At 19 months old, Little is the youngest member of our family. Every day he discovers new words, ideas, frustrations and skills. He learns from every single thing we do and say (scary, isn’t it?), and each day he’s a little less baby and a little more boy.
Recently I realized that he’s developed (at least) two skills that I haven’t. And I want them. I want to learn from him.
They’re not just skills, they’re words. (Which I like to think are my thing.) The first is “no”. Not only does he say no. He means it. So much so that it’s more like a three-syllable exclamation, “No-wa-ah!” It’s heartfelt, sincere and completely clear when he doesn’t want to do something. Of course, as his mom, it’s my job to make him do things he doesn’t want to (eat, sleep, wear pants). But I admire that he speaks his mind and makes an honest effort to set limits. I’m making a mental note of the times it actually works and I hope to apply his techniques to my life. I’m afraid the learning curve is pretty steep for me here, so that’s why I’m hoping, not promising.
The second word, which actually gives me physical and mental anguish to say, is “help”. Though I know he’s inching closer and closer to the do-it-all-by-myself phase, we’ve been working really hard with Little to ask for help when he’s frustrated rather than whining or screaming. It makes us all so much happier when he does…even if it is more like a military command than a humble request. And I have no doubt the wonderful people surrounding me—my family, friends and colleagues—would much prefer to be leaned on than whined at. They’ve all proven to be really good at it when I’ve had to test that theory due to family emergencies or crazy work schedules. Now I just need to work it into my daily routine.
Yep, I’m the mom. But I guess I do still have a thing or two to learn. And luckily I have little reminders of that every day.
I too can learn how to use those words Little is using! We all try to be the Super Mom and sometimes we can’t do it all…
You certainly seem to! You’re one of those Super moms I aspire to be…uh, I mean ask for help.
so true… and I think we can learn from their actions, too…. Like how they listen to their bodies and do what they need. Like when they fall asleep – whenever, wherever. Sometimes you just need to let it all go and REST! Granted I don’t think we need to re-learn the potty dance instead of just going to the bathroom… but you catch my drift 😉
What about just going potty all over the hall floor before bath time? Yeah, you’re probably right that I should limit following Little’s lead.
Big Bill says
Great post. Very universal. I continue to struggle with asking for help more than five minutes before I’m about to die or when I’m not at a womens clothing store. Blog on!
At least you go to women’s clothing stores. In my book, that’s what birthdays and Christmas are for.
Ha! In a stroke of genius last week to something I was dreading, I simply said “No.” It worked like a charm and I wondered why I hadn’t been doing more of this before. Guess it’s never too late to learn…
You’ll be my inspiration too, Vanessa. I love it!
So true! We can learn so much from our kids, and I love all the lessons on patience, determination, and loyalty my kids have shown me. Kids (even the little ones) have so much to say when we listen:)
It’s so true…I think you just inspired some more blog posts!
Now, if I could just put it into practice…
Love this post, Amy. It is so true of me, too. It is so hard for me to say “no” or “help.” That’s why I’m the pres. of the PTO, a blogger, a business owner, a forum leader on several sites… you get my drift. And I’ve always been like this. And “help”. Ugh. I get nervous calling babysitters! Asking my neighbor to water my plants is an agonizing headache.
You know, we must have used these words at 19 months, right? So what happened that made us lose them from our vocabulary?
Yay! I get to meet you on Thursday! Congrats on your new blog!
Thanks, Julie! Maybe at the Summit we can brainstorm creative ways to say “no”. Can’t wait to meet you in person!