Friday, January 17, 2014


Everybody has it.  All adults have it, some just decide to suppress it, or had it forcefully suppressed in childhood.  Mine, thankfully, is still intact.  It's one gift from my childhood that I never lost.  I HAD to be brother was a trouble child and absorbed most all of my mother's attention; and while she didn't want to, and now feels horrible about it, she had to leave me to play by myself while she prevented my brother from hurting himself or destroying the house in one way or another. My whole life I've been obsessed with taking things apart (I'm better at putting them back together now though) and figuring out how they work, or just doing research on them.  Lego's were and still are a huge standby for me.  Even now it strikes me as odd that most of the people I know won't bother to take a second glance at something to figure out what is wrong with whatever they are using/doing, and they bring it to me to fix.  Most of the time it takes a couple of seconds...

However, this is one of the many things that I am so proud of as Kaylee's dad. I made it my mission from the beginning to not stifle her curiosity, and help her develop her free thinking. You don't need to MAKE a child a free thinker, or curious; just stand aside and their imagination will take over.  It's built in, you just need to let it flow and not build a dam around it.

I'm proud of the fact that regardless of Kaylee's mood, what she's doing, or how mad she is,  I can always grab her full attention and redirect her by striking her curiosity.  If she doesn't want to brush her teeth, and gets really angry about it, all I have to do is pull an interesting fact out of my head about anything related (like what teeth are made of, what plaque does, how tastebuds work, etc.) and she'll gladly sit and get her teeth brushed while listening.  Even at her worst, when we were in the hospital for a week when she had meningitis, I was able to make her feel at ease.  She was super worried about the MRI.  All it took was one mention of seeing pictures of her brain afterwards (and a few other facts about how they work), and she was all over it.

Here we were planting seeds (aka yogurt covered raisins and some change from my pocket).  As you can see, it wasn't the BEST hour to be doing this, and certainly not the most productive thing at the time; but Kaylee had the idea, and it just sounded fun.  We had a blast.

I'm proud of the fact that Legos are Kaylee's (and my) favorite toy to play with. We've spent countless hours building whole scenarios of pirates, hospitals, space ships (above is the house-ship we built together) and tons of other stuff.  If I ever want to, all I have to do is say "Hey Kaylee, wanna go play with Legos?" and she runs and gets the Lego bucket out.

One of my favorite people, Neil deGrasse Tyson, said "Kids are BORN curious...they are walking around, over turning rocks, plucking leaves off trees and petals off flowers...doing things that create disorder in the lives of the adults around you...and what do adults do? They say 'don't pluck the petals off the flowers, I just spent money on that. Don't play with the egg, it might break'" His advice to parents who ask him how to make their kids more curious is "Get out of their way!...give them things to help them explore...get a pair of binoculars and just leave them there one day. Watch them pick it up, and watch them look around. They will do all kinds of things with it". (If you want to look at an article with a video of this it's here)

 Without realizing it, I've been living by this creed and have been raising Kaylee by this creed since day 1. I didn't HAVE anyone to get in my way.  My mom was a single mother and spent all her time on my brother; but I will continue to stay out of Kaylee's way (that is...on the rare occasion that I'm not exploring with her).  Everyone's heard the saying "Curiosity killed the cat!"  That might be true...but without curiosity, that cat wouldn't have had nearly as much fun in it's life, or discovered half as much.  Why do you think cats are so much more intelligent than dogs?


  1. I've always admired your parenting and I figured you were just better at it. But I think I need to let my curiosity reawaken and explore more with you and the kids. :)

    Hahah, I love the ending. One day someone will be quoting you!

  2. What a great blog name!

    Hi! I am your newest follower... saw you on the blog hop. I was kinda hoping that you'd pop on by my blog and follow me back... we can be buddies! Have a lovely Sunday!