Archive for the 'Stuff my kids taught me' Category

Life Lessons from a Green Pumpkin

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

GreenPumpkin

Two years ago to the day, we set out on our first pumpkin-hunt.  Thing 1 was two-and-a-half at that time and he was stoked to pick his own pumpkin.  After 20 minutes and hundreds of rejected pumpkins, he found his winner and straddled it triumphantly.

Proving perfection is truly in the eye of the beholder; his pumpkin-of-choice was a blotchy mix of green and yellow that was so soft and mushy that – as I picked it up for official inspection – the vine nearly ripped right out.

I started imaging what my better-half would say when we stepped off the hay-rack carrying a lumpy green bag of pumpkin seeds.  Which convinced me to talk some sense into the kid:

  • “it’s green!”
  • “it’s mushy!”
  • “it will blend in with our green bushes”
  • “it weighs more than you!”
  • “I love this pumpkin!” (a little reverse psychology)
  • “look at this ORANGE beauty over here!”

But he remained steadfast.  And then he out-did me:  “You told me I could choose…and I want this one.”

And so we got it.  And it turned out to be a huge hit.  Green pumpkins eventually turn orange (if you’re into that kind of thing).  But until it did, he loved having the only greenie on the block.  And ever since, it’s become his thing to pick a green pumpkin each year.  This year’s selection:

GreenPumpkin2

Lesson learned the hard way: kids have a lifetime of choices ahead of them. The hard part is letting them make a few of their own while the worst-case-scenario is still just a big, ugly, expensive, eyesore on your porch for a month.

Slow down

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Lesson 6: Slow down. (My legs are shorter than yours.)

Thing 1 has two speeds: warp and slow-mo (generally reserved for vegetables, bath-time, and bed-time). But he also holds the world-record for slowest walker. When we go for a walk, he stops every few yards to pick up a grasshopper, pick mom a flower or pick his nose. And I often find myself saying, “C’mon pal! We gotta go!”

But the thing is, most of the time we don’t. 9 times out of 10, there’s really no reason “We gotta go!” I once found myself saying this on the way to the park. This is the adult condition. We get into a groove — of going, of doing, of hurrying to the park and completely missing “the most-awesomest-grasshopper ever, Dad…”

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Sometimes it doesn’t hurt until somebody tells you it should

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Lesson 5

Have you ever seen a toddler do a face-plant? The first thing they do is scan everybody’s face. Most of the time, the reactions she sees (verbal and non-verbal) will guide the toddler’s response. If you gasp, cover your mouth and say, “Oh my! Come to mama…lemme kiss your booboo!” she’ll act as if she just lost a limb. But if you’re immediate reaction is to laugh and say, “BOOM! Down he goes! You’re OK champ! Get up and GO! GO! GO!”, she’ll… get up and GO! GO! GO!

This phenomenon is not limited to toddlers; I think it impacts us at every age. (more…)

If you’re looking for a miracle, look at your hands

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Lesson4

Have you looked at your hands lately?

Both of my kids were enthralled by their hands.  As infants, they would stare at their hands with absolute wonder.  I imagine they were just starting to sense that their hands belonged to them and they had some (limited) control over these amazing contraptions. (more…)

Dance with gusto

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Lesson 3

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Bragging is like wetting your pants

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Lesson2

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When judging beauty, be generous

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Lesson1: When judging beauty, be generous.

Thing 1 always brings his mom flowers.  He’s learned (the hard way) that flower gardens are off-limits.  So he picks ‘wildflowers’ instead.

For a while I tried to help him distinguish between weeds and true wildflowers.  A typical conversation went something like this:

Him: I’ma pick mommy some flowers…
Me: Good call, champ. But that’s a dandelion. It’s a weed.
Him: Looks like a flower to me.

BouquetHis ‘bouquets’ definitely aren’t FTD. But his mom loves them like crazy.

filed under Stuff my kids taught me