I am not a typical “mom” type. While I absolutely love my own child (obviously) as well as my nieces and nephews, I am not a person that has a strong desire to be around other people’s children, herein referred to as OPC. I find OPC to be cute and such, but I don’t have a strong inclination to really spend time with them. The thought of being an early childhood educator gives me hives. I am not a person who enjoys being touched often. I have a tough time with the endless questions, the constant meeting-of-needs, the forced playing of imaginary/made-up games.
I don’t mean to sound cold or to make it sound as though I completely despise OPC. That is absolutely not the case. I am just saying that dealing with OPC has never been my strong suit. At all. I am most often awkward and, well, mostly silent around children I do not know.
Fortunately, having my own child has somewhat bolstered my ability to really appreciate OPC. I actually enjoy spending (limited amounts of) time with them, getting to know them, and interacting with them now. I’m not signing on to be a preschool teacher or anything, but I find that I am more often entertained and interested when having a conversation or otherwise interacting with OPC since having had Grady.
Becoming a parent has really helped me to remember what it was like to be a child. I really think that’s the key to appreciating your interactions with a child. Children aren’t jaded toward their world. Everything is new to them. Life is full of mystery, adventure, learning, discovery, hope… there are so many things children haven’t experienced. It’s no wonder children have so many questions about everything.
And I do mean everything.
A documentable moment occurred this evening as Grady and I were preparing for bath time. Now, Grady has just turned two-years-old and we often shower together. It is just easier that way. I am able to keep a close eye on him, we both get clean, it is efficient. I am single-mom-ing it right now so I will do what it takes to make my life easier.
I should also mention that I am teaching Grady the anatomically correct words for the parts of his body. I think it is important for a child to be able to use the proper terms when necessary. We do not use cutesy terms for our anatomy in this house, regardless of whether or not the anatomically correct term is widely accepted ’round these parts.
As I was saying, Grady and I were preparing to get into the shower, and as such, were both donning our birthday suits. It is commonplace for Grady to point out the parts of his body, which he had just finished doing when he looked upon my body and said, in complete and utter disbelief… “Mommy penis… all gone!” As though I had somehow misplaced it or used it all up.
Folks, I have to tell you I am still giggling over this hours later. I realize that some may find this story to be inappropriate but, guess what, when I find something a toddler does to be completely and utterly hilarious, I am going to mention it because it just doesn’t happen that often :) And while I am slightly mortified over the incident, I truly believe it was a good teaching moment for Grady (ooooh, the conversation that followed…) and I also truly believe it will be a story I share with his future significant other. I suppose I am like most other moms in that respect.
Children. They certainly are interesting. If OPC were as hilarious as my own, I bet I would enjoy their company even more.