The Curious Case of Small Children

Kids are generally curious, right? Like, that’s an accepted fact as to how they naturally are? I’m still learning this stuff.

I suppose it makes sense, with an amount of inevitability: Although the world around them does not really change in size, their abilities to comprehend it grow continually, thus lending an increasing sense of scale and pleasant wonder to it all, which serves as self-incentive for further discovery.

As they see more, they want to see even more.

eyes

Seeing this wide-eyed wonder in my 16-month-old daughter, Charlotte, has been awesome. She seems to be so curious in all situations. I got to spend some quality Daddy Time with her recently and, even just in our own backyard, it was a delight to see how she explores the environment around her.

The sandbox is serious business.
The sandbox is serious business.

I didn’t think I’d be fond of this age. The joke with Molly about our kids was always, “Hey, you’re good with little kids, you can have ’em when they’re babies, I’ll come back into their life when they’re about 12 or so.”

Part of it, I think, was simply that I enjoy words — and I thought, if I can’t have a conversation with my child, I won’t be able to form as earnest of a connection.

That was dumb. I have a lot to learn, clearly, because even though Charlotte isn’t quite talking yet (she can sure babble, at least), she expresses herself quite well; not only in her vocalizations, but in her body language, her expressions, even the choices she makes. The same way we all do, I guess.

A partner in crime!
A partner in crime!

 

"A girl and her dog."
“A girl and her dog.”

She’s growing up too fast.

Rather, I guess the rate at which she is growing up is perfectly fine and appropriate, but I wish I could savor these years a bit longer. That’s normal too, right? Every week we notice new steps she is taking developmentally, new things she is trying and enjoying, new syllables she figures out and new ways she can throw a whiny fit.

daddy_time

Seriously, I was anxious about trying to be a father at this age. I was nervous. I still don’t think I’m doing super well, maybe in some areas, but on a simple level, I definitely like it a lot more than I thought I would.

Charlotte is old enough now to approach me with a book, and make it clear that she wants me to read it to her, and climb into my lap when I sit down to do so. And that sort of interaction means the world to me, already.

Little girl, big world.
Little girl, big world.

In a way, I get to be the curious one, the wide-eyed child again, learning an entire universe of New Stuff that other people (hi there, veteran parents) already find very basic. Of course it means a lot to you when your kid says “Daddy!” and wants to spend time with you. Duh.

So, yeah, the time passes too quickly, but I will savor what I can now, and I truly do look forward to future steps taken together.

Parenting is pretty awesome.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
— Matthew 18:3

cute

4 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Small Children

  1. I agree our children grow to quickly for us.😊 Not fast enough for them. We had our first at age 18 and now she is 19. Would do change anything love every minute.

  2. There is no greater joy, satisfaction, or blessing in my life than being a Dad. I can relate to everything you mentioned here, and then some. I’ve been blessed three times over, and yes, there are many days when I (like many parents, I assume) feel like taking the LONG way home because I know of the ensuing chaos that awaits me.

    That said, every single time I walk through the door and hear three kids (well, a baby squawking) ‘DADDY!’, it melts my heart. I can have the roughest of rough days at the office, and that single, solitary sound is enough to remind me that I really have nothing in my life that is as meaningful as those three faces.

    It’s a wonderful journey that we get to enjoy. Glad you’re along for the ride, friend.

  3. I don’t read many blog posts on parenting. Partially because I don’t plan on being a parent, and partially because 99% of parenting posts are written by women for women (I could be wrong – maybe it’s just the popular ones).

    I do, however, enjoy your writing, Eric, and I appreciate your perspective. I can honestly say, this post kinda sorta made me want to have kids. A little. If nothing else, I really love reading a post about watching your child grow from a father’s perspective. Very unique and much needed.

    Keep ’em comin’.

  4. This is a great post, and your daughter looks like a beautiful little thing. I am a father to a young child myself, a son who is nearly four, and like you describe, I feel that every day I learn from him how fantastic the world really is. Mundane objects become magical toys, and he has such a huge imagination I wish I could write down everything he says.

    I’m with you, though, that kids grow up way too fast.

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