Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Learning From My Toddler (or Teaching Moments for Momma)

I'm a turn the other cheek kinda gal. And turn. And turn. And turn. But the Momma Bear in me does come out a-raging when the situation calls. This isn't one of those times but I am sure it's a teaching moment regardless (more for me than the kiddo).

Really. Excited. About. Paint.

Sadiecakes goes to school a few days a week - you know that. She adores it. We drive up the long ramp and every time she shouts *Woo Hoo! We're back!* I had my hesitations and crying fits about putting her in at all.  The fact that she now lists off her friends names as she goes to sleep instead of counting sheep melts my heart.

Outside playtime revamped to inside playtime

Sadie got her first Ouch Report yesterday. She and another child (whose name & gender are withheld, even from me) were playing play dough. Both had a dough and cookie cutters.  Ok, this is going to just get everyone confused - we will say *Clifford the Big Red Dog* wanted all of the play dough. Sadie wasn't exactly game for that. So Clifford tried to take it from her. Sadie firmly said *No, I'm playing with it* and continued making her sheep. Clifford got mad and grabbed her hand with the play dough in it and bit her. ((Here is teaching moment #1, ready??)) She got up from the table with her play dough and went to the teacher. No crying. No yelling. No biting back. Ok, maybe here is the moment - my Momma Bear alert would have gone off and I would have intervened to say the least. Sadie handled the whole thing like a pro, and after a talk with the teacher, the two resumed playing together. The bite did not break the skin; in fact, the only thing on her hands when I picked her up was pink marker and sand.

So we get in the car after collecting her numerous necessities that get hauled back and forth each and every time.  I try to be aloofly inquisitive.  She's 2, I don't know why I thought I had to be so cloak & dagger.  How was you day?  Did you paint?  Play with play dough?  How are your friends?  She answers each question as she skips across the parking lot and into the car. It's just like any other day. So I prod further. I'm asking if anything happened at school? Did she get any owies? Still zilch.

Now fast forward all the way to bed time. I've now been plotting for hours on exactly how to talk to her. She's been playing and reading and singing and dancing. Clearly a better use of time than what I was doing. So she all ready for bed. Teeth brushed. Jammies on. Book picked out. I tell her I want to talk to her for a minute. I want to make sure you're ok. I want to know what happened at school today. Miss Teacher told me you got hurt. She stares at me blankly.  Did someone bite you? Yes. (Break through!). Ok. Who? She then names all 11 other kids. (Damn) Now, let me be clear. I'm not interested in who it is, per se. I want to know that she is ok and that her friendship with *Clifford* is still as great as it was last week.

((Teaching moment #2, hold on to your hats!)) As soon as the incident was resolved - it was done. She was over it. It was a 30 second blip in an otherwise normal day. And I had festered and worried and fretted for hours.  Had it happened with a sibling or cousin, I too, would have been over it in the same 30 seconds.  Kids are going to be kids. They are crazy resilient.  It's our over thinking and fretting (OK. My over thinking. My fretting.) that gets things mixed up and turned about.

Waiting for me at the gate

This morning on the way up the driveway came a voice from the backseat *Woo Hoo! We're back!* My kid rocks.

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