Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Spatial reasoning

I'm continuously amazed at the fact that my children will stand directly in front of any door that I'm trying to open. Getting in the car? "Move back, I need to open the door." Trying to open the house door? "The door is going to hit you if you keep standing there."

When do children learn that art of spatial reasoning to see that the swing of the door could potentially knock them to the ground?

Or, in Marxo's case last night, smash her toenail, making it bleed for a good 15 minutes.

We had just finished swimming lessons and Marxo had already changed her clothes. After several minutes of waiting, she went into the boys restroom to check on Fellan, then came back out to wait with me in the hallway.

I didn't realize that she was standing directly in front of the door, otherwise, I'm sure I could have prevented it. I've become very adept now at seeing exactly what is about to happen and then figuring out how to avoid it. For instance, I never, ever bend down to help a child with anything when the child is also bent or squatting - they will always, always, always jump up right as you're at your most vulnerable and head-butt your lip or eye, causing people to wonder just what kind of horrible person your husband must be.

Fellan exuberantly bursted out of the restroom and the door took part of Marxo's toenail with it. YOWCH!!!

Marxo spent the next 15 minutes wailing and crying and I had nothing to doctor her with. I had planned that we would swing through Whole Foods for some 365-O's (365 Brand Oreo-type cookies), so I thought maybe we could make it there and I could beg some ice from the guys behind the fresh fish window.

We got there and I put Marxo on my back and headed inside with the kids. Marxo was still crying, so I figured we would have no problem getting ice from the fish guys and as I walked up to the window, I looked down to say something to Fellan, but he wasn't there!

I tried to calmly turn around and re-trace our steps, but the more I walked around looking for him, the more I imagined him running through the store like a maniac (which he usually does if he gets lost - his flight instinct is very strong) or even running out into the parking lot.

I was frantically searching through the store, looking down every aisle, hoping that I would find his wild-eyed little face somewhere when I looked over past the registers and saw him sadly sucking on a lollipop with a couple of the Whole Foods staff getting ready to page me over the intercom.

When he saw me, he burst into tears and ran to me. Poor little boy! I asked him how he was and thanked the people at the front desk. He said that he stopped by the front door to show us something, but when he looked up, we were gone. Luckily, a Whole Foods employee found him and took care of him.

And, he said, the lollipop they gave him was "OK" (the kind that we buy without artificial colors). Sweet boy - even when he was lost, he thought to check and make sure that the lollipop was of the approved kind.

We finally made it to the fish counter and got some ice for Marxo and then went on to get our 365-O's.

The husband was at a preschool board meeting this whole time. I told him that he missed a wonderful evening...

1 comment:

poppy fields said...

This is a question I've often asked. At 9 and 11, my girls still stand right in front of the car door I'm trying to open.