Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lessons I've Learned from my 5-Year-Old

Lately I have spent much time watching my 5-year-old daughter.  She has now "graduated" from preschool and is about to officially enter the world of elementary school.  This summer she is in a state of limbo- stuck between the realms of cut up grapes and backpacks filled with homework.  
 Reflecting on the last five years has been bittersweet.  While I am excited to be done with pull-ups, irrational requests to wear the same tattered pair of underpants three days in a row, and refusals to brush her hair, I would be lying to not admit that I am going to miss her chubby toddler thighs and slightly incomprehensible speech.
She is not the only one who has grown in the last half decade- my own beliefs and personal philosophies have been greatly shaped by her toddler existence.  So I comprised a list of the top ten things that my five-year-old daughter has (not so gently) taught me.
Elana, thank you for teaching me:
  1. Floral patterns, stripes, and polka dots do not necessarily clash.  It is far better that you eagerly dress yourself for school in a myriad of patterns and designs than to battle daily over my preferred outfit of choice.
  2. When the carrots touch the pasta it makes both foods inedible.  I would personally love to buy the inventor of divided acrylic plates a large drink.
  3. Socks are always optional;  even beneath snowboots.
  4. You won’t wear a coat when I am cold, only when you are cold.  How silly of me to think that you might be chilly at the park in windy 54 degree weather!  I may be sporting a scarf and hat, but you, my dear, are just perfect in your sleeveless dress and leggings.
  5. Although television is often seen as taboo, a half-hour cartoon can make the difference between a happy family and disaster.  Before I had you I loathed the thought of seating a child in front of the electronic babysitter.  Needless and lazy, I thought.  I was wrong, very wrong.
  6. When painting, there is no need for a canvas as long as you have your naked body.  After all, it's about the process not the product.
  7. A preschooler's stamina will always outlast your's during a battle of wills.  You redefined the meaning of stubborn, and I am much wiser because of that.
  8. Just when I think that I cannot handle your latest developmental stage one minute longer, you change.  There have been numerous times when I was on the verge of cracking, and just before the last straw was placed on my camel's back, you stopped your night-wakings/food-throwing/back-talk/temper-tantrums.  It is as though you can see through me.
  9. No amount of pleading, negotiating, or bribing will convince you that fish actually tastes good.  I will hereby cease all efforts to persuade you otherwise.
  10. Finally, you taught me the true meaning of the song "You Are My Sunshine".  You make me happy when skies are gray.

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