A child’s history, a gentle reminder

History is a record of where we came from. Some people are interested in that. Some people…not so much.

Children are extremely interested in their history. They just can’t seem to get enough of it.

I think parents like to remember the days when their little ones were littler—cute and portable. It keeps them connected to the baby within their child. And by telling our children stories about things they did when they were younger, we are developing a sense of self in children, a sense of where they came from.

For example, a while back, my daughter came into the living room and sat on the carpet while I was working. She looked up at me and asked me to tell her about how she learned how to pee in the potty. So I told her the story of how I thought she might be ready for big girl underwear and so we tried it one day. I told her about how I showed her the potty and explained what she had to do. And then I told her about how I was in the kitchen later that day and I heard her yelling, “Wait! Just wait!”

I told her how I came into the living to see who she was talking to, but that there was no one there. I told her how I asked her what she wanted me to wait for, assuming it was me she was talking to. And I told her how she pushed passed me, tore down her pants and plunked herself on her potty.

She asked me, “Who was I telling to wait?” So I told her that, once she was sitting on the her potty, she looked up at me and said, “I wasn’t telling you to wait. I was telling my pee to wait, so that it would know that I had to sit on the potty before it came.”

After I told her that story about how she learned how to pee in the potty, she had a little giggle and told me that she really liked that story, then she went back to the kitchen table to finish her breakfast.

Such a simple moment. Such a simple story. But it was about her and how she learned how to do something. And every time she asks me to tell that story, I feel like I’m in the moment again—happy and proud of her accomplishment.

Maybe kids don’t want to hear about their history because they find it interesting. Maybe it’s their way of keeping their parents connected to those happy moments.

Just like the baby who smiles at just the right moment when the tired mommy doesn’t think she can do one more thing without collapsing from the sheer exhaustion and responsibility that this tiny human being has brought into her life. Parents need reminding that these lives that we are entrusted with are precious. If we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open, we will receive our children’s reminders and experience those beautiful moments.

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