. He lives for food. In fact, given his short stature, I wouldn’t be even slightly surprised to find that he’s actually descended from a Hobbit. In his quest for more snacks, he consistently waits it out. I say “not yet…” and he’ll go back to his Lego, and with EQUAL enthusiasm 5 minutes later, delightedly ask if it’s snack time yet. And once it’s actually snack time, he wiggles his whole little body and claps in delight as he runs to the table. I am learning to let my patience stay full so my delight matches the wait.
Problem Solving. Both boys think outside the box when it comes to solving problems. Biggest has thoughtful, well considered solutions to his problems. Littlest has clever, unexpected solutions to his problems. For instance, Biggest will suggest sharing something for 5 minutes before trading. Responsible right? Another example: Littlest wants a snack for another time, so he goes straight to the lunch cupboard, pulls out a snack, and hides it in his closet for later when he’s actually hungry. Gotta admit, it’s a unique solution. I’m learning to consider all options.
You know what else I’m learning? How to keep my poker face on. The above lessons are absolutely true, and these kids floor me sometimes. Other times, like yesterday, I have to remember to keep my face straight while I’m dissolving into mental giggles. Both Biggest and Littlest were fighting over the Lego (They were fighting over who got to sit on the one foot patch of carpet that was next to twelve others exactly like it.) I had enough and told them it was time to clean up the lego and play quietly in their rooms until they could play nicely together again. Well.
Biggest said that he refused. I said that there wasn’t a refusal option. He said that he definitely wouldn’t. I said it was clean up or naptime. He said he was going for a nap but he was going to stomp the whole way. I said no he wasn’t. He looked me square in the face, and slammed his foot on the floor. I… footballed him. He hasn’t been footballed for a long time. Actually, it was more like he was a giant plank of wood. Either way, he was not prepared for me unceremoniously dumping him over my shoulder and hauling him off to bed. The look on his face was priceless, and it took all my concentration to not laugh out loud.
Still the mom.
Littlest was also unceremoniously footballed too, since he decided that despite his brother failing miserably at succeeding in his efforts to go to his room rudely, he was going to try too.
Still the mom.
Ah… the power of observation.