Let’s get this straight right away: There’s a lot–a lot–I don’t know about parenting. For starters:
*Why my kid still doesn’t sleep through the night.
*How to begin potty training.
*How to get Mariel to wear gloves, socks, and hats without pulling them off within five minutes.
But there are a few things I do know. What I know is what I picked up in developmental psych courses, through my own parents, through Francisco, through conversations with other parents, and through common sense.
Here’s one thing I know: It’s more important to let your kid explore than force him to look at the monkey.
We took Mariel to the zoo for the first time earlier this week and beelined to the monkey house. Mariel happened to be fascinated by squirrel monkeys and tamarins, and sakis, but little Damian was not. Damian’s parents were insistent that he look at the monkeys. After all, they’d spent $12 on Damian’s admission and $16 each on their own. And what’s the point of an outing if it’s now somehow productive and educational and forward-moving?
We left the monkey house thinking we’d go see the lions and tigers, but Mariel got distracted by peacocks strolling the grounds. And squirrels. And acorns. And then she was tired.
We didn’t see anything other than monkeys and that was just fine.