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Quiet Moments Count

by Lori Sciame | April 9th, 2012 | Infants/Toddlers

Isn’t it fun to teach your toddler about life? You not only patiently teach him or her how to hold a spoon and to drink from a cup, you help your child learn to zip zippers, to button buttons, and to tie shoes. Basically, much of a toddler’s day surrounds learning about the world and his or her place in it. Although you act as your child’s first teacher, don’t place so much emphasis on learning that you miss opportunities to drink in your child’s uniqueness. As I think back to the most precious memories of my own children as toddlers, it’s the quiet moments that remain the most vivid.

While your toddler takes his or her nap, resist the urge to always do something else.  If it is possible, watch your child sleeping peacefully.  In the hush you can hear her breathing in an even rhythm, much in time with your own.  Notice also how she prefers to sleep.  Is it on her back or on her side – curled into a ball?  Other details to notice – the sheer length of a toddler’s eyelashes.  I guarantee that if you watch your child sleep, you will carry the memory with you for a life time.

Other quiet times also provide insight into the unique person that your child is becoming.  Watch him draw or color.  Notice which color is his favorite, or what types of coloring books he likes.  Also, encourage him to draw a picture of you two together.  Believe me, even though they are rudimentary, a toddler’s drawings can give you a peek into his special world. I will always remember how my youngest child, Elizabeth, depicted herself – a short stick person with curly blond hair, large round eyes, and a prominent red smile.

I don’t recommend that you intently watch your toddler while you are driving, but if someone else is behind the wheel, make sure to remember what your little one looks at while riding in the car seat.  This is because car rides offer great entertainment for many toddlers.  They seem to love to watch the traffic and buildings whiz by.  For example, does she light up at the sight of “the Golden Arches?”  I’m sad to say, but my middle daughter did just that!  Or does she stretch her neck to keep a particular object in sight?  Believe it or not, my oldest son almost jumped out of his skin every time he saw a house that featured a “double-door.”

Of course, the best quiet times with my toddlers were when I held them close while rocking them on my wooden oak rocker.  The warmth of their little bodies, coupled with the clean smell of their silky hair remains fresh in my memory. Somehow, we seemed to fit together as well during those times as when I had carried them inside me for nine months!

So, even though the world tells us that we have to grab every teachable moment with our children, make sure to cherish the quiet ones as well.



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