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We Can Learn So Much from our Wild Children

It was a Sunday evening, and I was home alone with my 3-year-old, Aspen, who is more or less a wild animal. My wife was doing some work for our church, and my two older children were with my in-laws. My one job was to get her calmed down and to sleep, and while it doesn’t sound like much, getting my daughter to calm down and go to sleep is about as easy as soothing a wild raccoon who recently drank a pot of coffee.

Aspen started by pushing her remaining food off the table. My plan was to get her settled and then clean up the leftovers. But obviously I needed to do it right that second to avoid any more catastrophes, so I cleared it.

While I was doing that, she pulled all the clothes out of her dresser. I cleaned up as best I could and eventually calmed her down by putting on a movie and making a bed on the floor (because floor beds are way better than actual beds when you are a toddler). She wasn’t all that interested in Curious George, even though she insisted that was what she wanted to watch. She was still antsy — and looking for trouble.

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