photo by Lesley Mackin
My daughter picked up a wash cloth off the floor (thanks spittupy baby!) and started to wipe her hands on it. Just as I was about to remind her that “the floor is dirty and we don’t wipe our hands on washcloths from the floor” she said to herself, “You don’t wipe buttery fingers on your clothes. Butter will stain them.” She was quoting from a conversation we had yesterday.
Taking their first step, saying their first word and reading their first book are major milestones in a child’s life. But each day with little ones is filled with milestones.
They’re easy to miss. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me that my toddler ate all his breakfast instead of dumping it into his cup (like he did every day the past week.) I’m sure it took a lot of self-restraint. Wiping her fingers on a dirty washcloth meant that my daughter had learned not to wipe them on her clothes.
Teaching a child is a lot like teaching math, as Rachel Jankovic puts it in her hilarious and inspiring book Loving the Little Years. Just as you master the basic addition of saying “please” and not coloring on the walls, basic subtraction gets thrown into the mix. It can feel like they’re never getting it. There’s always a new attitude to adjust or new concept to conquer. But really they’re passing milestones all the time. All that training will pay off.
Don’t be discouraged! Addition is easy now.
Linked up at Women Living Well Wednesdays and Handful of Heart