Saturday, December 4, 2010

sometimes you just gotta stop and pet the doggies

When I was younger I remember my parents and other adults mentioning things about kids being very observant and noticing little details of things. I think I remember it because it didn't make any sense to me.

But now I think I know what they meant. Did you know that approximately 38,401 airplanes fly over our house every day? Neither did I, until Noah started pointing out every. single. one. And there are WAY more trains running through this neck of the woods than I ever knew about. I now am aware of all of them, though--Lily doesn't like them, so every time she hears a train whistle (even faintly), she screws up her face into an anguished look, says "Ooohhh!!" in a pained tone, and pats her chest (our sign for "scared").

Toddlers bring renewed meaning to the idea that it's not the destination, but the journey, that's important. We were getting family pictures taken a couple of weeks ago at a state park. As we traipsed along with our photographer, two women walking dogs came at us from the other direction. Listening to my children, you would've thought they'd just discovered the entire world was made of candy or something. I mean, come on--we HAVE two dogs! The ladies and their dogs seemed friendly, so we stopped and let Noah and Lily get acquainted for a minute. As we walked away, I realized that I hadn't even thought about how our photographer might not have the priority of stopping to pet every dog in the world. But she has small children too, so hopefully she didn't mind!

Back when the babies were little, I realized that having children totally overhauls your ideas about productivity. Sitting around waiting for two newborns to wake up and need to eat didn't feel very useful, although it was. The rest of my life's activities had ground to an immediate halt. Now, at least, I can go about most of my usual business--I just have to stop for several detours along the way. Shopping at Wal-Mart? Sure. We just have to pass by (and discuss) the bananas, cookies, and Elmo, along with dozens of other things. Because what to me is a shopping trip is an adventure to my incredibly observant, 90-mile-an-hour toddlers. It's very fun if I can remember to be patient and not be in a hurry all the time. The times I forget to be patient... well, it's not so fun. But there's always another doggie around the next corner to let me try again.

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