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A Different Point of View

There’s nothing like a toddler in your life to remind you that there’s more than one way to view a situation.

Maddie and I were walking home from the park recently when a car alarm went off across the street. Now, Maddie’s no stranger to car alarms; this is New York, after all. So I was surprised that she became very agitated as the alarm continued to go off. I encouraged her to keep walking past it, trying to hurry without making it look like I was panicking. I was assuming the alarm was making her nervous, and wanted to keep her calm.

The farther away from the car we got, the more anxious Maddie became, to the point where I could barely hold her hand in mine. Finally, in desperation, she wrenched her hand out of my grasp – a no-no that she clearly understands – and turned to face the car alarm.

And started dancing.

My child pulled out all her best moves  giving her all in the Joe Cocker, the Twist, the Maddie Lou Stomp, everything. There she was, standing on a sidewalk, dancing with abandon to a stupid car alarm. She didn’t care who was watching, she didn’t care what I thought; she didn’t even care that no one else would consider it music.

She heard music, and she wanted to groove.

This isn’t the first time she’s found music in the mundane; she’s also been known to be swinging on the playground when the ice cream truck rolls up with its annoying jingle music at full blast. Madeleine’s convinced the truck has driven up just to play her very special dance music, and she squirms and gets down in her infant swing.

That was a bit understandable – but a car alarm?

Madeleine jammed for a couple of minutes and had her fill. Stopping, she – I kid you not – applauded the car, then turned towards me, offered me her hand, and continued obediently home.

What I wouldn’t give to experience life from her point of view. 


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