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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Better Me

Laughter is like an essential vitamin and the fact that I am able to get a free daily dose of it from my kids works out perfectly. The other morning my youngest daughter was calling from her crib. I heard her holler the regular family names and then I heard two extra ones.

As curious as a two year old, I inched down the hallway to listen more closely. Clear as day, out comes, “Dorraa! Boooots!” I cracked up. So, after watching a few episodes of Dora, my child has added them to our family tree. The good news is that I like Dora – she’s smart, helpful and she strongly discourages “swiping!” So, I’m okay that she’s joined the fam with her sidekick, Boots.
On another day, she was showing me where her nose was, her ears, her mouth and eyes. She usually points these out on me, but didn’t this time.

After breakfast, I put on some make-up and as soon as she saw me, her face lit up and she pointed to me… “EYES! EYES! EYES!” Did…she…not…notice...that…I…had…eyes…before? Yikes! I laughed and made a mental note of how observant children are and was thankful that I now appeared to have eyes on my morning mommy face.

A few days ago, my older daughter made me giggle. I was finishing up some dishes and I noticed her scurrying around like a little mouse. Without trying to be too obvious, I started watching her. She was just cleaning away - dusting everything her little hands could reach. I was so proud of her – my mommy heart was just beaming.

I said, “Thank you, honey. Mommy appreciates when you help me out.”

She said, “I’m dusting with those little wipes like you.”

“Oh? What little wipes?” I inquired, knowing that she couldn’t reach the Swiffer wipes.

“Oh, you know – those little wet wipes in the bathroom,” she confidently said.

“Ooooohhhh…the hiney wipes?” I hesitantly questioned, “Let’s…not…dust with those.” I had to nervously chuckle. What else could I do??

These few instances remind me just how closely our children watch us - what we do and what we say. Knowing this encourages me (in Wii® game terms) to be the better “Mii®” (most of the time). As a Dietitian, I studied how we are what we eat, but it sure seems that we slowly become what we read, do and listen to each day as well.

Here’s to grabbing an inspirational book or spending time with someone who lifts us up! To keep us motivated during challenging times, we could even envision a family member or friend encouraging us in the stands of life’s race, cheering, “Give it the best YOU that you can do!” An easy mantra might even be, “Seven to Heaven,” as in, give seven minutes of your time to silence, stillness and prayer. Seven short minutes a day might be just what we need as parents to be the better “me” that we can be for our children.

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