slap a diaper on that...shopping cart
I love the imagination of children! No, seriously when did we decide it was a good idea to make babies grow up so fast? "oh your child is 2 and doesn't know the alphabet and how to count to 50? wow they must be slow." I walked into our living room the other day to find my two and a half year old with diapers, wipes and diaper cream (thankfully with the top still on) all over the floor and she was putting a diaper on her shopping cart, one on each wheel to be accurate. I cracked up!
But I immediately started to explain that shopping carts don't wear diapers, and then I stopped. Why would I do that? Was it because she needed to know that shopping carts don't go to the bathroom? Was it because she needed to be taught that diapers go on some things but not others? Was it simply because this is not the way of the world? Why would I tell a two year old that her play was wrong? It wasn't hurting anyone or anything. Gabriella is going to spend way more of her years being an adult who lives in a reality that imagination doesn't thrive in, so why would I take it away from her sooner than it needs to be?
This is a soapbox I feel I could stand on forever. After becoming a parent it was very easy to fall into the comparison of my baby to others, and making sure those 'milestones' were hit on time or ahead of time. Because heaven forbid she not be up to par with those other drooling babies. After watching her grow and develop and having another one (baby that is) I realized that (newsflash) all babies are different and develop at their own pace. What?!?!? I know, I know, it's a crazy new idea I'm trying out.
Gabriella sings and dances and helps clear the table, she makes her bed, she comforts her brother when he's crying, plays with her cousins, she makes pancakes and she talks...all. the. time....but just not always in English; and I can't tell you how many people, family, friends, strangers are constantly asking if we're concerned and if we've seen a doctor and my personal favorite: telling Gabriella she needs to use words (I grit my teeth every single time)...I feel so sad that she's already been put into a classification of being a "late-talker." We have become so concerned with making sure our kids fit in, that we have lost what is so fun about kids...that they're little!!!
The possibilities are endless for them. I watch her play and I am astounded by how much she enjoys playing, just playing. She learns constantly by watching, I don't have to make everything a "learning activity." She cooks in her little kitchen because she's watched me cook in our kitchen, I didn't need to show her how to stir a bowl of pancake batter, she knows how because she has watched, etc, etc.
I know that stay-at-home mamas can relate that the days can be long with little ones who are always on the move, but every single night (even the sleepless ones) I look at my two blessings and I think about how fast they will be grown up, how fast they're already growing up and I'm perfectly at peace with where they are in their development and I am imperfectly thankful for these long days that I am so blessed to be having with them. They will be gone soon...and then a shopping cart will just be a shopping cart...