A few days ago we were at Superstore, and although I did take him to the mall to burn off some steam, I didn't anticipate staying at the store for an HOUR+ circling all of 3 aisles. Max found a lawnmower that he could not let go of. He pushed it around the toy aisles over and over again, back and forth, over and back. When he got tired of the lawnmower, he found a ball that he carried around in circles, then when he got tired of that, he seemed to have forgotten that he already played with the lawnmower because he went right for it again. Did i mention the cycle went on for over an hour? It was cute at first, but not so much when it was nearing nap time- we hadn't eaten yet - and we still had to commute home - all ingredients for a public meltdown! I can't tell you how many times I said, 'hurry up,' 'come on,' 'bye,' 'let's go,' and 'put it down!'
When Max's bedtime came and went, and i finally had time to diffuse (online no doubt), I came across this article on my facebook feed. Seriously, was the universe trying to tell me something or what?! Facepalm. I felt like a total jerk for getting annoyed and rushing him. This statement rang so true for me, 'I was a bully who pushed and pressured and hurried a small child who simply wanted to enjoy life.' Y'know, his slowness may have caused us to miss that bus and all our connections, totally inconvenienced...but in the grand scheme of things, are these issues really that important? My little baby was having fun; simple, independent entertainment and he just wanted me to be patient while he he had his moment! Only good things can come out of a child that is happy and enjoying themselves right?! Hindsight is 20/20.
^^ there! There! THERE! ^^
Days since then, i've made a conscious effort to let Max set the pace for our day. Sure I may plan where to go, but we don't have to follow the itinerary like it's set in stone. Sure, Max is SO SLOW because he's got little legs and so.easily.distracted, and my patience is constantly tested- but what's the rush? Not every itemized thing has to be done and checked off. That store will be there tomorrow..and the next day, and the next day. And you know what? Like the author, I too noticed small little things, changes, in Max that I never really paid attention to before because I was so distracted by our schedule. For example, when he's really gung-ho about an activity, his arms swing to and fro, but the right arm swings more and at a faster rate! When we're walking together (holding hands or not), Max takes moments to look up and check on me and smile. Regardless of all the cuteness I witnessed, what impacted me most was that I felt more joy...we were living, not just doing. And I got the sense he felt that way too.
'Pausing to delight in the simple joys of everyday life is the only way to truly live.'
We let him play until he started to leave the playground because he got bored haha...
^^ bye bye park! ^^