“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” ~Walt Streightiff
We have all been sweet, simple, innocent, and curious children ourselves at one point. We’ve all found a four-leaf clover in a sea of green…we have all seen a sunflower turn toward the sun…we have all slid down a slide and forgot to put our feet down at the bottom…we have all felt the wind in our hair as we rode on the back of our parents bikes…we have all gone for a wagon ride bumping down the sidewalk… (or at least we can dream of doing these things ourselves or with our family!)
Today, some of us (more than others) are comfortable cradling an infant in the middle of the night, calming the tantrums, or mastering negotiating 101 with a two-year old. Whether we have children of our own or aren’t quite there yet, there is still a child in each of us. Something that allows us to naturally relate to children. So, at what point do we lose touch with this child-like instinct? Or do we ever?
Working at Graco certainly helps us reconnect with this inner child, to understand other people’s experiences, and to help foster those moments of wonder within our own families and yours. Sometimes, we find, its just a matter of helping others understand that connecting with a child isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You don’t have to understand their mind (even if Care Bears is all they talk about) or their interests (if running up and down the hall seems like a blast) or their sleep schedule (since you’ll never “get” waking every 2 hours), all you have to understand is how to help them enjoy what they are doing MORE! It is as simple as that.
All it takes is a cardboard box to build an imaginary car, a set of sheets to make a fort in your living room, a set of pots and pans to be a rock star, or a piece of paper to shred to pieces just because its fun. The possibilities are endless…and anyone can do it. Everyone, including parents, grandparents, caretakers, sisters, brothers, or friends without kids (aka free babysitters who want in on the fun too!) can foster an environment that takes a child to a new imaginary place or newfound experience….the amazing part is, you might just get more out of that fun discovery together than them!
A co-worker (without children) once told me a story of a trip he took to Africa. When he was in a remote village he was surrounded by a group of children…just staring at him. He had no idea of how to connect with them. Not knowing what else to do since the language barrier kept them from understanding one another, he decided to make a noise everyone could relate to. He, unexpectedly, meowed like a cat. It made the kids (every single one of them) break out in hysterical, uncontrollable laughter. Pure joy from something as simple as a sound…some people might even say that it was a moment of wonder (especially from their perspective. How many times have they seen a 6’4” man meow like a cat?!?). The more he did it, the more they laughed and it dawned on him that even he could connect with children half a world and culture away. It is a memory he will keep with him for the rest of his life. To those children it might just have been one of their own seven million wonders…
Let me leave you with a few Graco-proven ideas to make you smile together (yes, we’ve tested them ourselves)
1) Take a stroll after sunset and look for the Little Dipper (recline that stroller all the way back to see the sky even better!)
2) Build a castle out of blocks and KNOCK IT OVER…half the fun is the shock of seeing it crumble
3) Mohawk contest during bathtime. Whose hair can stand taller?
4) Pulling out all the toilet paper…double points for running around the house with it…triple points if its one long piece.
5) Dance…just turn up the radio and dance. Its guaranteed to get a laugh and a baby bop right back!
What are some of the wondrous moments in your child’s life? Share with us! We would love to hear them.