Learning from the Little Ones

My first son, Matan, caught us by surprise when he was five months old. He suddenly started crawling and standing – all in the same day. Our house wasn’t at all baby-proofed and we quickly scrambled to get everything done! From that day on, we started finding him in the bathroom sink (literally), and everywhere else. My next three boys were the same. They all moved quickly and were rambunctious balls of energy.

And then Zeli arrived. Zeli (actually named Azriel) likes to take his good ‘ol time. He’s a guy who wants to do things his way. He started sitting around 7 or 8 months and declared himself the king. At daycare, he would sit and let all the other kids bring him toys. We started physical therapy for him to get him to MOVE, but he just wasn’t interested. He’d smile that “light up your life” smile at her and say with his eyes, “You know, I’m going to do this my way.” And so he did.

Finally, at about a year, he decided that he could actually move. But, mind you, he decided that moving would work just as well if he were sitting as it would in a crawling position. So, he stared scooting across the floor. His brothers think it is the funniest thing ever, as does just about everyone that sees him. He has hated his stomach since he was born, and he just didn’t want to figure out how to crawl. So, he figured out a way to move that would satisfy him (see video below). He still doesn’t know how to turn over (at 13 months!) and becomes a beached whale if he happens to find himself on his back. In our house, you’ll often hear one of the brothers saying, “Zeli…scoot to me Zeli…scoot to me!”

Why am I recounting all of this? Well, of course, since I’m his mom, I think it’s the cutest thing in the world. But, as this is my blog, and I try to actually learn something from the events in my life, I’m seeing his decision to scoot in its own interesting way.

We can try as much as we want to conform our children to our ways. We can put them in physical therapy, push them in this direction and that, and teach them all sorts of things. But, the bottom line is that they make many of the decisions themselves. They all have their own personalities. My job, as a parent, isn’t to cram them into the image I have of what they should be. Instead, my job is to see what each child is like, and to work with his strengths and needs to help him to grow and prosper. I hope I live up to the task as they grow, change and develop into their own personalities.

Lessons learned from a one year old scooter. Who would have thought?

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