I went to dinner the other night with some girlfriends. We were having a nice chat, a glass of wine, and we were able to carry on a conversation without being interrupted. It was glorious. Then I noticed a family walking in. It was a family I chat with all the time in the lobby at Cecilia’s therapy sessions. I was staring them down in hopes they would recognize me and just head on over…
but that never happened. I know they saw me. And then it dawned on me, “They’ve probably never seen me without my baseball cap on.” My friend Jeanne laughed at me and said, “They don’t recognize you without Cecilia.” Yes, I am sure that was the reason they were not rushing over to say, “Hey, I know you!”
Jeanne then suggested I get their attention and say hello. I just laughed. I am actually a very shy person. It’s difficult for me to initiate a conversation with someone I don’t know very well. I’ve done that before, where I say, “We know each other from my daughter CC’s therapy practice. We talk in the lobby.” To which they always reply, “Oh your CC’s mom! She is just the cutest thing…she’s such a nice little girl.” We then discuss how amazing she is and then it’s cricket time. By ‘cricket time’ I mean, aside from Cecilia, I never know what else to say.
Clearly, this is something I need to work on. I have to say my inspiration for working on my introductory short-coming derives from Cecilia. Oddly enough I depend on her to break the ice with strangers who are (for instance) waiting (like me) in the waiting room. She is just naturally gifted with approaching individuals and asking questions to find out who the other person is. It is an art form and one in which I have never been proficient.
We can learn a lot from our children. It also reminds me how important play is for young children. I notice Cecilia using the same dialogue with strangers as we do when we play with her little people. She is all about making Boppy (the tiger) knock on the door while my little person (the little girl with curly red hair and glasses who coincidentally is also named Boppy) opens the door and greets Boppy the tiger.
Cecilia likes to repeat the exchange the two friends have when they see each other at the door. I usually say something like, “Oh hi Boppy! It’s so good to see you. You look fantastic. Come in please. Can I get you some water or something to eat?” Her face lights up and she just giggles. Usually, we repeat this interaction five to six times and then it’s her turn to answer the door and make all the nice talk. Again we repeat the process with her answering the door five to six times and then we move on to the fun inside the house.
I think it’s funny that I am learning so much from all of our kids. I have been working on potty training with Cecilia. When we are in the bathroom, I will sit in front of her and we will sing potty songs, look at little videos on our potty app, read potty books and talk about being a big girl like her sisters…and wearing big girl underwear. Phoebe and Abby often join us and we have been known to spend 15 to 20 minutes on the bathroom floor giggling and singing songs.
The other day I was fixing the girls a snack in the kitchen and heard all the girls giggling…I followed the laughter to the bathroom. I found Abby and Phoebe sitting on the floor while Cecilia was on the potty. They were reading and singing to her. Abby even made her a potty chart complete with stickers. I just stood in the hallway and watched the magic unfold. I never thought potty training could be so heartwarming.
We are all learning from each other. Our children have so much to teach us, we just have to stop and pay attention.