How long? Wordless Wednesday
How long does it take the average 8 year old to open four birthday presents do you suppose? I suspect that a thoughtful careful interested child may take some while to open and examine each one. I more impulsive child may rip them all open in seconds. I’m sure there are infinite variations on a theme to suit each little individual.
Around here, we set a new record, all over and done with within a half hour. The gifts were less than perfect but that turned out to be o.k. His presents were wrapped in paper which proved a challenge for the tactile defensive digits which are always super sensitive first thing in the morning. With lots of help, kitchen scissors in someone else’s hands, he managed to achieve unwrapped. Not so long back, his brother and sister had to help. He would stand at a safe three foot distance, within view but with ears protected from the outrageous ripping sounds.
I appreciate the credibility gap here. Can it be true that a child would refuse to open a present? Indeed it can and I have proof, since I am prone to exaggeration. Each and every year parcels would arrive from abroad from relatives. Each one had a little customs label to describe the contents:- plastic dinosaur, child’s toy, Thomas the Tank engine. How I loved those labels, they were my salvation. When the telephone calls came to check whether the gift had arrived, whether it was appreciated I was able to lie through my teeth, ‘yes it was perfect, how thoughtful, how delightful, so much fun.’ Meanwhile the package would remain unopened for days, weeks or a month after the event. I would cart those packages all over the house to where he sat, where he ate, on his bed, as a constant reminder and temptation. After a few weeks I would cut open the top so that he could see the wrapped present inside but nothing would induce him to insert a hand into the lion’s jaws. Even the taunt of Thomas, that most beloved, would fail to motivate contact with paper.
Sometimes a change of approach becomes inevitable. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes growth. But surely that’s just one of the many reasons why we celebrate that date, the birthday, the day that something new was born.