Baby see, baby do. And learning to slow down.

My daughter is such the little helper lately! It was just recently that we realized she understood what the trash can is used for, and could easily throw away small pieces of trash. Great, right?

She’s craving responsibility and independence.

Each day I try to think of little things for her to do. Throw away the diapers. Give brother his paci. Go get your shoes. Close the door.

As I stood at the sink yesterday, I quickly turned the water off. Suddenly I couldn’t hear her trotting around the house, so I glanced into each room searching for her. There she was – in the bathroom with my bag of makeup, lotion, and hair accessories. I giggled to myself as I watched her take each thing out of the bag, analyze it, and set it on the floor. As she grabbed my hair straightener, she did something with it that really caught me off guard: she brought it to her head, and pretended to straighten her hair.

Typically I get myself ready during nap time. Sure, she has seen me doing my hair occasionally, but was she really paying close attention?

Or, does it only take her a few minutes to understand what it is I’m doing?

It made me think about all the days I have spent focused on my phone. Or days I’ve put off playing with her to clean dishes or vacuum. As she is figuring these things out, what message am I communicating to her? One of support, encouragement and love? Or am I somehow showing her that she isn’t always my priority?

We miss a lot of living when we prioritize the little things. Dishes can wait, and cleaning can be put off for a while. My daughter will only be this young once, and each day she gets a little older. I want my days with her to count, and for her to know how special she is to me.

There will be times that the dishes do need to be done, and our phones will be out so that we can work on them. But other times? We should be focused on the things in our life that money can’t buy, or replace when they’ve passed us by.

This poem describes it perfectly:

Cooking and cleaning

Can wait till tomorrow,

For babies grow up,

We’ve learned to our sorrow;

So quiet down cobwebs,

Dust go to sleep,

I’m rocking my baby,

And babies don’t keep.

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