Anticipate and prepare

Happy 4th of July! Today is a wonderful day to celebrate America’s independence with family, friends, parades, food, and fireworks. I am planning to take the girls to visit a friend of mine and have a playdate with her daughter. Even though Delaney has been to their house before for playdates and a birthday party, I anticipate that she will be shy, quiet and clingy when we first get there. It’s just her nature. She is very cautious when in different settings and with people that she doesn’t see on a regular basis. However, if you give her time to warm up on her own and don’t force it, she will be talking nonstop before you know it.

One way that I try to help her out with situations like this is to talk with her about what will happen. For example, I will tell her who we are going to see, remind her that their is a slide and swing set in the backyard that she LOVED the last time we visited, and answer any questions that she has about the playdate.

Adults do this sort of preparation all the time. Think about the last time someone invited you to a wedding, a party, or even a quick lunch at a restaurant that you’ve never been to before. Did you just go with no preparation? I bet you didn’t. I have a feeling that you asked some questions such as:

  • Who else will be there? (so that you know the crowd and can think about possible conversation topics)
  • Will we be inside or outside? (so that you can take a sweater or dress in layers if you think you might be cold)
  • What should I wear? (so that you know what the dress code is. Jeans could be appropriate for some parties but frowned upon at another party.)

I think that we often forget that young children don’t have all the information that we do. They might realize that we are getting in the car, but they don’t know where they are going unless you tell them. Just think, sometimes kids get in the car and end up at daycare, but other times they arrive at the store or grandma’s house or the park. Now that my daughter has more language, one of the first things she asks when we get in the car is, “Where we going?” or “What doing?” If it’s a routine trip (like to daycare), I will ask her to guess and give her some clues. However, if it’s something out of the ordinary, we talk about it to prepare her.

A quick funny story from this morning to close with that I did not anticipate or prepare for 🙂

My daughter used the potty and was about to wash her hands. While she was getting on the stepping stool, she yawned really big. I said, “Are you sleepy?” She said, “No. I tired.” Then I put a drop of soap on her hand and turned on the water. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her lift her hand to her mouth and lick the soap. She immediately said,”YUCK! That’s yucky!” I couldn’t help but laugh at her reaction. Then I asked, “Why did you do that silly goose?” She very honestly said, “I dunno” and laughed. I guess she was more tired than either of us realized!

🙂 Melissa


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