Emma, who just turned three at the end of January, has a few things that fascinate her these days: excrement, animals and insects, books and extreme expressions of emotion (not necessarily in that order). She locked on to the fact that Ganesha was sad and upset when he broke his tusk and that he decided to throw it at the moon. She asked me a bunch of times what the moon did. I think she was checking to make sure that the moon was okay and to see if it was angry.
So, as my wife can attest to, hearing me repeat the same part of the story over and over and over and over again, I just followed her lead and kept starting over and going back to this incident as many times as she wanted.
Clearly, Emma was working through something about different emotions and how we act when we are upset. This morning, she was talking about something that happened last week when we were in the car about to go for dinner. I had reached my hand into our dog’s travel bag and got more than I bargained for when it met with a fresh pile of vomit. I instinctively yelled, because I was surprised and grossed out. That covered three of Emma’s fascinations in one fell swoop: animals, excrement (close enough anyway) and strong emotional reactions.
Try and think about this the next time your child wants to slow down or go back and inquire about something or repeat something.
Try to resist the urge to push them along to keep up with your pace and linger with them in the unknown.
It can be hard to do. I know that I, for one, have succumbed to my impatience many times. It felt good to be aware of that this time though with Emma, which afforded me the opportunity to choose differently.