Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Every Day is Independence Day

3 photos on the left: July 4, 2011 | Photo on far right: July 4, 2012
In my ideal world, efficiency is key.  With the need to accomplish so much in a day, I walk quickly, email succinctly, and stay focused.  Sometimes a phone call with a friend resembles more of a speed date than the casual catch up we both desire. 

And while this fast pace gets me through the work day, my child's desire for independence throws speed & efficiency out the window the minute I arrive home.  Some examples:
Taking out the trash: 2 minutes
Taking out the trash with our child carrying an item: 10 minutes
Walking down the stairs: 1 minute 
Chase maneuvering from the 2nd to 1st floor: 5 minutes 
Carrying Chase to the park: 1 minute
Chase transporting himself to the sandbox: 15 minutes (this feels generous)
You get the idea.  I won't even allow myself to figure out the lost hours spent watching him struggle with gravity and slippery pasta during dinner.

If I were to assign a word to describe Chase, it would be Dawdle. 

A rational person would conclude from the above to stop letting our child navigate his own way through activities in order to salvage some time and sanity.  And while I joined this battle cry before having Chase, my heart has changed. 


While it would truly save (much more) time, I love watching our son help and showcase his independence.  These are life lessons I hope carry over into other aspects of life (as in  learn-how-to-do-your-own-laundry types of lessons).  And frankly, it is hilarious watching a toddler carry an enormous empty box to the recycling bin with his little head peering over the top.  

NO Mama.  NO Daddy.  


These demands are increasingly stated (accompanied with swatting away our hands) as Chase wields his independence to do things on his own.  While we carve out time or discretely assist his process, we draw the line at some ridiculous requests.  Specifically his desires involving sharp instruments and limited finger dexterity: trimming his own fingernails or cutting his own food.  Not happening buddy.

While I work to revise my attitude and adjust, the hardest part is realizing I can't fit it all in.  Sometimes a personal phone call falls by the wayside or a thank you note is never written, as I am too "busy" waiting for Chase to step down the last stair in order to provide a standing ovation and perform a dance for his accomplishment.

Who knows, maybe in a few years his current fascination with the trash will turn into an activity he enjoys while Mom and Dad relax on the couch.  Or the least he can do is begin  picking up the pace when walking.  


One can dream on this (and every) Independence Day.