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Watching, Waiting, and Learning

Of COURSE, I can do puzzles, Mom!

Of COURSE, I can do puzzles, Mom!

Please indulge me. I’m having a proud mama moment. Can we all just agree that one of the best things about parenthood is that you literally watch your kids get smarter every day? It’s truly incredible.

Cullen has reached this amazing age where he’s suddenly grasping new concepts so quickly. I’ll watch him struggle to step off a stool. He’ll kick his legs a bit, wobble back and forth, and eventually reach out to me looking for my hand. Instead, I offer to show him how to do it himself. I bend his leg, show him how to brace himself with his arms, and gently help him step back down to the ground. Of course, once he’s down he bounds right back up – as all things with toddlers must be done on repeat. But the next time, there is no hesitation. He bends his leg, grabs the windowsill, and steps off gracefully. What were you saying, mom?

Yesterday, we were at a friend’s house for our weekly play group. I noticed Cullen playing with some of her chunky wood puzzles, but not the way he usually did. In the past, he’s mostly just emptied puzzles and chewed on the pieces. And then at the end of the day, I’d go back and put them all back in place when I cleaned up his room before bedtime. But this time, he was purposefully placing each piece in the right spot, quickly and with few mistakes. I was shocked.

I thought maybe since her puzzles were bigger, easier to grab, and a little more simple, perhaps that’s why he was able to do them so well. Once we were back home, I waited until after his afternoon nap, and then I set him down in front of a few puzzles of our own. To my amazement, he started picking up pieces and putting them right into place.  When did he learn to do this? I know it sounds so simple, but it’s just incredible to me that yesterday he couldn’t do a puzzle, and today he can.

Each and every day is a new adventure for us. The simplest things are made interesting and fun again through the eyes of a toddler. And not just the things that are so often talked about – vacations, holidays, big milestones. Even the little things, like a puzzle or stepping off a stool, feel huge to a watchful parent. And that’s just what I’m doing.  Watching, waiting, and learning right beside my little guy. He seem to have a lot to teach me.

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