I admit it – I am guilty of “too much too soon” mentality quite often. I had my child late in life. Before I got married for the second time, I had a career, traveled the world, tasted delicious food, saw great works of art and famous science exhibits “for real” and read books about many different things. I also earn enough and save some, so we don’t have to think twice about going on a trip or paying for a museum ticket. It’s very hard sometimes to “pace myself” and remind myself that my daughter is not even 4 yet. Fortunately, sometimes reality kicks in like it did during our “staycation”. We had a very “optimistic” schedule of going somewhere every day – driving all the way to Sacramento, then going to the lighthouse the next day, etc. We were following our plan until Tuesday when we took Anna to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Don’t get me wrong – this is a very fine and world-known aquarium. The exhibits are extremely fascinating… for adults and older kids. Anna was not complaining, but… she was not interested in live exhibits much and couldn’t get out of darkened aquarium rooms fast enough . Instead she touched every lever and pushed every button in the “kids’ rooms”. Unfortunately, I felt that these rooms are designed to accommodate kids from 2 to 12, which meant that her understanding of what she was doing was rather low. After spending about 15 minutes on ocean-themed mini-playground my husband said in frustration that we could just as well save time and money if we took our daughter to the new playground in an area where we live. I had to agree with him, and we quickly scratched Sacramento and Lighthouse from our schedule. Instead we stayed home, played inside and outside and gave her what she needs most – attention of both parents. Of course, we will visit all those great places, but I have to have faith in the future – we have many years together and we will still experience the joy of discovery whether our daughter will be 4 or 14 when we go to some of our landmarks for the very first time.
Have you ever had the feeling that you are doing “too much too soon” with any of your kids. What did you do to “rebalance”?
For science with young kids, visit Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.