On tippy toes

23 Jan

Saturday our 3yr old was in the kitchen helping daddy wash the dishes. In this sentences, “helping” should be understood to simply be swishing water around with a plastic bowl. But it was how Aidan was helping that caught my attention; he was on his tippy toes.

And it got me thinking. How much of a toddler’s day is spent on tippy toe? Reaching for things that are slightly out of grasp? Striving to reach things in a world that is not exactly formated to their size? The answer: a lot.

And that is not necessarily a bad thing, that the world that they inhabit is not 100% designed for them. Whether it be helping with the dishes, pressing the elevator button or getting that ice cream out of the freezer, it’s exactly these small daily challenges that create the type of tension that leads to growth, problem solving and ultimately pride in one’s accomplishments. I love hearing my 3rd old proudly proclaim, “I did it all by myself!” I love watching him assess a situation and working out ways to get what he wants. Even if it means finding him cleaning up spilt orange juice with my socks.

Now, imagine a world in which the adults approached obstacles with the same sort of “failure is not an option” approach.

For every industrious toddler knows that when you’ve completely run out of ideas, when past solutions don’t apply to the new context, when you’ve failed to reach your target…you do the only sensible thing left. You ask for help.

We could all benefit from remembering that.

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