I was out running errands with my 4-year old son the other day and was stuck waiting a few minutes at the car dealer for a new battery to be put in my key fob. Adults can handle waiting with reasonable amounts of patience … kids, not so much.
My son’s patience was quickly disintegrating and in an attempt to buy some time, I opened my wallet see if I had anything that would catch his attention. I pulled out a penny and nickel and started to point out how they were different. However, my son quickly noticed that the back of the penny had a shield emblem on it and begged to hold onto it. I figured it was just a penny, so I gave it to him, but then immediately regretted it as he noisily started running around, fighting “bad guys” and using his shield-penny to protect himself.
I was on the verge of reprimanding him for being too rambunctious when I heard the man behind the counter say to my son “Hey, little man! You’re pretty cool, you know that?”
I found myself biting my tongue and feeling a little embarrassed. The serviceman was right – it was pretty cool. Here is a child in an environment not really made for playing, and he found a way to turn a simple, cheap penny into a toy.
It was a good reminder to me to try to not be so negative to my children. Sometimes, the things they do daily can start to grate on me (such as constantly fighting “bad guys,”) but if I would try to see their actions through fresh eyes, I’d realize that their actions really aren’t intentionally annoying; it’s my perception of their actions that makes it annoying. I need to be better at picking up on the “cool factor” of what they do – after all, if it’s not cool to turn a penny into hours of fun, what is?