Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

[breadcrumbs]

My Grandson and His Step Stool

My two year old grandson loves to stand on his orange and yellow step stool.

He pushes the plastic stool over to a cabinet, steps on top of it and peers over the counter. He then comments on something he desires at the moment, or recites one of his newest vocabulary words while pointing to said item “up dere.” Some of his oratory includes words like  “dis,”  “cake,”  “milk,”   “cup,” or “Mommy, dat!”

Last week, on one such morning while his Mommy was preparing the other kids’ lunches at our house, when the little guy stepped onto his orange and yellow step, this grandmother (that would be me) walked by.

“Hey, Sweetie, could you just move over just a bit. Omi wants to get something from this cabinet?”

He stood there perched up on that stool and didn’t budge.

So, this grandma (me!) ever so gently moved his tiny body off the stepstool, moved the thing a tad,  took out the item from the cabinet, put it on the counter and then set the stool back in his place.

“Here,” I said, “Now you can go back up.”

He stepped back up onto it, but not before his lips puckered up into a  frown while he let out a roaring wail.

After a few minutes of soothing him, I got him to calm down and he became the happy babbly camper again. But I thought about the crying which I assume was  because he was insulted and humiliated. I mean, he had been high up on his pedestal and I had the gall to take him down a notch.

This incident got me thinking about our relationships as adults and how this “taking someone down a step or rung” is hurtful to others. My husband tells a joke and I say the punch-line before he has a chance. Ouch.

A friend shares exciting news and I jump in with, “yea, I heard already.” What for?

Or my son tells a story at the table and someone (not saying who) corrects him on a detail.

It’s all about the kid and the stepstool. There really is no harm in allowing others to stay on their pedestal. It doesn’t hurt them and it doesn’t hurt you.  Let it be.  I try not to jump in to change or move things around. It can wait till later.

Maybe I could have waited till his mom had taken him out for the day to get that item out of the cabinet. Or asked his mom to move him.

No need to rain on another’s parade. Step out of the way so they can enjoy their fun in the sun.

 

 

 

 


Lessons from Little Feet in Big Shoes

I like to watch my 20-month old grandson hanging around wearing one or both of his 8-year old brother’s sneakers. Or his Daddy’s black dress shoes. Or his 5-year-old brother’s crocs.

crocs

With his back straight, his stomach out and his  hand swinging by his side, he traipses around from room to room picking up little toy cars and other stuff he finds.  He’s on a mission. A shoe wearing mission. A big boy mission.

Every so often, his big brother will kneel down, make eye contact with the shoe-wearing toddler and ask politely, “Hey, can I have my shoes back? I need them.”

To which the big-shoe wannabe will smile, shake off the large shoes and go to retrieve another set of big shoes in the house. Or maybe he’ll settle for his own shoes which he doesn’t wear for long. He usually kicks off one or both of his own shoes and holds it in his hand — as if to keep it safe. Then, he walks around with his own.

But when he’s wearing the oversized shoes of someone else he has that determined look.

He’s practicing being big. He’s mesmerized by the big people’s shoes and he likes to feel what it’s like to walk in those big shoes. Why? Maybe because it’s fun and it’s new and it’s something outside of himself.

Actually, I’ll never know for sure but when I watch him,  I see a confident, happy child wearing something oversized, and loving every minute of it.

Nobody is bothered by it (except for the older brother who needs them back!) and the big-shoe-wearer is happy.

Yes, imagination. Playing. Practicing for when he’s really big like his brothers and his Daddy.

Don’t judge another person until you’re in his shoes.

It’s when the big-shoe-wearer imagines what it’s like to be wearing someone else’s and critiques how the other person wears their shoes.

I can’t imagine my little grandson judging anyone. He’s so sweet, accepting and smiley. (And oh yes, he’s only 20 months, right?)

But me, I learn from him. His walking around in big shoes teaches me about empathy. Feeling the experience of wobbling, stumbling, marching in its entirety without judgment.

What does it feel like to be that person wearing his or her shoes? Not – what does it feel like to be Me wearing his or her shoes? Because that’s not the point.

It’s important to remember that we each have our own experiences in the shoes we wear, big or little.

We need to imagine what it’s like to be  the other person – with his experiences, life situation, abilities and history – walking in his shoes. That’s empathy.

Researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. (google.com)

Just like my grandson does. He’s not thinking of the right way or the wrong way. He’s just putting himself in another person’s shoes and feeling the experience.

And that to me, is empathy.

 

 

 

 

 


Don’t Be Embarrassed!

Here’s my question for you today and I want you to be very honest:

Seriously, were you ever embarrassed by your parents? Your mom? Were you one of those kids who told your mom to drop you off a block away from school, because you didn’t want your friends to see your mom and her car? Continue reading


Splinklers and Ekscalators

When my kids were about 2 or 3 and were developing their language day by day (hour by hour!), I loved when they mispronounced words. In fact, I would refrain from correcting them, because it was music to my ears to hear the way they chose to form the words. I found it to be utterly creative. This stage of parenting was so joyous for me, that I recall many of those words and the way the kids said the words.

See if you can figure out the “real” adult word from the words or phrases below:

Splinkers, ekscalators, upslide-down, pubulups, Yes, I’m are!.
Now, that I’m a Bubby – I not only embrace the words my grandsons use (strangely – these boys are soooo articulate that there are not so many of these mispronunciations these days), but I look out for them. When someone says a funny word, I get so excited, and I practically reinforce the mispronouncing! But have no fear, the kids grow up and all learn to speak perfectly well, and are quite skilled in their diction.

Here’s a song I composed together with one of my toddler and pre-school sons to sing at bedtime — he who had a whole slew of words that he said in his own creative way:

To the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Splinklers and some ekscalators are working

Upslide down

I tried to tell my mohzer – yes I’m are all the way

down town

I asked her to seal my pubulups

Before I went to sleep

We said hello to Mrs. Habraham

And didn’t make a peep!

Shabbat Shalom!

Have a great weekend…full of speech and lovely communication.


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