February 10, 2021
With three toddlers at home, when I have the rare moment to work it's all about focus! I prefer not to be interrupted so that I can knock things out quickly and get back to the many responsibilities I have. Now that I have established a decent routine and have an influx of orders each week, I have started fulfilling those orders during the youngest's nap time. This means that my older two are sitting by me doing arts and crafts (while I pray that they don't chop off their hair, or worse!) while I sign books, print shipping labels, and get packages ready to mail. Usually, that means that they come up to show me something and I say, "hold on, not right now," or "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!"
But today, I tried a different approach. I invited them to help me and learn about what I was doing. I showed them how I received orders, what procedure I had to go through to get the shipping labels, and how I decorate my packages. Let me tell you, toddlers are smarter than we give them credit for. When it came time for the packaging part they were able to tell me the next step without being prompted.
At that moment, a vivid memory flooded me with nostalgia: sitting at the large lawyer meeting table, surrounded by books, while organizing things in alphabetical order for my mother while she worked. She was a secretary and would bring me in to the office after school if she had some last minute tasks to finish. I remembered being allowed to make myself all the hot chocolate with marshmallows that I wanted in their little kitchen, just because I was a helper. Such a fond memory and I had totally let it go to the back of my head.
We forget what it feels like to be children and that children have valid feelings, just like us. Children feel proud to help, proud to be included, and happy to be doing something together with you. Now that they're learning how things work, I'll be glad to have my little helpers work with me. Maybe even sending some artwork to customers! Who knows, but maybe one day when they're older they'll remember these moments with fondness and set out to be entrepreneurs as well. All I know is that Daniel Tiger is ringing loudly in my ears, "It doesn't matter what we do, I just want to be with you."