I’ve been watching little children lately, and got to wondering . . .
Don’t you sometimes wish you were a two-year old? You could scream whenever you want, giggle at anything, and make faces and no one would look at you funny?
Okay, I don’t really want to be a two-year-old (though there are times I have wanted to stand in the middle of a store and scream), but sometimes I’m jealous at how much more together they seem than me, and how they relish in the simple act of living.
These are some lessons I learned from a two-year-old:
Giggle. Two-year-old’s giggle when they are happy. They giggle at simple things. Loud, continuous, contagious giggles. Giggles keep us young and make us happier. When was the last time you laughed like that? Find a funny show, or a two-year-old, and giggle till it hurts.
Scream. They scream when they are sad. Okay, the screaming part might not make you any friends. But you can go in the quiet of your home and scream (into a pillow). The thing here is that their emotions are real. They hide nothing. Hidden emotions cause stress. And stress causes, well, all kinds of disease. If you can’t scream, find a way to release your frustration – like running, or punching a bag.
Eat. They eat when they are hungry . . .no less, no more. And they know when to stop.
Have One Thing. They cling to one simple object. Or two or three. A blanket, a doll, a big old stuffed bear. Give them one thing, and they are content. As adults, we surround ourselves with hundreds of objects, many of which we don’t even like. And why? So we can say we have them, so we can place them on shelves and show off how much money we spent, or where we like to shop? Maybe we should be like the two-year-old who picks his favorites, and keeps only what he loves.
Easy Entertainment. They are easily entertained. A box, a crayon and paper, a little toy car. They have fun with what they own and aren’t always looking to get something new.
Go Outside. They love the outdoors. Nature mesmerizes them. They explore. Their world is new every day.
Create. They are creative. They see new ways of doing things. (Not always good – like sandwiches shoved into a DVD player, but they are creative.)
Exercise. No one forces them to exercise. It’s just what they do. And it’s all so simple. Run. Jump. Play.
Do What You Want. They know what they want and when they want it. No guessing games. If they want to sleep, they do. If they want to play, they will. They aren’t wishy-washy.
Just Say No. They are never afraid to say ‘no.’ I know, we usually wish most children didn’t say ‘no’ so often. But I wish I had learned that word as a young adult. ‘No’ can save us from being over-worked and over-extended.
Nap. They take a nap. Naps have been shown to help us live longer and be more productive.
Simple Foods. They like simple meals, sandwiches, fruit, or mac-and-cheese. They don’t the need the fancy stuff.
I don’t really want to be a two-year-old again, but I do wonder, what happens when we turn into adults? How do we lose the simplicity of childhood? How do we throw away simple pleasures for such a complicated life?
Just something to think about . . .