Sep 16, 2010

Posted by in My Life's Quirks | 7 Comments

My Life’s Quirks – Things That Work With Toddlers That Won’t Necessarily Work With Adults

Running a daycare from my home with four toddlers scuttling around all day, I often marvel at how simple the life of a two year old is.  How situations that seem so urgent can be calmed with the simplest thing.  How effortless offerings can diffuse any squabble.  I often find myself thinking that it’s a shame we adults don’t straighten out so easily.  That got me thinking…what if we did.  What if we could handle almost any situation involving adults the same way we deal with situations involving toddlers?  Here is how I debated the top four ways to appease a toddler and how I think they would come across with adults.

Kissing booboos

With the toddlers – The toddlers are running in every direction at the same time.  Boy, I really marvel at their energy and sometimes I wish I could bottle it.  But with all that running and them being two and all, the inevitable will ultimately happen:  there will be a collision of mass proportions!  Two heads will smash together or two feet will be trampled.  That is when the screaming starts.  It sounds like these kids are about to succumb to the light.  I always have trouble believing that such tiny human beings can make such sounds.  They run to me for comfort.  I ask them where the booboo is.  They show me then, the only miracle that I can and will ever perform occurs.  I kiss the booboo and it just…vanishes!  Laughter follows and the game rolls on.

As an adult – If I were to witness someone getting a paper cut while reading the news paper and I ran over and offered to ‘kiss the booboo to make it better’, I would either be looked at like someone should have kissed my booboo when I fell on my head when I was a baby, or they might find it kind of kinky.

Imagine if it did work – Would we need hospitals, doctors and nurses?  Not anymore.  If a kiss could really cure a booboo, no matter how severe, the world would be a completely healthy place.  Yes, it would be way over populated, but hey!  And, would it be just a chosen few who possessed the healing kiss, or would we all?  Would we be able to heal our own booboos?  Hmmm, so many questions.  I’ll have to leave this one unanswered.

Clapping and jumping and making silly faces

With the toddlers –The kids are looking a little bored.  So I start jumping and clapping.  Just that makes me the coolest person ever.  If I throw in some silly faces while jumping and clapping, well…  I am now, in the eyes of these toddlers, the most awesomest person they will ever know!

As an adult – If I were to start jumping and clapping while making silly faces in the middle of, let’s say, the mall, mother’s would steer their children away from me and would tell them that “that’s what happens when you sit too close to the TV”.

Imagine if it did work – The jumping and clapping would obviously be infectious!  Suddenly, the entire mall would be filled with jumping and clapping adults.  The mall would be filled with laughter…and people who are not used to so much physical activity clutching their chests…then the paramedics would come and they would be too pre-occupied to help these chest-clutching jumpers.  Okay, maybe it’s best that jumping and clapping is left for the toddlers.

Goldfish crackers

With the toddlers – No matter how dire the situation, how loud the tantrum or how intense the fight, the moment I take out the Goldfish crackers, all is forgotten.  I am an instant hero and all is right with the world. There is laughter followed by quiet…blissful quiet because they are eating said crackers. 😉

With an adult – If I noticed someone crying on the bus and went over to them and offered them a Goldfish cracker, their initial reaction would be that I must be trying to poison them.  Why else would a strange lady on the bus offer you crackers (and I would feel insulted that they would think me strange).  If I walked by a gang fight (because they happen all the time in my village of 3400 residents…not really, but let’s just use our imagination shall we) where there was shouting and punching and pushing and I went up to them and offered them a Goldfish cracker, they would think me an instant hero for stopping their fight.  No, not really.  They would smack me upside the head and point and laugh.  Well, at lease I’d have some Goldfish crackers for myself.

Imagine if it did work – Wars would be a thing of the past!  If the government was faced with a dangerous and possibly volatile situation, they could just offer them some Goldfish crackers and they would forget all their troubles and everyone would be the best of friends.  If teenagers started tearing up the town because they can’t find someone to sell them pot, just give them some Goldfish crackers!  They would be as content as they were when they were 5 years old cuddling up to their Cabbage Patch Kids.  Yup, that one would be beneficial with adults, toddlers, and everyone in between…as long as the Goldfish cracker factory never broke down. *gulp*

Celebrating accomplishments

With the toddlers – It’s important to let children know when they are doing something good.  It boosts their self-confidence and their self-worth.  It also helps promote good behaviour vs. unacceptable behaviour.  At my daycare, I give the toddlers high fives when they ‘sit on their bums’ after only being asked once.  I shout out joyfully when they share without arguing.  And I yell ‘hoorah’ and do a fun dance when they successfully use the potty.

With an adult – If I were to approach an adult at a restaurant, who sat in his booth as soon as the hostess showed him to his seat and say ‘Hey!  High five for sitting on your bum straight away”, the patron would ask the waiter to sit him as far away from me as possible.  And if I were to wait outside the office bathrooms, yell ‘Hoorah, you did a pee on the toilet all by yourself!’ while doing my little potty dance when one of the managers exited the restroom, I would kindly be asked to leave the premises by the man in the jacket that says ‘security’ on the sleeve.

Imagine if it did work – Okay…maybe giving someone a high five for most things isn’t possible with grownups, but I do believe we should give praise more often.  Being told we are doing something well always makes us walk with our heads held up a little higher – no matter what our age.  We become so negative as we age, focusing on the bad that we seem to forget about the good.  If we did that more often, we would all be happier and we would all like our jobs better.  Because how many times to we hear ‘great job’ from our employer vs. the times we hear ‘this is crap’?!

I am lucky in that respect.  I am told everyday by my four little ‘employers’ that I am doing a good job.  They tell me by the smiles on their faces and by the hugs I receive…and if they don’t like me at that moment well, I always make sure I have lots of Goldfish crackers.

Things that work with toddlers that won’t necessarily work with adults.  Just another one of my life’s quirks.

  1. great post, Julie…if only it would work on adults!!

  2. Too funny Julie! And so very true! Reminded me that my seven year old constantly breaks into songs. I feel like I live with Mary Poppins and love it, but it would be funny if adults communicated like that.

  3. Sharon – No kidding, right?!

    Casey – That would be quite the site it we all started singing whenever we wanted! lol

  4. Just for the record goldfish crackers and high fives totally still work on me. 😉 Great post Julie. *high five*

  5. Jen – You’re cute. *high five* lol

  6. Julie, you always crack me up! 😀 ROFL!

  7. I just want to say that I’ve seen you do all these things with your husband and me… and we loved every minutes of it. Wait… does that make us kids? Whatever… High Five and jump and clap while I eat my goldfish crackers.

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