01 July 2014

What We Learn When We Stop, Watch, & Observe

Most days during the work week, I spend my lunch hour at the day care center here on campus where Chickie is while Michael and I are at work. Since we both work on campus, it’s an extremely convenient location for day care and makes life so much easier at the beginning and end of the work day. Most days, I drop her off at school and literally make one right hand turn to drive into the parking lot that’s located behind the building I work in. Easy peasy.

So it stands to reason that with my daughter being so close by, I’m going to check in on her. Her school has a great open door policy with the parents that allows them to be in the center at any time to see the kids. They have observation booths attached to each classroom that parents can go into and watch stalk their kids at any time. Picture a police station with those interrogation rooms that have the observation rooms hooked on to them. The culprit can’t see that you’re in there watching but you can see everything looking out. Same thing.

So I sit. I sit with my sandwich/Lean Cuisine and I watch my little girl.

Because it’s lunch time, I usually get there right as they are eating but there are some days I get there and they may be wrapping up story time, completing a learning activity, or coming in from playing outside. Any and all of these things are so interesting to watch her take part in and while doing so, I’ve come to learn a few things about my little girl that are worth a mention because yes - the terrible twos and threes can be rough BUT there is still a lot of good things inside these...um...cute little demons.

{ONE} She is kind.
Let’s be honest. Kids in the terrible twos and threes aren’t necessarily the nicest kids around. My little Chickie can be a demon with the best of them but when she is in class, I’ve seen a completely different side of her. She is kind and considerate to her class mates and is always one to offer a helping hand. Every morning before I leave her I tell her, “Be a friend to someone today” {Translation: Don’t be a little shit!} so it’s good to know that those words are sticking with her…even if it's just for a few moments during the day.

{TWO} She can be quiet and shy.
Yes, you read that right.

Quiet and shy.

I know you guys are used to seeing her like this
 Or like this...

And wide open like this...

But get her in a room full of people she’s not too familiar with and all that changes. She reverts to being more of the observer and onlooker instead of the instigator and free spirit that she normally is. I’m not used to seeing her like this but I have to admit that it’s intriguing to watch her watch the world instead of being “in” it. A completely different look on her but it suits her.

{THREE} She’s not too keen on girls.
Not too long ago during bath time, and out of the middle of nowhere, little Miss Diva popped up and declared, “I kiss boys!!” At that moment, I knew we were in for it. Chickie isn’t much into playing with other girls. Maybe it’s because she already knows the drama involved with women but she would much prefer to be hanging with the boys playing rough, loud, and wild and keeping things drama free and easy going as the boys do very well.  

{FOUR} She can stand up for herself.
Having stated above that Chickie tends to be shy in school, I’ve always been worried that she would get pushed around easily or not speak up for herself if the situation warranted it. Boy was I wrong! I’ve seen many times where she’s verbally told other kids who aren’t being nice to back off or she’s fought for herself when a toy was snatched away from her. I never want her to be one to fall into confrontation with others and I’m certainly no advocate for fighting but it’s nice to know that when it’s warranted, my little girl can take care of herself and do it with grace.

I suppose some people would call it obsessive parenting to be involved as much as I am with my daughter’s activities at school but I don’t care. It has been so interesting to watch her grow, learn, and interact with her friends and teachers. It’s amazing the things we can learn about our kids when we simply take the time to stop, watch, and listen and as a working mom, it really helps me to feel connected to my daughter while I work. I know that being a working mom means missing out on so many things as she grows up so having this outlet to observe really means a lot to me and helps me feel connected.

What are things you’ve learned about your child when you’ve had the chance to simply stop, watch, and observe them? 

Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. I think that's so great they have a place where you can just observe. Such a parenting stress relief! Those are great things you've been able to see. Sounds like she's rather well-rounded - amazing how that can happen even in the terrible T's as my mom calls them (2 and 3 she says)!

  2. I think parent stalking is an art form. I think it shows restraint though! You could be right there up in her face...instead you observe in a manner that she can't tell you are there. I see nothing wrong with that, plus look at all the things you learn. I'm sure the other parents that don't hang out in the stalker room still get a report about what their kid is up to that day, same thing basically.