Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dear Berkley: What the Heck Are You Talking About

Berkley just runs around the house these days, destroying everything, babbling words he's picked up. Right now he just finished emptying a container of cards (like announcement cards people sent us for milestones in their lives) and now has moved on to taking all of the diapers and sheets out of his changing table.

AND now back to the cards. Which he is throwing off of the upstairs balcony.

The entire time, he's alternating "happy" and growling at whatever he is working on making a mess of.

Nicely done my boy, nicely done.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Berkley: Don't Tell Your Mother

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I get a little pleasure from having little secrets with Berkley that his mother does not know about. Tonight, which Courtney went to the gym, Berkley and I went to the local bar and had Irish Car Bombs. Ok, we didn't really do that, but I gave him a couple of the nerds I was eating, and more than a couple Special K flakes. He was a big fan of both. Don't tell.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dear Berkley: You Have to Slow Down to Go Fast

Once, I got a promotion and the first thing my boss advised me to do was nothing. he said "you have to slow down to go fast, so first: slow down." Of course I had no idea what he was talking about, and spent the next 6 months beating my head against various walls. I thought he meant to work slower, and do less. But he didn't. He meant to do the right work, and let other people do their jobs, make a good plan and hold them accountable, etc. In the end, he was right. Slowing down, getting the lay of the land, weighing options, and then committing to a group decision ended up being a better way of going about things. People did their work, they were invested (as were their bonuses), work was produced in a more manageable and predictable manner.

Berkley only knows fast, until about 4 minutes before bed when he gets into his sleep sack and finally relaxes. Or until Yo Gabba Gabba is turned on the television at any point in the day. Then he'll sit quietly. Otherwise he's everywhere, into everything, discovering, getting messy, wanting things, just playing in general.

But, I notice that when he gets perplexed by something, and we DON'T help him, he slows down, studies over it for a while, and then figures it out. How to open a lid on a plastic container, how to disassemble.... anything. How to climb onto something. Last week it was how to slide down the stairs on his belly. Last night it was how to open the lid on a plastic tub. He invariably conquers these obstacles not by whining or feverishly going at them, but by stopping, paying close attention, and trying several options until he gets it all figured out.

I've noticed lots of people could really use this lesson, from both ends. First of all, kids don't need nearly as much help as we think they do. They seem to figure out how to do plenty if you stop helping them do everything. I think this is how Berkley figured out how to sleep all night, walk, feed himself, etc. We didn't coach the kid. He just wanted the results and kept at it. Second, I notice so many parents are... frantic about the littlest things.

Is my child as clean as possible, germ free, are they doing all the right things a 15 month old should do, do they have enough friends, are those the RIGHT friends? Etc, etc. This list could go on forever just from things I've observed, and quite frankly I don't pay that much attention to other people. just ask my wife.

In sum, I think kids and parents would be much better if they just slowed down, and had a little faith in things going fast in their own time. Husbands and wives might benefit from my bosses advice, too ;)