Aiden had just woken up after a solid nap on the couch. He always sits up straight away, and usually calls out “mommy” or “daddy”. This time he decided to set off in search of one of us. I intercepted him mid-living room and scooped him up for a cuddle. Today’s cuddle was uncharacteristic of him, mainly because he doesn’t usually cuddle. He’ll immediately want to get down and head off in search of excitement…or trouble. I valued the cuddle all the way to the bathroom where we both exchanged glances in the mirror between him and me. I planted a couple kisses on his head while I pondered the fact that even though he probably looked more like me than either of his siblings, it was funny how he didn’t seem to bear much of a resemblance to me either. Mainly just our chin, except for the characteristic dimple in his; someone once saw that dimple and pegged him as a future lady’s man. I’ll keep him mine for as long as possible though.
I sat the little guy on the potty and at the same time he started talking excitedly, “Moto! Moto! Noise!” The other day he had been calling the same thing out again and again and I had no idea what he had been talking about. This time I guess I was a little more in tune and I realized that he was referring to the central heating, which had just kicked in with a low hum that reverberated in every room of the house.
I told him it was the heater, that it makes the house warm. “Heata, sad,” he said, making his pretend pout face. Was he scared of the noise it made or was he really concerned about the inanimate object? I said, “Don’t worry; the heater isn’t sad. It’s just doing its job.
“Heata, sceaming,” was his next observation, along with a helpful, high-pitch “E-ee-ee-h” sound.
I decided I had better explain it a bit more clearly, lest he forever equate heaters with screaming and sadness. I reached up and patted my hand on the vent in the bathroom, I told him that was where the warm air comes from. He responded by repeating the word, “vent”.
I repeated that it warms up the house and then he said, while sitting still, looking half awake, “wow”. His wow sounded as half awake as he looked. Then he must have realized that he needed to sound a bit more enthusiastic. He sat up straight, looked at me, smiled and said, “Wo-oo-oow” in a sing-song voice that rose and fell in cadence.
Pouring into kids is a great thing. Sometimes you get the half-hearted “wow” and sometimes you get the “Wo-oo-oow,” but being open to teachable moments will always open up opportunities, sometimes with surprising results, which will be held deep inside, by the parents and the children, or the teacher and the students. And sometimes we even get a cuddle to go with it.