Lately, it seems, our little girl is coming home with three or four Happy Grams a week. Obviously, we are extremely proud of her. We do, however, wonder if our little girl is truly an outstanding child or if her teachers are a bit gram happy. But whatever is going on, it does our hearts good to read commendations of our child written by the people who have spent the day with her.
So, what are the types of commendations received on a Happy Gram, you ask? Well, the most common involves her “helping hands.” I’m not real sure where she keeps her helping hands, but she apparently uses them quite often at school. “She used her helping hands to put away the blocks,” is a regular Happy Gram message; we probably get one a week chronicling her use of helping hands. We have experienced this at our home as well, although I experience them less as “helping hands” and more as “hands that play a game of unpacking and then packing anything around.” She regularly puts up all her toys in their toy box – right after she has taken all of them out and piled them in a heap in the middle of the room. She is good to pick up food she has thrown on the floor and put it in the trash can, but if we aren’t careful, her “helping hands” can quickly turn into “curious hands” that will dig things out of the trash. She loves to put dirty clothes in the hamper, and even takes care to close the lid at times, but it isn’t just dirty clothes that end up in the hamper. One laundry day, while sorting laundry, I found a picture of mommy at the bottom of the hamper.
Another Happy Gram she received last week read, “She sat quietly and listened to the teacher during story time.” Of course, our little girl is not the only child in her class; there are probably seven or eight others. I can only imagine what it must be like to read a book to eight or nine toddlers between the ages of one and two. If any of them sit quietly and attentively, they definitely deserve a Happy Gram. When my little one sits in my lap at home to read a book, she is rarely quiet and attentive through the whole thing, and that’s during one-on-one story time. So I figure on that particular day, our sweet child was either the only one behaving or else falling asleep.
The Happy Gram she received yesterday was a brand new commendation. “She did great using her gentle touches with her friend. Yea!” No, our little girl is not attending a massage school (although, how awesome would that be?). Sweet and somewhat silly as it may at first sound, this is a pretty significant accomplishment. If any of you have played with a fifteen-month-old recently, you may have noticed that “gentle touches” seem to be in short supply, seriously outnumbered by “rough scratches,” “enthusiastic smacks,” and “whiny grabs.” Toddlers don’t know any better, of course, and they rarely have any idea how their hands and bodies are being experienced by others in the world. So learning how to be gentle is a big step, and her friend no doubt appreciated it.
There are other Happy Grams we’re waiting to see in the days ahead: “She did not throw her milk on the floor. Yea!” is one I am anxiously awaiting. “She changed her own dirty diaper. Yea!” would be nice. I’d love to see “She sang all the words to ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ Rock on!” although we may have to wait until she’s promoted to the next class for that. But the one I am fervently hoping and praying to see is “She saved her money and invested wisely in profitable market funds so that she has enough money to put herself through college. Yea!”
I tease, but of course it is a genuine delight for us to read Happy Grams. What loving parents don’t delight in the good and sweet behavior of their children, particularly when experienced and reported by other people? Naturally, every time our little girl giggles or smiles or hugs us, that feels like a hundred Happy Grams all at once. But we’ll gladly take written confirmation that at times other people experience our little girl as a sweet, happy and helpful child. Here’s hoping for a life full of Happy Grams!