10 things my 3-year-old taught me this summer
Summer vacations always bring out an all-new, never-known-before side to kids. Some days are filled with frantic fire fighting and others are just an awe struck pause at what these little ones are capable of. The absence of a school routine and the luxury of designing their own days brings all sorts of surprises.
Here are some fun rules I observed this summer:
1. If you haven’t used your toothbrush as a tummy scrub, you’re under utilising its potential.
2. Lessons in Physics: All balls, when are thrown upwards towards the ceiling, bounce back. Except the play dough ball. And the second play dough ball. And the third one too.
3. If you can’t break into an incurable, contagious and uncontrollable giggles right in the middle of a crying spell, that’s just downright sad!
4. If you take less than five seconds to forget what you were fighting over with your friend and suddenly jump to making new plans with them, you’ll end up being friends with them for a long time. This doesn’t apply to parents though.
5. Let the older kids negotiate snacks, junk food, parties and what not. Just use that time to grab whatever spoils they’ve left unattended. Once they’ve negotiated, just demand your share and both ends shall be secured.
6. In times of parent trouble, head straight for the grandmother’s room, right under the quilt – stay there for as long as possible and you’re safe!
7. When bored, just shout ‘lizard’ or ‘spider’ and run screaming in whatever direction you want to take the kiddie train to follow. Improvise ahead.
8. Monsters do exist and it is up to you to take them down whenever, wherever and however.
9. No matter what the adults believe, the world under the dining table and the bed is REAL. Just make sure you have the invisible safe with you for all times when the usual becomes boring.
10. Most importantly, you need to perfect the art of faking a hurtful wail for times when all else fails.
I am not a fan of summer camps and structured activities during the holiday season. Holidays belong to the little ones as much as school days belong to us. It is much easier involving kids in our activities of the day rather than especially going out of the way to get these little ones enrolled in places like summer camps where they will be kept busy and entertained. Let them explore. Let them create. They find their own ways of entertainment.
Of course there are situations where this doesn’t apply and I respect that. However, I can assure you that there is some pleasure (and long term value) in involving the kids, in small ways, in everyday household chores. Besides helping them discover their interests, it also helps develop a bond between the parents and children, which goes a long way.
For times when the house crystal is at threat of being broken, there is always the option of the faithful outdoor world! Let them dig up the lawn, collect snails, water plants, chase monsters or create their own kingdom – mums are better off looking away lest they find out about the various new species of germs about to enter the house. Ignorance is real bliss here.
One important mum lesson I learnt is, no guilt for their boredom. In fact, it is perfectly alright to let them experience boredom here and there. It makes them creative. While they come up with their own new games, we just need to keep an eye on them – which we are wired too well to do anyways.
Kids are pretty good at busting boredom – theirs and ours. And what’s not to handle about a little mess; it’s just some soiled shoes, stinky and sweaty hugs anyway! Oh and let’s not forget the cobwebs from under the beds. That is just part of the everyday life of a mother and it won’t last very long so you know how the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em’, join ‘em.
The final day saver is good old caffeine. As long as mum’s supply of caffeine is intact, the summer cannot really go wrong.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.