Wednesday, February 27, 2019

You don't have to learn through wooden blocks


I remember the first time a pediatrician ever asked me, "How many blocks can she stack?" I was holding my 2-year-old McKenzie and I didn't really know how to answer that question. I didn't know I was supposed to even know that information, and I wasn't exactly sure what he meant. The only perspective I had was from a set of ten plastic stacking cups that we owned, each cup getting smaller as the tower grew, and fitting snugly and solidly on top of the cup underneath it. McKenzie was a champion at it and had mastered the art of stacking all ten cups, in order, without help. So, I said to the pediatrician, "Ten." His eyebrows shot straight up into his head and he said, "Really?" His surprise made me second-guess my answer, and it was at this point that I remembered about the little, square wooden blocks with the numbers and the letters... and I realized that he probably meant that kind of block that didn't have decreasing sizes or ridges to lock one on top of the other.

I didn't know.

And after that visit, I promptly went out and bought a set of blocks because, I thought, all good moms must have them and know, at all times, how many their toddler can stack.


Now, of course, I wish I could talk to that 22 year old mom. I'd tell her from the lens of perspective that the wooden blocks she just bought would sit on her toy shelves for more than a decade and would see five children through their toddler years, and that - while she'd be glad she had them - they'd never be a favorite toy, and would only get played with a handful of times.

And you'll never actually know how many blocks any of your toddlers can stack at any given time.


I think of this story every time these blocks come out.

About how important I thought these blocks were going to be in order for me to raise my children. That they, somehow, would hold all the answers to the questions of how successful my children were becoming.

And about how wrong I was.


The truth is that they do provide entertainment from time to time... They'll spark a smile, or a bit of laughter... They'll help refine a fine motor skill...


But, the lesson I've learned most frequently throughout the years is that there are handfuls of ways to learn the same lesson in life. God has put opportunities into every step, every circumstance, every thought, to help us learn and grow. And if we don't learn how to control our fine motor skills with building blocks, it doesn't matter. Because there will be another mode of teaching right around the corner to teach us that same lesson.

For me, this thought takes the sting of discouragement away when I don't seem to be learning a lesson as fast as I'd like.


On another note, Eliza is obviously developing into quite the successful adult judging from how many blocks she can stack...

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