Getting down.

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July 3, 2014 by Dadinator

Today I decided to try out some of that super nanny advice. I hear the phrase “get down in their level” over and over again in advice about disciplining kids. You know, kneel down and talk to then rather than stand over them with your arms folded, or something. It helps you establish communication and helps calm the child down etc etc etc….

I don’t know, I don’t watch those shows past the first ad break, to be honest. I just want to see some brats running amok as their parents show that they are over tired, over stressed, over their heads or (dare I say it) under competent. It makes me feel better about my parenting and makes me laugh… Then I get bored and change channel because the good bit of the show is over. I love television.

Today I decided to get down on my daughter’s level. She’s a crawler. She sees the world from down there, and I decided I would have a crawl too and see what the world looks like from only a few inches off the ground. I can’t remember why I decided to do it exactly, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The Lad was asleep, The Mamanator was having a rest. It was daddy daughter time, so off we went.

I slinked around on my tummy, discovered we really need to sweep more than we do and had one of the most exuberantly joyous times of my life crawling backwards and forwards with my baby girl. I “leopard crawled”, right down on my belly so my head was level with hers. We crawled away from and towards each other. I backed off as she advanced, then sprung forward so our foreheads touched.
She chased me around a couch and we rendezvoused at the pile of blocks her brother had left out that morning.

I was going to take photos or a video, as I am often tempted to do. But as I went to grab my phone from my pocket another impulse hit me. I flung my phone away, exhaled with a kind of sweet relief as the burden of technology left me and enjoyed our game, such as it was.

And she laughed. She laughed and laughed and laughed. A soprano squeal. A raucous giggle that impelled me to join in. So we laughed. We laughed and laughed and laughed.

Later that day my son and I sung row row row your boat. He sat on the top of the couch, legs dangling over the back, I clutched his hands as I swayed him back and forth in the classic motion. He grinned and sung along.

The it happened. If you see a crocodile…. I released his hands. Grabbed his ankles and tipped him over so he fell on the cushions. There were tickles. There were squeals of such energy as if to light up the sun and force it to produce a rainbow in the dry. It ended and he stared. Came the request; simple and inevitable. Again!

And the deadness, the tiredness the temper and anything that was clouding my mood left me and was replaced with a lightness and a joy that I never knew before my kids joined my in this life.

Play with your kids. You’re the best toy they own.


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