It’s OK: To Teach by Osmosis

Have you noticed this about children?

The instant you settle down to start doing anything (other than dishes or laundry), there’s a pittypat of feet and a voice at your elbow asking,

“Can I watch?”
“Can I help?”
“Can I sit with you?”

What they really mean is, “Can I learn?”

But, full stop.

I’m not about to get sanctimonious about how you respond.

I have no moral high ground to occupy.  I’m the first one to toss a packet of Model Magic on the counter and surf Facebook for 20 minutes while refusing to help them roll out snakes. Make a pancake if you can’t roll a snake.

I always feel a weensy bit guilty about that.

But, this weekend, a funny thing happened on the way to Momguilt. While the girls were watching TV with their father, it seemed safe try making a couple notecards. For myself, and by myself.

Pfft, what was I thinking? It took 4 seconds for a bright-eyed Dragon Girl to appear.

“Can I watch?”
“Can I help?”
“Can I sit with you?”

Sigh, sure.  So I handed her some supplies and we engaged in parallel play for about seven minutes, until she stomped off in a huff because Mom would not let her use unlimited lengths of the washi tape.

Yes, okay, yes, I scuffled with my preschooler over the art supplies.  But the tape was a gift from a friend. I just sorta wanted it to stay nice for ten seconds longer. I’m betting no preschooler-mom out there is blaming me right now. (Nobody with whom I’d like to be friends, anyway.)

So I felt a weensy bit guilty.

But here’s what happened at the kitchen counter a couple hours later:

20170225_113935 (1).jpg

She was completely content, completely forgiving.

“Mom? Will you make da dots so I can adda hawt?”

Yes. Yes, of course, Mom will make the dots.


It’s OK: Today’s Takeaways

  • What you do, they see.
  • There’s a resonance in creativity that will out against any odds.
  • Children have a great talent for forgiveness.
  • Mom can be human every now and then.
  • Just making the dots is enough, sometimes.

Plus there’s more washi tape on the way from Amazon right this very minute. All-in, we’re good.

Careful the tale you tell. / That is the spell. / Children will listen… 
— Stephen Sondheim
“Act Two Finale,” from Into the Woods

Psst . . . The Act Two Finale is an ensemble piece. You really need to watch it here and ignore the movie remake version.



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