So my 18 month old FINALLY slept through the night last night AND slept in.…
Growing up in a very small town with 3 much older siblings, safety wasn’t my first priority. If I got lost (as if that was possible in my 2 street town), everyone knew who I was and where I lived. My Mom didn’t work, my Dad was – for the most part – a 9-5 kind of worker and my brothers and sisters rode the bus with me and watched out for me all the time.
Times have changed as people are fond of saying, and my daughter has none of those things that I took for granted growing up. She’s only 4 1/2, but what started as a silly driving game between us has turned into a teachable moment. I don’t remember how the game originated – likely sometime when we were driving around killing time while her baby sister slept the afternoon away – but it looks like this:
I will point out a house as we’re driving along and say “Oh look, there’s our house! I’m so glad we’re home”. She’ll say “No, our house is brown!” (laughing all the way). So I’ll point out a different brown house and say “Oh look, that house is brown, We’re home!!” She giggles and says “No silly, our house is brown and a triangle”, and so it continues. It’s gotten to the point where she can recognize our neighbourhood and can give instructions as to when we’re turning left or right and direct us back to our place. It’s still a game to her, and she asks to play it every time we’re in the car, but it gives me some comfort knowing that not only could she tell someone our address but if she was lost she could find her way back home.
She seems to have a natural directional talent (the one thing she did NOT inherit from my darling husband). In her short life thus far, we have moved 3 times. She was too young to remember her first home, but our last place she knew how to navigate her way to the park 5 blocks away, and would recognize if we were driving in the direction of the library, Gymboree, the grocery store or her best friends house. Now she has added many more places to that list, as well as starting to know street names. Aside from helping her memorize our own address, she has taught herself the names and recognizes when we’re on Lonsdale, Marine Drive, Mountain Highway and Lynn Valley Road. She also knows the 2 bridges.
I hope she’ll never have to use this information for anything more then fun games with Mommy, but I’m happy that she’s on her way to being street smart!
What safety lessons are important in your family?