Every Tuesday and Thursday, after nap time, we gather up our belongings and head over to the farm. Hila Fay eagerly rushes to the shelf on the carport that holds her yellow, plastic, garden hoe and jabbers about she’s going to “hep” while she wildly brandishes the hoe like knight from King Arthur’s court. I smile at her enthusiasm, and encourage the conversation because, to me, these are important lessons.
Don’t get me wrong, I work on her ABC’s and 123’s and shapes and colors (ESPECIALLY the difference between red and green so we don’t have a repeat of last year’s abundance of green tomatoes picked by tubby little hands), but I incorporate those lessons as we do our everyday things. At this age I tend to concentrate more on her manners, social skills, and learning about God. Like every parent, I’m sure, sometimes I doubt myself and my methods. Then I have those “proud mommy” moments that reinforces that something you’re doing must be right.
Like when you’re in the local Tractor Supply store and your two year old tells the cashier “thank you-bye” and the cashier remarks that she always hears kids say bye, but never thank you and that she will never forget that moment; or yesterday when Hila ran through a store and knocked over a boot and box then stopped, said “Oh, I sowy” and did her best to straighten the box and put the boot back on top.
And, how even at two (or perhaps because she is only two, lol) she always wants to help. Whether its making a bed, doing laundry (great time to work on counting and colors!) or at the garden. My in-laws are wonderful at encouraging Hila to help. She has her little patch of dirt to dig and play in, but more often than not she wants to be by one of our sides to “hep” us and we always oblige.
I know that raising children is not a science, and I have so much yet to figure out-like potty training-but I am a proud momma in those moments. Now, if only we could teach her to obey instantly and lose the tantrums…
What do you think are the most important things to emphasize in a child’s early years?