As I get ready to move into a new position in the coming weeks, I am discovering that I am learning a lot from my toddler and day care.
She’s been going through a transition of her own – moving from the infant room to the toddler room, which is probably the biggest transition of her young life. (Except for well, being born. That was a shocker.) It’s something that we’ve all been a little sad about. Her infant teachers were about as awesome as we could possibly imagine, and we were all tearing up a bit at the thought of the move, and bracing for her reaction.
But here’s the thing – two days into her new world, she’s handling it fine. In fact, it’s changed her attitude at home – and I think it’s because she’s embracing the new experience.
My theory is this – Kate loved the infant room, but as one of two older kids in the room, there weren’t a lot of things to challenge her. She wasn’t unhappy – at all. But she wasn’t overly stimulated, either. Now, it’s a new world, and each day begins with the tears of discomfort as she gets dropped off in this still largely unfamiliar place. But she settles within minutes, and when she comes home, she’s like a different kid.
Previously, she’d come home after a day and she’d be curious but sometimes cranky. More than anything else, she wanted to eat. It was totally fine. She was fun and great – and hungry.
But this week, something different has happened. She’s happier. She’s even more engaged. And food is fine, but she wants to laugh and explore even more. She runs and smiles and listens and communicates and connects.She’s motivated when she comes home to learn even more.
That’s what a new experience can do. It challenges you in new ways. It stretches your horizons and taps into new parts of your brain. And if it clicks – that exhilaration carries over to the rest of your life. For the kid, it was time to move up. And it was for me, too. I hope I get half of the boost from the change that she has seemed to get from the move to toddler.
What about you? Is it time for you to step up to the toddler room?