Today we were in art class. What made it special? Relating to Tatum. Most of the kids in the class are accompanied by their moms, and they also are daycare children. There is a certain vibe with these moms, and I’m not judging. NOT AT ALL…I was there. However, I can attest to the day in day out…EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the day.
But I thought about what if…
What if I wasn’t with her when she was just wanting to be silly in shades?
Or…when we wanted to try out her new bike. Of course she can’t reach the pedals, so who would push her? Sometimes, we all need a little push, right? Then it is all just like riding a bike. No problem!
Who would play in the sandbox with her? Well, in our house, it is not just any sand. It’s Pink. It’s Magnetic. It’s cleanup-able in no time flat. Love that!
Who would make her coconut pancakes on her Thomas plate?
More importantly, who would be there to talk her through her moments? We have to “practice” kind behavior all day long. If I had her for 2 hours after I picked her up, I would have missed out on every learning opportunity through the day, but moreover, I WOULD NOT HAVE THE RELATIONSHIP EARNED to have her trust me and listen. Nor, probably, would I be as tough. Tough love sometimes has to occur and it is easy to show that when I nurture her with warmth the rest of the time.
So, we practice. We practice not “running away!” in the parking lot when I leave her hand. We practice showing compassion and kindness to others when it is appropriate. We practice giving appreciation to those who do kind things for us. We practice not whining a request, but asking like a “big girl.” We practice sitting still and listening when someone is speaking. We don’t punish if it doesn’t happen, we re-do, redirect, try again, and celebrate the success.
Now…that is what I call a PAYOFF!
Thank you God for this opportunity.