So, it was 6:30 in the morning and my husband was spending a few minutes with the kids before he left for a trip. He was sitting on the sofa looking at these cardboard animals with holes punched in the edges. I could tell that he was trying to figure out what purpose these could possibly have. I said, “They are lacing cards. Sissy is still having trouble with lacing, and little man can’t do it at all. We spent time on it yesterday but, they were both getting frustrated so, we stopped.” My husband then tells my son to bring him a lace from the box and says, “Little man, do you want to see how this is done?” My son flings the lace at him and smiles. My husband then says, “Watch daddy son!”
My husband shows little man how to tie a knot in the end and then asks him to pick a place to start lacing. My son picks a hole on the cow’s nose for the starting point. My husband then asks him which hole the string should go through next, and my son points to one on the opposite end of the cow – “The tail!” my son says. My husband responds with, “Come on ! It would be this hole right?” I laughed because my husband was seeing what I have to deal with on a daily basis. I think to myself, “Not so easy, is it?” It is easy to forget how illogical a toddlers thinking can be, and how hard it can be to teach them, seemingly, simple tasks.
Well, my husband then says, “Don’t worry son. You can do this, and I will show you how!” My husband proceeds to lace the entire cow with surgical-like precision while talking my son through every step. When my husband finished lacing the cow, he held it up so we could all gaze, at the cow, in shear amazement. He then says, “And that my friends, this is how it is done! This is how a MAN laces a cow!” He called my son over and asked him, “Son, have ever seen such a good looking cow? Dad just did an awesome job on this! I worked very hard and I nailed it! Absolutely awesome isn’t it? If you try hard, you will be able to do it as well as me! OK son, I love you!” Then, my husband stood up and went to get his briefcase.
I thought about how differently my husband and I approach things with the kids; it is quite funny actually! I thought about the pride that my husband took in lacing that cardboard cow. He was giving it 100%, which is not a bad thing. It also did not matter to him that he was only lacing a cardboard cutout of a cow. He was able to look at the finished product and feel pride; he knew he did his best. This is how he approaches everything in his life. I wondered if this is why he has a wall of framed medals and I have a little box of blue ribbons.
I have laced that cow multiple times and have never thought to myself, “Wow, I just totally laced that cow and I did a freakin awesome job!” Maybe I need to add a little more of my husband’s confident self-talk to my day. Maybe I should pat myself on the back more, and take more pride in the little things that I do every day! Although, I have no plans to take my new-found confidence to the same level as my husbands; I mean, honestly, we can only handle one of those in the house! But, I am already psyching myself up about the awesome dinner that I will create tonight. Guess who is going to rock that frozen broccoli tonight? That’s right, Mom is!! Lucky Kids!