A couple of weeks ago when I was in Bulgaria, I had the pleasure of spending a little bit more time with my two nieces. The older one is at an age where she begins to question the world around her, her critical reasoning is developing and she is starting to appreciate that things are more complicated than she might have thought.
My niece only needed one week with me to teach me some very important life rules that I will try to live by from now on.
Lesson 1: Never ever try to explain the stone age to a 4 year old. She is now at this age where she asks "why?" whatever you say. So after 30 minutes of playing the "why" game, I found myself trying to summarize the complex plot of the Flintstones. And then I somehow found myself explaining how years and years ago people didn't have proper houses but they lived in caves. Her response: "Why?" Well, people didn't know back then how to build houses. "Why?" Well, they just didn't. "But why, why couldn't they build houses -- like this, it is easy!", she said putting her two palms above her head which I immediately recognized as the international kid sign for "roof." So yeah, I had to distract her with a story about princesses to get her off the topic of the Stone Age. Just try to avoid it if you can, ok? I figure it is more like a 5 year old topic.
Lesson 2: Always make time in your day for some play.
If people around you are not as committed to your play schedule as you want them to be, change their mind by repeating "why?" no less than 300 times irrespective of the answer they give you.
Lesson 3: Take pleasure in the little things in life.
Really, look around you and squeal with joy every time you see something moving, especially if it is sleazy and auntie runs away when you try to give it to her.
Lesson 4: Always make sure that you are surrounded by your friends. If you can color coordinate their outfits, make them kiss and marry every hour on the hour and bring them with you everywhere, all the better.
Lesson 5: When you cannot figure out the answer to a difficult question (like "Mommy, what would happen to all of the stuffed animals when all the people die? Will all the stuffed animals be bored because they will have no one to play with?"), just let it go. Knowing the answer is probably not that important anyway. Brush the difficult question away because really, "all the people will die far in the future, like in a couple of weeks, so I don't have to think about this now." Ah, my niece already reminds me of Scarlet O'Hara -- "I will not think about this now, I will think about it tomorrow"....or you know, in a couple of weeks.
More life lessons to come soon...
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