I’m not a fan of articles with titles like “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Pre-School.” Lessons like sharing your toys and not eating paste are important; but there are an awful lot of things I learned later on, like how to drive, or how to operate a child-proof cap on a prescription bottle, that are integral to my adult life.
Still, as much as I am skeptical about the wisdom of my two- and four-year old sons – children who lick themselves in the mirror are not prepared for life on the outside (are mine the only ones that do this? Seriously, it’s weird) – I find that they do teach me some pretty important stuff, such as:
1. If you feel good, you look good: My four year-old regularly accessorizes his pajamas with rain boots, a cowboy hat, and his super-hero cape, looks in the mirror and says “I look FANTASTIC,” and heads out the door. And you know what? He does look fantastic.
2. Any time can be quality time: When asked if he needed help in the bathroom, my four-year old said to his father, “yes please Daddy, because I don’t get to spend enough time pooping with you.” On the other hand:
3. Everybody needs a little time away: My two-year old has taken to putting his hand up and saying sternly “Go away Mommy, don’t bodder me,” when he’s – you know. Do I write about poop too much? I have to admit, it will happen again.
4. Sweetness gets you everywhere: Both children regularly comment on what a good job I do cleaning the house (their judgment is clearly marginal) on arriving home from day care. Even if I’ve been grumbling all day about my family’s untidy habits, hearing “Mommy, you cleaned this all by yourself??” makes me smile.
5. Remember to be thoughtful: When I described the vivid shade of green that my two-year old’s poop (see?) had been that morning, my four-year old chided me, saying “Mommy, it would have been nice if you took a picture so the rest of us could have seen it.”
What lessons are your kids teaching you this week?