Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lessons From a Two-Year Old

There was a book published several years ago titled, "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." It was a charming, humorous book, but the author was wrong, because everything you need to know in life can be learned from a two-year old.

What I learned from a two-year old is that it's okay to play until you drop from exhaustion. When was the last time you did that as an adult? The two favorite words of a two-year old are 'No" and "Mine." What would happen if grown-ups started saying "No" more often? Would we be as over-scheduled and over-obligated as we are now? And what about "Mine?" There are some adults who can use a little 'me' time without feeling guilty.If we don't take care of our own needs, we are certainly no good to anyone else.

These tiny creatures from another planet can be obstinate and willful and lovable, all at the same time. Sometimes you can't get near them, and other times they want to plant wet kisses on you and give you those little hugs that you cherish.

When a toddler is tired, what do they do? If they are like my grand-daughter, she will bring me her favorite blankie and her doll and sippy cup, and then crawl up in my lap. After a few squirms and kicks she settles down for a nap. What if grown-ups could take an afternoon break with our favorite thing, be it the best-selling novel we haven't had time to read, or pick up our knitting where we left off - wouldn't work be less stressful?

Everything is a joy and a new experience to a two-year old child. They are thrilled by the tiniest bug, chase after bubbles, and run to their heart's content. Tired is not in their vocabulary, not like adults, who wake up tired. And boredom? Have you ever seen a 'bored' two-year old? They are too busy exploring their environment to be bored. And, don't want to sleep alone? No problem. When you are two, Mommy and Daddy will make room for you. Get away with murder? It helps to be two.

No, I don't think you have to wait until Kindergarten. You can learn a lot just by observing a two-year old. Of course, not all toddlers are perfect. Some actually do throw temper tantrums, but then again, I've seen some adults throw temper tantrums, too! So maybe its not just a phase.

If we looked at life with the innocence of a child, every day would be full of joy and wonder. We would laugh more often and play until nap time and eat Cheetos for breakfast and take pride in all of our small accomplishments - these are lessons that grown-ups should embrace.

God Bless the little children.

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