I am learning a very important lesson of motherhood. Go at your child’s pace. (This may be like second nature to some of you seasoned moms but to me, a task-oriented perfectionist, it has not been an easy lesson to learn.) I have noticed how high my frustration levels run when I try to go through the day at my prefered pace and expect my almost-3-year-old to keep up. I forget that his world is full of distractions and curiosity to look at, touch, talk about, and explore pretty much everything he comes into contact with throughout his day. He does not feel rushed to find his shoes and put them on to leave the house but would first like to play a short game of hide-and-seek or go through his toy bin looking for the perfect toy to take for the car ride. Washing his hands entails making a sink full of bubbles – because how boring would it be to simply wash your hand? Reading a 30-second book may take 5 minutes and some pages will have to be read again and again. In my check-list of tasks I so easily forget that my son does not feel that same sense of urgency and his transitions from one activity to the next may take an extra few minutes. His imagination, creativity, and love for silliness is often squashed in my fast-paced routine.
Today we were walking out the door to go grocery shopping when my son asked for a band-aid (he was not hurt, just wanted a band-aid). We were already running behind schedule but I pushed aside my urge to say no and got down the box of superhero band-aids from the closet. As he searched through the band-aids he decided that he needed to give one to every person he could think and soon his pockets were full of band-aids. He was so happy. It made his day. It was only band-aids and a couple of extra minutes in our day. But it was so worth it . . . a pocket full of superhero band-aids.
Of course we cannot say yes to every adventure our kids get side-tracked to and there are times when have to hurry and keep a strict schedule but there is so much joy and blessings for both our kids and for us to sometimes allow a little “wiggle” room in our schedule and routine to move at our child’s pace.