I had sent an SMS to one of my mentors when my daughter was born. He replied, “Now, you have grown up!” And over these three years, five months, and few days, I have realized how true those words are. No matter how many milestones I crossed in my life earlier: graduation, job, marriage, change of cities, being a mother has taught me more than any other education, job, degree, combined. Well, a lot of it is basically embracing different forms gooey muck on your hair and dress. But, there are many important life lessons you can learn from your toddler. Here are a few:
1. Be Yourself
My daughter is super comfortable and confident in her own skin. Whether she is in a stained top or wearing mismatched socks, when we decide to go out, she is always ready. Toss her some unhealthy snacks, and she is beaming with excitement.
2. Emotions are Welcome
Ever wonder why kids are loved and adored universally? Yes, their tiny size and weird ways help, but don’t we all love how transparent they are? Feeling happy, shout “Hurray.” Not so happy, break down on mumma’s shoulders, or lie flat on the supermarket floor. Anything that helps take the load off your heart. Just don’t bottle it up within!
3. Little Things Matter
Every once in a while, after returning from work, I declare “I have something for you.” And those somethings are very, very tiny: A bright picture, a mint candy, or a cookie. But her eyes light up, and that little thing is enough to make the world seem a happier place! May be we all need to learn how to appreciate simpler things. Remember the bright declarations – “Look, mamma, I found the moon (again)!” or “AEROPLANNNNEEEE” When was the last time you looked around?
4. Talk to Yourself
..or sing to yourself, or dance all by yourself, like you give a damn. When we go on long drives, my daughter keeps herself busy by singing her favorite nursery rhymes, over and over and over (how many times did I write ‘over’, not enough) again. She simply does what she loves doing. Watching the same video a million times, or hearing the same story, or singing the same song. Every time there’s a little newness she discovers (maybe change one word and experiment how it sounds? ). It is indeed a beautiful process of self-discovery, while drudging along the routine of life!
5. Hugs Solve Everything
At times, she would cuddle up to me and ask, “Mumma, are you sad?” She might have just ruined my favorite lipstick. Or, painted all over my coffee table. But a hug, with the words “Are you OK, now? “, melts away all the anger, and frustration. My husband and I are learning this from her. Marriage counseling 101.
Sure, these tiny creatures have mood swings that are inversely proportional to their sizes, but their adorable, honest ways make you re-look at life. What did you learn from your child today?
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