Please Sit – A Gentle Reminder

Please Sit - A Reminder

toddler girl holding flower

There was a small struggle before bed. 

I was trying to put Bayleigh’s overnight diaper on. I needed her to lay still for just a second, so I could fasten it and make sure it was properly aligned. 

“Stop wiggling,” I said. I’m sure I was exasperated by this point. “Come on. Sit.”

Slowly, she sat up. 

“No!” I exclaimed. “What are you doing?!”

She responded: “I’m sitting.” Calmly, confidently.

I stopped. Stared. Chuckled softly. “Yes, you are. You’re right. I’m sorry, I meant please lay down and stop wiggling. So I can get your diaper on and we can sleep.”

She laughed softly but did as I asked.

It was a huge reminder. She’s three. She’s going to take everything literal. She’s soaking everything in, learning from me, from what I do, from how I handle things. She’s observing the world and constantly learning.

Bayleigh has always been advanced her age. Her pediatrician has always told me that, and it’s just always been something I knew. She is so mature, independent, and amazingly smart. 

Sometimes, though, it can make me forget. I forget that she is only three.

I forget that things I know as “sarcastic,” “a figure of speech,” or “something people say (slang)” are things she doesn’t know yet. It’s all going to be taken seriously and literally by her. 

When I asked her to sit she sat, because to her, that’s what it meant. It didn’t mean “lay still.” It meant sit.

Learning a language is funny. At first, you only know the basics. The literal meanings of things. You won’t understand their slang, the way they say things. The figurative meanings of things.

For children, it is the same thing. As they are learning this strange language, everything is new to them.

On a movie, Bayleigh heard “It’s raining cats and dogs!” and she immediately looked for cats and dogs falling from the sky.

In a book we were reading, they said they were “bitten by the curiosity bug.” Bayleigh asked, “Can I see the bite?” I had to chuckle and try to explain what they really meant.

Our children are precious. They are these amazing little humans who are constantly looking to us for guidance on how to do things, say things, react to things. 

They are patient with us, as we forget how much guidance they need sometimes. 

One day, they’ll know. But for now, they’re going to sit when asked to “sit still.” And they just need a little patience from us as we remember that.

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