Funny how a waddling toddler in diapers can truly widen your perspective. Helpless, powerless, and for a while there, toothless, I’m convinced these mini-humans are on to something.
It dawned on me a couple weeks ago when I was babysitting Hudson, a close friend’s son. With his blissful spirit, carefree curls and contagious giggle, this bundle of joy has brought so much light and laughter into my life since the day he was born about 21 months ago. (FYI: his parents are fully aware that I speak like he is my own child, no big deal). Thankfully we live nearby, so I am having a grand ole time watching him grow up.
That’s what makes this little “revelation” of mine surprising to me. Why did it take me this long to crack the code? Maybe I’m just regurgitating what plenty of mamas and papas already know, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got groundbreaking science to share here, people.
Think about it – Hudson’s got no fear. He lives in the moment. He’ll try anything once. He never gives up. This sounds like a guy who should be making keynote speeches, not splashing his hands in the toilet.
Here comes my point.
With a clean slate and no baggage, tiny tots are blessed with the coveted opportunity to live freely without inhibition and fear. I could name a zillion examples here, but watching Hudson balance one foot on a tricycle and the other on some sort of pirate ship device all in an effort to reach the remote control, well, clearly, toppling over is the least of his concerns. He had his eye on the prize, and is literally not afraid to fall on his face. Now if that’s not a life lesson, I don’t know what is!
Of course all babies are not created equally, and each has his/her own personality, but if every single one of them didn’t have the determination to master the art of walking, there’d eventually be a whole lot of grown men and women crawling around town. Yikes, that’s a disturbing visual. Whether it’s trying to put on their own socks or take their first step, they have a genuine ambition and resolve that we can all learn from.
And then there’s the “I don’t care what anybody thinks about me” mentality. They live out a concept that so many of us are struggling to adopt. Their version may mean shuffling shirtless anywhere and everywhere with blueberry mush dripping off their faces, but it’s the lack of “what will so and so think about me” approach that I find fascinating. It’s clearly liberating, so let’s give it a try (preferably while clothed and practicing acceptable hygiene).
Another life lesson that Hudson recently reminded me about is to try anything once. I really have no excuse to wince at anything on a menu after watching this guy throw down octopus. For God’ sake, I’ve seen him take a bite out of a lemon! Why not? If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.
And don’t get me started on the nap. Ah, the nap. If I knew then what I know now, I would have spent a lot more time in my crib and a lot less time cutting the hair off my poor Barbie doll. Just thinking about it makes me want to relocate to Spain simply for the “siesta” (and the sangria certainly sweetens the pot). George Costanza tried to revive the afternoon nap, but he went about it all wrong and ruined it for the rest of us.
There you have it. Maybe it is that simple. Maybe the key to happiness is to follow the lead of the pint-sized rugrats every now and again. These little milkaholics are wiser than we think – they already possess the real baby formula. And they are living it up in Shangri La!
And maybe it’s time I take a cue from Hudson. Well, sans the whole diaper, drooling, crying rigmarole. Oh, and I think I’ll ditch the onesie too.
At least for now.