In all situations ask: what would a toddler do?

Posts tagged ‘live like a toddler’

Sing a song & make your body happy

Driving home yesterday, Maayan began to sing a song. Although it had rhythm and rhyme, the words were not too familiar to me. I asked Maayan if it was from preschool, and it was not.

 

When we got out of the car, Maayan said to me, “Singing makes my whole body happy.” To which Maayan then slowly walked on the snow, dancing in her footsteps and singing the entire time.

 

Isn’t it so true? When we sing, it isn’t just our mouth that sings. We use our hands, we dance a little and ultimately our whole self feels it. We just feel better!

 

It’s a very powerful thing to sing. It is putting emotion into our words. If a person is happy, their words sound like a major. If a person is upset, their words are like a minor. If a person is really excited, the words make you feel excited. If a person says “Hello” but really wants to say, “I hate you” – we’ll feel it. And if a person says, “I am so upset” but is really calm and happy, we’ll feel it as well. We’re always singing because our whole body is doing it.

 

If we were to sing a happy song, we’ll become happy. If we listen to a totally energetic song, it will give us that energy. The more we sing, the more we feel that song. Why? Because it makes our whole body happy!

 

Life lesson of a toddler #20: Sing songs throughout the day, even make up your own. Your body will thank you.

 

Make a silly face

While we were sitting down at the table, Maayan says to me, “Let’s make silly faces.” Great idea!

 

Maayan did the first one and then asked me to. It was pretty funny, we were both cracking up. In all honesty, I have had some real life experience making silly faces. Back in the day I remember seeing a picture of Harpo Marx, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin as Harpo made a hilarious face. His cheeks puffed, eyes crossed and tongue out made for a very inspiring face. As I did my best to live up to the great ones, Maayan laughed along with sheer enjoyment.

 

Silly faces are a fantastic way of opening up. Whether a person is in too serious of a mood, worried about the latest news or just in need of a good laugh – silly faces are the perfect antidote. They come highly recommended by toddlers.

 

In fact, toddlers are of the opinion that adults should be making silly faces on a more consistent basis. Studies have shown, they say, that silly faces can add years to one’s life and increase productivity as well. In the latest news, they have even recommended making silly faces in board rooms and business meetings. When things might get a little serious, silly faces can fix all that. Someone is encouraged to take the bull by the horns and in the middle of a meeting stand up and say, “Everyone, let’s make silly faces!”

 

Life lesson of a toddler #19: Make silly faces often. It is guaranteed to bring joy to your life!

 

Bath Time

Part of the best time of the day for a toddler is bath time. Time to unwind after a day of hard work in some warm water and bubbles. Only the finest soaps from Johnson & Johnson, some yellow ducks, various toys and some time to yourself. Hold the scotch.

 

Bath time is not a time to be skipped or rushed. Bath time is the essential ingredient in the toddlers’ healthy lifestyle. It’s a time to sing, to think, to play, to relax. The step right before bed time, sleep is that much sweeter and deeper after a good bath.

 

This is so popular amongst toddlers that many adults have even caught on. A good many adults opt for the bath over the shower. Whether it be during a vacation, at a hotel or even in one’s home, more and more adults are adapting to the bath; but we need more of them. Congress should be pushing this.

 

It is not about bath vs. shower, because we’re not just talking about taking a bath. It’s bath time. It is not the bath that makes the toddlers’ life so enviable, but the time they enjoy while bathing.

 

Adults shower, but quickly. You hear adults say such things as, “I’ll jump in the shower” or “Let me just run to the shower”. Experts in the field say that “jumping” and “running” are not a recommended activity to do in the shower.

 

Taking time to yourself is extremely important. It is something very rare for many adults. A solid remedy for this is to ensure you have “bath time” everyday. Bring some of your favourite toys, put on music, let your mind go. Focus on the bubbles, the warmth, the time to yourself. Johnson and Johnson soap adds a really special effect: you’ll even smell like a toddler.

 

 

Life lesson of a toddler #18: Take time for yourself and enjoy a long hot bath. It will add depth to your sleep and years to your life.

 

Star of the week

When I dropped Maayan off at preschool today, her wonderful and amazing teacher asked me, “do you know who is the star of the week?” Not sure what the whole concept was, my face said, “come again?”. So she said that Maayan was the star of the week – and Maayan was shining right next to me. I would even go as far to say that Maayan was twinkling like a little star – but really she was a big shining star!

If you’re wondering what this is all about, I’ll explain. On one of the walls in the room is a big colorful board that has on it a picture of the star of the week. All the toddlers in the class put something nice to say about the star of the week. They sign their names to confirm that indeed these are their opinions. Contracts are written up, lawyers are brought in, lots of drama…oh wait, no, that never happens with toddlers.

While adults seem to be big on the concept of critique and having opinions of others, toddlers are big on saying nice things about other people. “He wears colorful socks” or “she was nice to me when I was feeling sad”, “she’s my best friend” or even, “I don’t know”. Hey, the effort counts.

The point is that in the adult world there is a big value of doing the opposite than having a star of the week. Every magazine cover, news report and check out line at the super market is filled with critiques of other people. I say, live like a toddler and let’s say simple things like, “they look nice” or “they share”. Let’s see magazine covers about people who talk nicely, make people happy and wear colorful socks.

I think every office of every organization should have a star of the week. Have a big colorful board with a picture of anyone in the organization with everyone else saying nice things about them. I guarantee that if organizations of any kind would all start doing that, the atmosphere of the workplace would skyrocket with positive energy. And the star of the week would shine as brightly as Maayan.

Life lesson of a toddler #16: Have a star of the week in your home or office. Do so and everyone will be shining like 4 year olds.

Happy Birthday – Oh Yeah…

Yesterday was the most anticipated, spoken of and hyped up day of the year for Maayan. Yes, it was her birthday.

For the past 8 months, Maayan has been speaking almost daily about her upcoming birthday. When we spoke about my mothers’ birthday, Maayan said, “and then it’s…my birthday!” Everything seemed to be within the context of her birthday, and rightfully so. She’s turning 4!

We had a small but huge birthday party for Maayan: some of her friends came over, we had a craft painting project, everyone 4 and under danced like crazy with music, had cake, presents and play time. When the birthday cake came out, I could only describe her face as glowing, beaming and shining. This was it, this was the big day – we have arrived.

Maayan’s friends were also thrilled to the max. They were just as happy for Maayan to open her presents as she was. It was as if they said, “yeah, this is what we do. This is what it’s all about”. They wrote little cards and were happy as anything to give the birthday girl her much anticipated presents. They each had a bit of the cake, spent 5 minutes opening the presents – and it was time to play something else. They work hard & they play hard too.

By the end of it, after about 90 minutes of birthday heaven, everyone was fairly tired. The toddlers needed to go home. Hey, it makes sense. If any adult were to put that much excitement into something, they would also be fairly tired by the end of it. Cake and all.

As parents, we were beyond happy about the great day and the sweet little-but-huge party. We were happy for our three year old to turn four. We were happy for her goodness, her happiness, her sweetness and purity. Life is one big wonderful when you’re a toddler. On your birthday, the volume of awesomeness is just turned up.

Life lesson of a toddler #15: Don’t settle for less, make your birthday a huge deal. Invite friends, have cake, open the presents with everyone around and dance like you’re 3 turning 4.

Always an opportunity

Maayan’s “Good girl” cup (in Hebrew)

Maayan usually drinks from a small little cup that says on it, “good girl”. It’s pretty cute, so we encourage it. Today, when we were about to give Maayan something to drink, we couldn’t find the cup. So we told Maayan that we’ll use another cup today and wait to find her cup for another time. Maayan took it in and calmly said, “ok.”

Putting my foot down, even on something so trivial as what cup to drink from is not always easy. The cup is a bigger deal to Maayan than it is to us. So when we said no and Maayan acquiesced, it gave us enormous pride and pleasure.

When we sat down to eat we gave Maayan another cup, a bigger cup. With a bigger cup comes more juice and Maayan seized the opportunity. Instead of pouring a little bit of juice, she almost filled it to the top.

While this might sound simple or even silly, to me it’s very deep. Maayan, like many toddlers and even more adults, could have been upset with not getting what she wanted. She could have responded to not drink until the cup is found, not to drink at all, not to drink from the cup we gave her, etc. Thank God none of that happened, but any of that could have happened. It happens in board meetings and offices throughout the world: when someone doesn’t get what they want, they let everyone know. Whether it be a stare, a cold shoulder, shouting or name calling – there is a plague of tantrums when we don’t get what we want.

Maayan though, played it cool and lived like a toddler. Maayan saw opportunity in not getting something: the bigger cup & more juice! Opportunity is always knocking & toddlers are always finding ways to let them in.

Life lesson of a toddler #14: The next time something doesn’t go your way, wait it out and keep on looking for opportunity. It’s knocking, just let it in.

Hymn of a childs’ cry

January 25th 2011

Children laugh & run.
Children are fun.
Children are fascinating, interesting, beautiful and then some.
Children make you feel old & also very young.
Children are never done.
To their home, they love to come.
Children often say “yumm.”

Children also cry. They cry a lot.

Children cry if things don’t go their way,
Or if they’re not being heard by what they say.
But children cry mostly for having so much inside of them
that can’t always make it’s way out
in words or phrases, they’re quite young to articulate
very tough to communicate
in a language still new
in figuring out the role of you.

So many things going on:
Like rules of bed time,
no saying “that’s mine”.
“no sweets, no treats”
To eat sweet treats, what a feat
But they can’t and must admit defeat
Not easy when you’re three
When you’ve just begun to be
Just tasted “me”
Newly alive
Feel like going fast in overdrive
thrive
high-five
excited lives
toys, trucks & bee hives
everything’s sweet like honey
no concept of money
love little white bunnies
always hopping, always bumping
bouncing like balls
run in the halls
draw on the walls
no need to erase
to clean up in haste
No need to waste
everything is in place

Why all these rules
I trust mom & dad
but sometimes they make me sad
make me mad
to go to bed or brush my teeth
when I’d rather eat treats.

Can’t put it all in one piece
Can’t see
the forest from the trees
It’s all new to me
I feel like
I don’t know
but it’s got to go
outside with emotion
feeling commotion
on the inside
I want to cry
I want to shout.
It’s hard to receive
so many rules and laws
like adam and eve
I just want to eat from the tree.
They’re telling me no
I want to go
but no
place to hide
feeling so much inside
but I’m not sure why
& that’s why I cry.

So please listen adults & parents:
Be sensitive to their cry
don’t lose patience
just try
to feel what they feel
& see what they see.
They’re not you & me
they’re 2, maybe three
let them be
let them cry a little.

Feel their newness
see their cuteness
innocence
preciousness
a treasure to trust
a gold mine, don’t thrust
impatience on them
you were once them
do you remember when?
Remember how you hated
all the rules they regulated?
Be them, don’t be you
don’t see what but who
don’t say no
just ask why
do they cry
& you’ll find out why.
When you listen you’ve gained
precious trust
they see that you’re wise
you have a soul on the inside
they love you for appreciating
what they go through
seeing them not you
giving them space to be
a toddler of 2 or three
it can all be sweet if you let it be.
By giving them time,
giving them space and reason
show them they have someone to trust
someone who loves and who cares
someone who dares
to see life through their eyes…

They’re waiting for you
to stop all the whats and begin the who
let them be them
and you be you
together you’ll grow
like a tree with deep roots
with branches of sweet fruits.
All things of the earth need rain
tears flow down
from the sky
way up high
beyond what we see
beyond what we know
to let things grow
you have to let them be
you have to let them cry
If you listen you’ll know why
They’ll tell you I
love you for listening
and letting me be
thank you mom & dad
sometimes I get sad,
but I’m happy I cried…

Life lesson of a toddler #13: We all have a lot going on inside, so cry, it brings joy…