It was a great trip. Fabulous. Fun. Hectic. Crazy. And a lot of other things.
6 days schlepping around LA, attending the wedding of my sister in law, daily breakfast in Cafes – it was all incredible. And beyond exhausting.
There were many moments, as my husband and I herded our 7 little passengers in and out of our great big 15 passenger van, that I wondered why we didn’t just go home already, back to our space.
But I knew that stressful and exhausting were two mere details of such an awesome trip spent with extended family. So many aunts and uncles for my kids to con into buying them every treat possible (especially those with Red #40).
And I learnt a lot on the trip. I learnt a lot about kids. Ok, it’s nothing that I didn’t know before. But I find, as a mom, I can learn the same thing every day for 10 years and still it will surprise me.
So here’s what I figured out.
Kids, by definition, will:
- Make noise
- Touch everything they see.
Hence it brought me to the conclusion that the two most useless, wasted statements to say to children are:
- Be quiet.
- Don’t touch.
And trust me, I got to say that many times over our trip.
At the Café when other people were trying to eat.
When they had a display of different drinks that the kids had to touch.
Over the two days in a hotel that didn’t have a sound proof children’s room –when, oh when will they start making child friendly hotels?
When they ran up and down the loooong hallway in the hotel.
When we walked through the mall and the kiosks had the most delicate, fragile items within arms distance.
And there we were, telling the kids to be quiet and not to touch.
But that’s like telling a mom not to worry.
It’s telling a child not to be.
Because kids, by definition, make noise and touch things.
We can’t tell them to stop being.
But we can tell them how to redirect their nature.
Go outside to talk loud.
Use a lower voice inside.
Ask before touching something that’s not yours.
Things like that.
But still, it’s not foolproof.
Kids need to be kids, and they will make noise and they will touch things.
And adults will continue to get nervous from it.
But the adults are the ones who have to adjust their reactions, not the kids.
And trust me, over the trip I sure had plenty of opportunities to work on this!
Oh, and there’s one other discovery I made on the trip.
Kids will fight with one another when traveling in a vehicle, no matter how big the vehicle is.