Lessons from a very small child: continued

Sometimes, when I go to collect Ellie (3 and ¾) so we can meet her sister from Kindergarten, I am a little late. On such occasions Ellie moves slowly, claims she can’t do up her shoes, and wants to talk about everything. I have to chivvy her along. What I realized, though, is that Ellie is not being deliberately obstructive; it’s that she doesn’t quite get the idea of ‘hurry up’. I have to remember that she’s in the moment. And when she’s in the moment, right now, spending time with her Grampy is what she wants. She wants me to do up her shoes because she likes being with me, likes ordering me about a little, and that’s what matters to her. She likes the closeness of me zipping her into her coat, even though she can do it herself. To tell her to hurry up is to break this spell of our time together. Getting her into her hat and coat is as good as when we’re playing with her toys, as she sees it. We’re together. We’re sharing a moment. She’s telling me about things. When I realized that I made a vow: always arrive early, and enjoy the process.