Living life with a toddler is a daily adventure. No shortage of blog post topics. The other day, she was sitting on the potty when this little exchange occurred.
She strained, “Ugh, it’s not working! It stuck. There’s a hino-cheer-us in there!”
“Oh,” I replied. “A rhinoceros is stuck in there?” (I believe this is in reference to a children’s book in which a rhino gets stuck in a tree—because that’s totally normal.)
“Uhuh,” she nodded, and then she looked down into the toilet bowl. “Where are you poopie? It’s ok. Come on out!”
I said, “Yeah, ya rhinoceros, get outta here.”
When I was a kid, like around seven or something, one of my teachers told me, “Finley! You’re slower than molasses coming out of a constipated cow!” I didn’t even know what molasses or constipated meant. I just shrugged and took it as a compliment. Now that I know what she actually meant, I still take it as a compliment.
Sometimes, life just feels like one big, boring waiting game. Like standing in the longest line ever at a Department of Motor Vehicles located inside of the newest ride at Disney World. Or waiting in the drive-thru outside of a Krispy Kreme on free-donut day and the apocalypse is scheduled for tomorrow. I hate waiting. It gets so frustrating. This is why we invented fast food and Internet right? I shouldn’t have to wait for anything.
But maybe there’s something essential about moments of waiting too. Waiting teaches us that the whole world doesn’t revolve around us and our itinerary, like how I need to speed up and cut this person off in traffic so that I can hurry up and wait at the next stop light. Waiting slows us down and gives us the opportunity to reflect on the world around us, like who is the fella with ostrich feathers in his hair and all the other weird people standing in this line? Being bored and waiting can help us to learn how to think, plan, and be creative.
Maybe waiting isn’t something to be avoided at all costs. Maybe waiting is a time that can be embraced and even cherished in our modern lives of frenzy and frantic. Maybe there’s an art to actively waiting.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a line or stuck on the toilet or stuck waiting on life to start, just remember to find ways to redeem the time. That and drink some prune juice.
I should really set a calendar reminder to delete this post before my daughter is old enough to be embarrassed by reading it…
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.– attributed to Anne Frank