Wednesday by Leah: Everyday Adventures

One of my favorite things about having a kidlet is getting to turnmundane errands and outings into grand adventures. Yes, it takeslonger to get stuff done, but it’s also a lot more fun, and by slowingdown and stopping to smell the roses, BabyRoX gets a better chance tolearn about our wacky and wonderful world.

Yesterday we went to the grocery store. I had about 15 items on mylist. Normally, it would take me 10 minutes to get those items andcheck out. But we were having a sensory and linguistic adventure! Soit took around 45 minutes. We felt the drops of moisture on the celerystalks. We felt the smoothness of the butternut squash and theroughness of the pumpkin stem. We shivered in the dairy aisle andwarmed up by the hot bar. We tasted the pears on the sample tray. Italked about each item, the colors and names and textures. BabyRoXchattered back, pointing at things and exploring each item I handedhim.

I’m not immune to the parental guilt/pressure to provide my child withthe perfect balance of stimulation, education, free play, and chilltime. Does he have the “right” toys to encourage creativity anddevelopment? Does he have enough social interaction with peers andother adults? Are Mark and I playing the “right” games with him?

But then I step back and watch how fascinated BabyRoX is with clappinghis hands, catching bubbles, touching a pumpkin. I don’t need to gethim any fancy toys or sign him up for special classes. He is 11 months
old and everything around him is new and exciting. I just need to slowdown and give him the opportunity to take it all in. To climb up anddown the stairs 5 times. To play with his food.

I’m a pretty high energy, fast-paced person and I have a really calm,mellow child who likes to study things and people intently. Almost daily, I have to remind myself to slow down, to follow his lead, tosit for a moment and take in the world, to listen and observe.

He’s a great little teacher, and I love our everyday adventures. Todaywe are going to play with leaves and rocks. And hopefully not swallowany. Well, at least not any rocks. I think leaves will digest a bitbetter.

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