Like all moms (well, people in general), I’m not perfect. Not even close on my best day. I try to extend patience , but at times fall short. I try to understand mishaps, but sometimes get frustrated. I try not to completely lose it in front of my impressionable and sensitive four year old, and so far I’ve succeeded. But sometimes, every now and again, I find myself screaming, WHAT THE HELL…in my head.
Sweet P is mischievous during every single second that her little brown eyes are open. She goes from one teeny tiny distraction to the next. One evening I’d instructed her to go to her bedroom, get a pair of pajamas from her drawer, put them on, and come back into our bedroom for a bedtime story. Minutes later she hadn’t entered our room yet, so I called out to her. A couple more minutes ticked by and she finally came bouncing into the doorway toting her orange miniature globe that spins. Not only had she made a detour to her playroom to dig through her toy basket and find this globe, she hadn’t even gone to her bedroom for the pj’s.
I’m learning that she’s at the age where her mind is in mischief overload. All the things that surround her are interesting, because she’s four. And four means that she’s noticing everything, whereas before, they were just there. Now they mean something. They’re occupying space, in her space. What is this thing? What does it do? How does it work? What happens if I do this to it? How easily will it bend? It just broke. Not that bendable.
On another evening while I cooked dinner, Sweet P eased into the kitchen as she tends to do. She tends to be where I am, unless daddy is home, of course. But that’s another post. She played on the floor of the kitchen while I stepped over her going from the refrigerator to the stove, to the sink, and back and forth. Within a few minutes she had finished pushing her toys around and wandered over to the junk drawer (one of many around the house). After a few quiet seconds I looked over and expected the entire drawer to be empty, as it’s happened in the past. This time, everything was in the drawer, including 10 phalanges. I walked over to see what she was doing, and noticed she was twisting the round pewter drawer knob, very easily I might add.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking at this thing.”
“Why? Now mommy has to stop and fix it.”
Still twisting the knob, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I’m just a little bit curious. You know, like Curious George.”
As simple as it sounded, I didn’t know. Or hadn’t taken the time to see this kitchen, or lots of things, really, through her eyes. Her big round curious eyes. Before that moment, all I could think about was how I would have to get a Phillips-head from our make-shift tool bin that was upstairs in the laundry room, come back downstairs, and twist this screw to tighten the knob all while keeping an eye on the food bubbling on the stove and her shuffling around on the floor.
After her answer, instead of feeling burdened, I retrieved the tool and showed her how it fit into the head of the screw like a puzzle. Then I demonstrated how to turn it in the right direction, to tighten it. And voila, it’s fixed! She thought it was the coolest thing. And I thought it was cool that she thought it was cool.