Children are slow. It’s a known fact. When you don’t want them to run, they will bolt away from you all the way to the other side of Wal-Mart faster than you can even realize they are gone and disappeared into a sea of bargain-conscious shoppers who are completely oblivious to anything else occurring in the world around them. But…when you’re trying to do something, like, for instance, dropping them off at day care in a timely manner in order to get to work on time…they will drag their feet the entire way, even if they are excited about getting to day care.
I found out rather early on that my kids are incredibly competitive…so, if I can make it a competition, I have the ability to manipulate my kids into doing my bidding (manipulation is the key to parenting, folks). And, of course, if they’re moving slower than spring, a race is one of the best ways to get them moving.
Of course, there’s a pretty big problem when there’s almost exactly 2 years between the ages of the two kids, especially at the early ages they are currently in. One is most definitely faster than the other, almost consistently. So, the younger one, the boy, when he sees her take the lead, almost immediately freaks out. It’s actually pretty stupid because my daughter is prone to losing focus and/or falling and invariably he would probably win if he would just continue running. Instead, he stops in place, stomps his feet, starts crying, and, if I’m really lucky, throws in a blood curdling scream of frustration.
This morning was one that involved a scream 🙂
I generally respond to the situation with a notation on the obvious failure here…he hasn’t lost the race yet and may have the possibility of winning were he to just keep running instead of giving up.
I’ve made this statement many many times in the past. This morning, I suddenly realized that this was more of a life lesson than I had realized.
The phrase I used this morning that then started bouncing around my head was, “You’ll never win if you stop running the race.”
I don’t think I really need to explain the life lesson to you, it’s pretty damned obvious….but often with my attempts to succeed in my artistic endeavors, I see others “pulling into the lead” and I too want to just stop, stomp my feet, and throw a little tantrum…I say want, but the truth of the matter is probably more embarrassing than that.
I don’t want to say it sucks to see others succeed where I feel I haven’t quite done so, but it can be trying at times. And it’s stupid, because I honestly believe I’m moving in the right direction. I have no questions about that. I even know I could win, if I just keep running toward the goal…but just seeing someone else pulling ahead of me, more often than not, makes me want to stop completely.
That metaphor sounds rather petty and I feel I should clarify that I’m not ‘throwing a fit’ because other authors or artists have successes that I don’t have. However, sometimes seeing those things happen much easier for other folks makes it feel impossible for them to happen for me, just like my son feels it must be impossible for him to win a race if his sister pulls ahead.
I’ve been this way about many things in my life, never really liking for things to be more difficult for me than they are for others. That’s probably because they haven’t been in many situations…it’s just that the ones that are seem to be things I’m more passionate about.
Of course, I just have to keep reminding myself that I’ll never reach that finish line if I don’t keep moving forward, and I’ll definitely never win if I don’t keep running…not that success is actually a race.
I know some of you out there struggle with similar issues, figured I might as well share my silly fatherly moment from today.
Have fun out there!