By: Davida Grant
Has a friend or acquaintance ever said something to you about child-rearing that made you say, “Wow, I never thought of it that way?” That happened to me this morning.
My bestie and I were catching up and he shared that his 9-year old badgers him everyday for a cellphone. We chatted about that and how difficult it is to be patient with our kids, especially when they want us to see things their way. I shared that this “patience” thing is more challenging than I could have ever imagined, and often sends me in a tailspin. Baby girl will call my name a thousand times to tell me the same thing over and over again. After about the 20th time, I’ve had it and I can sometimes be a bit snippy with her. Case in point, on our way to school this morning, Simone pointed out every single pumpkin in sight. Now, being the Fall season and all, every few houses had a pumpkin on the stoop. Every 2 seconds, Simone alerted me to the fact that she saw another pumpkin, to which I had to offer some type of response immediately or she’d call my name incessantly.
I shared this with my bestie and he said, “why don’t you just join in. Pick out the pumpkins you see. It could be fun and even more you’re no longer an outsider to her world, but a participant.” This really struck a chord in me. Yes I participate in many Simone-initiated activities, but never with the view of being “a part of her world.” It’s more like, I’ll join in if I feel like it or if it the activity seems fun. And if not, I simply sit back and watch her have fun in “her world.” Today’s conversation highlighted that I have yet to fully grasp the notion that my day-to-day existence is no longer about me. It’s really all about my kids. I have to get better at seeing the world through their eyes, and making sure that I’m an active and consistent participant in “their world.”
I’m sort of excited to see if this new found perspective materially improves my patience. If I consistently participate in “Simone’s world,” won’t our interaction diffuse the rising irritation and impatience I feel when she peppers me with questions or repeatedly tries to get my attention? I suspect the answer is a resounding yes. We’ll see.