When our older two children were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 years old, our family went to Home Depot. While a trip to Home Depot may be utilitarian for many adults, although I won’t deny the look of glee I’ve seen in the eyes of some people I’ve seen there, the place holds a magic for most of the children arrive in tow with their parents. Riding lawn mowers stand lined up, waiting for children to pretend to drive them. Bathtubs and toilets stand at attention, waiting to be crawled into or sat upon. Cool tools, plants, and more are clearly of interest and deserve a longer look.
On this particular trip, our children were enthralled with the many things they saw. My husband, anticipating a quick stop to run in and get what we needed, was getting a little impatient and asked them to hurry up. He had repeated the request several times and I ended up telling him to chill out. I then explained to him my concept of kid time. We could repeatedly ask our children to “Hurry up!” and to “Come on!” This would result in a very frustrating trip for both our children and ourselves. Alternatively, we could give them the few minutes they needed to explore, allowing them to fulfill their needs and take a breather for ourselves. Timewise, the end result would be the same. We could take the extra 10 minutes to enjoy watching our chidlren pretend to drive riding lawn mowers and giggle about pretend baths – in essence enjoy childhood and life, or we could spend that same amount of time repeating the same requests to hurry up. Life isn’t a race, and I think there are plenty of adults who could benefit from some more kid time.