It goes without saying, that as a parent of small children, a large portion of our time is spent guiding and teaching. What continues to surprise me are the lessons my children teach ME along the way.
Here are some words of wisdom from Miss 3, that I think we could all learn from:
I recently observed Miss 3 and her pal, Miss almost 3, engaged in fierce debate over whether to keep the "green bit" on their strawberries:
They screamed at each other for a while, agreed to disagree and then munched away on their strawberries (green bits on and off respectively), before joining hands and running off to their next adventure. No passive aggression. No bringing up past grievances. Just raw emotion and honesty.
On Self Esteem
Miss 3 regularly dances naked in front of a mirror, loving herself as she watches what her amazing body can do. She has no issues accepting compliments either. If I tell her she is beautiful or clever, she responds "yeah I am". What a shame we seem to lose that confidence in ourselves as we grow.
On Saying No
If Miss 3 doesn't feel like doing something, she has no qualms in telling me so. Whilst sometimes I find this frustrating (ah yeah, it actually would be great if you could wear clothes to a shop), most of the time I admire her ability to know her limits.
On Living in the Moment
Oh look a muddy puddle, let's jump in it! Miss 3 doesn't care if her pants get mud on them or if she (or anyone in a 2 metre radius) ends up soaking wet. She's always chasing the joy.
If she walks into a room and a song is playing, she will twirl until she falls in a heap, and then get up and twirl some more. Same goes for exploration. She doesn't care if we are already 20 minutes late – if she sees a bug on the way to the car then we are 40 minutes late.
My children teach me every day to slow down and enjoy the moments in between the hustle. I'm not advocating a naked grocery trip, but try embracing your inner child and jumping in the puddle. Chase the bubbles. Feed the ducks. Have a spontaneous dance party in the rain.
You'll probably be late, but you will arrive happy.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.