Tucker is now a delightful 16 month old toddler. He generally sleeps through the night. He is completely addicted to yogurt (easily eats 4 containers a day). He is chattering, imitating sounds, and making new signs all the time (most recently dog, book, shoes). Tucker loves to climb, slide, and swing at the park. Recent new experiences include meeting the Easter Bunny, visiting the Houston Zoo, and playing at a Children’s Museum.
Many parents seem to believe that development is a race. They think that “walking early” or “talking early” is a great accomplishment. I have never aspired for anything being “early” for Tucker. I don’t not believe the rate at which things develop is a sign of intelligence or future life success. The truth is that there is incredible variability in developmental milestones for all children – and especially when you compare girls & boys! So my aspiration is to support & encourage but never to push or be in a hurry for the next skill. In developmental psychology, this is called “scaffolding”. A scaffold is define as “a temporary structure for holding workers and materials during the erection, repair, or decoration of a building.” As a parent, one is this temporary structure to support the child’s development from the outside. You know what skills will be developing next and support them –- without rushing. Now is Perfect.
In day to day life with Tucker I am also reminded about the importance of being in the moment and taking things slowly. A toddler cannot be rushed, even from one room to another in the house. All daily activities take time and patience. I spend a lot of time waiting to Tucker to catch up with me from the next room, up the stairs, down the stairs, back inside through the doggie door… Patience. Now is Perfect.
The consistent message I have received from all of my friends with children is to enjoy all of these moments. Because childhood goes so fast. When I’m with Tucker, I often am multi-tasking on the dishes, laundry, and errands. And even when we sit down to play, sometimes I am thinking of the list of things that I need to do. So this is a great opportunity to just be in the moment in my life. To be fully present with the wondrous play of a 16 month old toddler. Because Now is Perfect. And I don’t want to miss it.