Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Child's Eye View

Oh what I wouldn't give to see life through a child's eyes all the time...

Being a working mom, I want to spend every moment outside of work with my family. Most days I like to just relax and enjoy the time at home, but when I have a day off (as I did yesterday) I usually use that time to get things done that I'm often too tired to do after work. One of those things I "had" to do yesterday was spend some Gymbucks that I accumulated from Gymboree before Christmas. Luckily, I had a friend to go with me who basically babysat EG while I shopped. Let's just say that EG is not the best toddler shopper (not that I know many who are...we're working on that). I usually pay 5.00 to rent the "really cool" Princess car stroller in hopes that it may entertain her longer (that would SOOOO be worth the money) but still end up carrying her or chasing her most everywhere. Yesterday was much the same except that, thankfully, my friend was there to wrangle EG this time! So as I was at my wits end trying to shop and keep an eye on them I finally checked out and was ready to leave. On our way out, my friend Kate wanted to stop in Victoria's Secret. Since she had been so wonderful and patient with EG I wanted to let her shop a little (even though I was not so secretly wanting to run away from the mall and never come back). It was while she was shopping and I was chasing and fighting with EG that I started to think deeper about the way she was acting. She was acting just as I would if I were her...acting like a toddler. I took her outside of Victoria's Secret to let her walk around a bit and decided to put myself in her shoes for a moment. I don't know what made me think to do it, but I tried to think about what it was like to be her. I noticed several things that I found to be quite valuable to keep at the forefront of my mind when we go out in the future. And then I realized how wonderful it would be for all of us to see life through a child's eye every once in a while!
First, it's no wonder why they wants to grab, touch, pull, climb, etc. everything in the store. They've never been around it before. And even if they have it's a place that's definitely different and more exciting than home. She had never been to Victoria's Secret before and seen the lotion bottles, lip glosses, glittery underwear (LOL), etc. in her entire life. Everything in that store was a new, exciting adventure waiting to happen! Wouldn't it be wonderful to look at everything as new and fresh and exciting?
Second, I realized the reason she likely wanted out of her "super cool" stroller was because she couldn't see all of this new and exciting stuff. Especially since it was almost completely enclosed. It wasn't because she wanted to irritate me, she simply wanted to see and explore everything. Not that a regular stroller would have been any better, but I probably wont be buying the car stroller any more as it, obviously, was not worth it!
Finally, the most profound observation that I had during our outing today was that she is absolutely free from all prejudice. Everywhere we go she loves to say "hi" to everyone. This was the case yesterday too. Every single person who passed by got a friendly little "hi". It didn't matter if they were Hispanic, Asian, male, female, tall, short, skinny, in a wheelchair, etc. She simply sees everyone the same. As a person worthy of being greeted no matter their skin color or clothing or anything else that we often judge people by. It made me realize that prejudice is something we teach our children, not something that they are born with. I hope that she never learns prejudice, at least not from our home. I can only dream that one day people will not be judged before they are known. Maybe we should all put on our "child's eye" glasses once in a while...
Now, I must admit, none of this information is a brand new revelation for most people reading this, nor was it for me. But, it was just interesting how it all came together for me yesterday. Is it going to make future shopping trips any easier? No. I didn't learn any secret magic tricks, only that you should take your toddler to the mall at your own risk!


  1. Nice post. As mom to an increasingly mobile 16 month old, I'm with you on remembering to keep their perspective in mind when you're out and about. There's usually some logic to the crankiness.

    One minor quibble: Asian is the preferred term for Asian Americans, rather than Oriental. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_American. Or as an Asian friend said, "Oriental? Do I look like a rug to you?" ;-)

  2. Thanks! I made the correction :) I appreciate you guys looking out for me! I certainly don't want to offend anyone.