If I were smart, I’d slow down a little, leave that laundry to just sit there and let my son teach me about life for a day. If I did, I might learn…
Life isn’t a race. If you’ve ever spent much time with a toddler, you know that they have a tendency to do things on their own time schedule. Buddy doesn’t worry about the clock…when he needs or wants something, it’s time to do it. If I were paying attention, I’d be listening to my body and my heart more and following their schedule rather than rushing around trying to accomplish more than can be done in the time I have – just because I’m worried about what people might think of me and how they might label me.
Eat when you’re hungry. Also, don’t eat when you’re not hungry! Buddy is in great shape, right in the middle of the growth chart. I’m constantly worried if he’s eating enough. He is, clearly. His eating habits aren’t tied to emotions or anything other than his body’s needs. He eats until he’s full and then walks away. He doesn’t reflect on the rough day he had and thrown down one more cookie. He eats to fuel his body, that’s it.
|Buddy's "Mmmmm" face while savoring breakfast!|
Enjoy the life you’re in. Nearly every bite of food Buddy eats is followed by “Mmmm…” Buddy isn’t in a rush to stuff that large McDonald’s fry down his gullet. Nope, he eats one little fry at a time, savoring each bite. He does the same with nearly everything he eats – taking his time to eat and savor each bite. He tells us “Thank you” incessantly. He appreciates the world around him. How much better would our lives be if we adopted the same attitude of appreciation and savoring?
You communicate all the time. Buddy doesn’t talk all that much right now, but you almost always know how he’s feeling! He doesn’t need words to tell you he’s feeling happy, or frustrated, or tired. He doesn’t need words to say he’d like another piece of toast, a pointing finger aimed at the toast and a smile back at you when you ask if he’d like more toast is really enough. Facial expressions, gestures, your posture and so much more we all do conveys how your day is going to the world. What messages do we send without even realizing it?
|Communicating that I need to open the freezer!|
Don’t give up and don’t expect to get it right the first time! Don’t worry about asking for help. Being little means that you’re constantly trying new things. Some things are accomplished easily while others take lots of practice or many attempts, and failures, before success. Buddy just keeps trying! And if he isn’t big enough to do something on his own yet, he asks for help. He doesn’t judge himself incapable if he can’t do something right the first time. He doesn’t say he’s “less” because he needed help to accomplish his goal. How different would our adult lives be if we looked at ourselves this same way? How different would we feel if we believed to our core that sometimes we just need help and that it’s natural and OK?
Love your body just the way it is! Buddy has no modesty; he never hesitates to walk around in the nude. And he loves his body – he rubs his belly in appreciation not disdain because it isn’t smaller. And I’m not saying that we all need to be nudists or walk around naked. But we all should quit worrying about what we look like naked and accept that the shape you’re in is just perfect! I don’t say that to imply that we adults shouldn’t strive to have a healthy body. But, if we’d spend more time appreciating everything our body can do and less time worrying how people judge us because of our physical appearance, we might actually love our physical selves more!
|This little body fits Buddy just right!|
Dance when the mood strikes you! So what if you’re in the middle of Wal-Mart, if there’s some great tunes pumping out of the automotive section just go ahead and dance! Who cares if people around you don’t get it! How much better would our lives be if we just all danced when we felt like it, without worrying if you look ridiculous? WAY better!
It’s all about the tone in your voice. When DH and I are cross with each other, Buddy can tell. He doesn’t need to understand what we’re talking about – it’s all in the tone of our voices. And when the tone you’re using is projected right back to you in babblese (toddler language) it can be startling. Sometimes we need to check ourselves and what we’re projecting - and adjust our tone!
If you hurt someone, apologize. Because Buddy’s still figuring out how the world works, he often (always) does things without thinking about the repercussions. If he whacks me on the head with his squirt gun and I instantly say “Ow!” he immediately plies me with smooches. It’s his way of saying “sorry” and he does it immediately. How much different would the world be if we lovingly apologized as soon as we realized we had hurt someone instead of getting all defensive and justifying our actions?
Laugh! If it’s funny, laugh! Who cares if you’re the only one laughing? Who cares if it isn’t even funny? Just laugh. It feels sooooo good to laugh!
Don’t worry about what people think of you. While it’s the last concept I’m sharing today, so much of what I have to learn from Buddy hinges on this. How many things would we do differently if we never worried what other people think. And why do we worry what other people think so much? Maybe if we would all do what we know is right, instead of silently standing in the crowd worried what others will think if we speak out, the world would be a better place. Maybe other people would step out and speak up, too! Think like a toddler and just be you! If you see a characteristic that you like in someone else, copy it – it’s OK! Just be genuine!