week 1|2017: things learnt from a three-year-old

Hey all! I took a teeny break to catch up on my current subscriptions and… you guys are so awesome and truly inspire me. I learn something with each log in. Thank you. And, again, thanks for rocking out with a sister as we take on another 365. You make me feel kind of interesting.

I’m starting this year’s WW with a little humor. But you knooow behind every joke is some truth! I don’t do new year resolutions, but rather opt to address, assess and create workable solutions asap, regardless of the date. I can be quite type A; I like timeliness. I’m orderly. I thrive in an organized space. Some things I just appreciate knowing (way) ahead of time. I struggle to maintain a poker face when I’m hit with some nonsense. I get antsy when I feel my time is being wasted + frustrated when people volunteer to help me then end up delivering a half-assed result. (Knowing that I could have done a great job manning it alone!) Yea. All of that. I’m one of those. But hey, I’m working on not sweating the things that are out of my control! Especially trivialities that’ll be forgotten by tomorrow.


The sweet, innocent spirits of little ones are often overlooked and adjudged useless. Pssshh!  They can show us a thing or two about adulthood! Interacting with my three-year-old nephew, Taj, almost daily, has taught me to practice patience patience patience and:

Seize the day. Little man hops out of the bed ready, smiling and even laughing sometimes. His favorite lines? It’s morning time! The sunshine is back! And It’s time to wake up! Uhm. Says who??! My body responds with an uhn uh, it’s too dang early for his high pitched giddiness! But my mind: you’re right, buddy! Let’s do this! Fist bumps all around. Even if you do wake up on the wrong side of the bed, his infectious smile and laughter will turn that frown upside down and that is the best way to start every day.

It’s ok to completely veg out on your favorite shows and movies sometimes. I try to stay conscious of what I feed my mind and I’d like to think I’m in a good state, but on the opposite side of the same coin, I enjoy being entertained, laughing at very inappropriate things + not thinking too much at all. And that is quite alright. In moderation. Balance it out with some good books, brain games + physical activity and you’re golden.

Take the risk. My heart stops every time Taj leaps from the couch to the ottoman. But what does he do? (Busts his face.) He lives. He lives to see another day to perfect the spacing and timing of that leap. I cannot count the amount of knocks and knots his head alone has taken in his few years. There’s that and he wants to befriend the creepy crawlies on the deck and in the grass. (Georgia is critter central, FYI! We’re blessed to house the entire spectrum of regular insects to what I deem “tropic style” monster bugs.) He also gets a giggle from stepping on your toe and bumping teeth and heads. I know in time he’ll learn that pain is more probable when you behave recklessly, but until then, I admire this fearlessness. Life should be fun, exciting and a little scary, right?

Do what you wanna do. Color outside the lines. Jump in every puddle. Mold that dolphin from yellow Play-doh instead of gray. Let the cop be the hero in your game. Pull your sandwich apart take an hour to actually eat it. If nowhere else, he should be allowed to create his own reality when it comes to his solitary playtime and the few things that are in his control; it’s harmless at his age. And really, who cares?


It’s ok to say no. My oh my, you wouldn’t believe it, but I sometimes feel obligated to people who don’t and won’t do shit for me! (I’m speaking of those who don’t offer reciprocity or much more than small talk.) I feel guilty when I say I might attend their lil party, but when the day comes, I’m questioning if I even want to look at these bland mouth breathers all night. (The answer is almost always nah.) I’m learning that it is ok to be honest with the joy I find in my alone time and say no without explanation. They’ll get over it. Plus, people who know me know me understand that if it’s not on some art, unity and/or food, don’t bother. If you force me to go, don’t get mad when I come late and leave early! I’d much rather chop it up with Taj or stay in with you guys, my books + HGTV. And hey, the rare times I do feel like getting out to club/dance/drink, it’s a surprise that I show. And everyone loves surprises 🙂

Parenting is hard yo. Although I want to wring his neck sometimes (lovingly, of course), Taj is thee smartest, funniest, coolest, most affectionate, creative, inquisitive, observant guy I know. I love him so much and relish the time we spend and that patience sure comes in handy as he grows out of the narcissistic phase. From where I stand in my no kids no curfew status, it’s so easy to be hypercritical and hypothetical, saying what I would do if I was his mom and sharing unsolicited (but awesome) advice. Ah! Where do I get off with zero years of mommyhood under my belt?! I can easily say nah to babysitting and freely go about my day without any real responsibility outside my self.

More than ever, I understand the great sacrifices of hands-on parenting.

I proudly stand to applaud my big sister and brother-in-love for doing an amazing job with my nephew. Every waking and resting moment of their lives revolve around this little human. It’s a full time gig with lots of double shifts, unthanked grunt work and overtime. Being a parent means you are wholly responsible for another LIFE! Whether you’re in their presence or not. Some things are innate, but the rest are learned and, for now, Taj’s parents are the most influential teachers in his world. And him theirs. That’s a huge undertaking for which you can never be completely ready, even after years of experience. Seeing them in action has taught me what it means to be selfless and, more importantly, it’s taught me to stfu + reserve a great deal of my counsel for myself. You know, that man in the mirror G checkin we talked about. I can’t control my sideeye tho..


Who knew we’d learn so much from someone whose time on this Earth is just a small fraction of ours? Thanks Taj



32 thoughts on “week 1|2017: things learnt from a three-year-old

  1. Man that is so awesome. I think alot of well rounded individuals struggle with that concept and mind frame of not having your time wasted by nonsense or ignorance. What is helping me, is remembering that as humans, yes, we are all ignorant to some degree. I look at it as a necessary balance to the world. Even though there’s an over abundance of negativity, it’s part of human nature.
    Lmfao @ “says who” hahahahahahahahahaha. Ms. Suede needs to get up cause Lil man said so. Nice Dashiki print blouse too. Kids do teach us alot because of their innocence and love.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. hehe thank you, Tareau! That balance is key! I agree that we are not all on the same level, but you must be able to discern and politely decline any invitation to allow your time to be wasted. That doesn’t mean I don’t have fun, I just have fun with people who share my same definition of it.

      You have kids so you KNOW when they’re around, it’s their world!

      Liked by 3 people

          1. 😕 Yeah you did lose a few cool points and such a random person to pick from but I totally get why you did. 😆 It’s from the show Martin.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s almost too bad we have to grow up and have everything in its place, after all so what if we do color outside the lines and tear our sandwiches apart (lol). When I see little kids screaming in the grocery story sometimes I tell their mommies I wish I could just start screaming in the grocery store, but grown ups don’t get to do that. This sounds silly but when my grandson was little, he used to love to say “have a nice pickle” instead of “have a nice day”. I still like to say “have a nice pickle” because “have a nice day” has become rote. And who cares anyway? Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is too bad we have to grow up! Not in every facet but enough to make you miss the time when you had no worries or responsibilities. When you could freely express yourself without judgement or ridicule.

      And your grandson sounds like a character!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great piece Kelley! I really like your writing style and more importantly, the introspection you express here. Everyone is not capable of doing this, so kudos! Too often our empathy is just another form of narcissism because we never really understand or appreciate the person/people we claim to be identifying with. What you said about being hypercritical and hypothetical was pure fire. So true! I am taking this as advice because I have a niece – so it is necessary to G check every now and again. It is amazing how children can teach people!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you much! I’m glad you took something from it.

      It can be hard to keep my mouth shut ’cause my sister is notorious for giving me that tired “omg he’s so crazy and out of control” glance and I’m just like, “slap him, girl!” So I just avoid eye contact or wrangle him myself.

      But he is an amazing little boy, beautiful in every way. Kids’ intelligence and value should never be discounted. They see many things we can’t or don’t take the time to, if that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes perfect sense. You are right: we should never discount children. Society brainwashes the curiosity and simplicity out of us. A lot of things are arithmetic, but we make them algebraic. We try to replace their natural curiosity with obedience. Maybe the greatest thing we can do as parents or guardians is to cultivate that curiosity AND give them a necessary dose of structure so they can function in this world. I always see “why” children: kids who ask “why” in response to everything a parent says. And after about two exchanges, they say “because I said so”. I think that is a problematic answer! On the one hand, kids need to learn to obey; but does that mean they have to obey blindly? The world is filled with too many people who already blindly obey, right? How do parents or guardians toe that line?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh there’s no doubt we live in a “because I said so” world. I heard that a lot growing up and it made me fearful to question certain people. We forget that we were curious kids once and that kids come into the world with knowledge of very few things.

          I think that balance of fostering curiosity and maintaining structure is what we all need at any age.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. How ironic that I read this after our chat about the insight of kids! Taj sounds so amazing. It sounds like he’s going to grow up to become someone quite special. Isn’t it amazing how much we can learn from just observing their innocence? If we could just get back to basics, how much better off we (both society and ourselves as individuals) would be. What you learned about risk-taking though is something powerful. You’re right – many kids are fearless in how they approach life and their curiosity. Man…how is it that we start off so “right” and then end up so lost after gaining MORE information and resources as adults? Baffling isn’t it? Anyway, I totally love seeing this side of you – Kelley 101 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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