Life Lessons from a Toddler

BY Heather Zollman 
November 27, 2018

Hello friends:)  Let’s travel back in time together to a miniature, younger version of yourself…as early as you can remember.  Go ahead! Close your eyes and think on one of your earliest, happiest moments!  A time when you had no inhibitions and found pure joy in the simplest things.  When I do this, I see my little girl, white blonde self, with chubby little legs, in a twirly dress.  I’m dancing around in the backyard, in the family room and anywhere I could shake it! (No, I’m not talking about college, but I may as well beJ  There was a lot of dancing going on in those days too.)  I was reminded of these moments while teaching my yogatoddlerz class this morning.  It makes my day every time I gather with the mini yogis and their parents!  These classes include breathing like specific animals, nature poses (mostly animals), dancing around the room, using our yoga blankets for super yogi capes and magic carpets to fly around the studio.  By the end of class the adult yogis are sweating, smiling and our abs are sore from the belly laughing!  I experience so much JOY in watching the kiddos’ pure passion for life!  In one of our more recent classes, our little friend Everly came in a little owly.  Her dad informed me that they decided to cut back on chocolate and she was NOT having it! She knows I keep a bowl of little dark chocolate hershey kisses in the entryway, and they get one after class is over.  She asked for chocolate from the moment she walked in the door and all through class. And when she realized that no one was getting her chocolate?  Well, she reacted how I would react if someone held chocolate back from me. Pure, raw emotion…and I LOVED it!

This class takes me back to when my 3 kids were little.  The first class we had this fall I actually teared up as the boys snuggled their moms in our relaxation pose.  (They snuggle with yoga bolsters and blankets.)  I saw my sons face, who will graduate from high school next year, in them.  It was like I was transported back in time to when I was a stay-at-home with little ones crawling around at my feet.  We used to slide down the stairs on large stuffed animals and blankets, set up obstacles courses with any props we could find in the house, make music with kitchen utensils and pots and pans, SNUGGLE and DANCE!  I didn’t hold anything back when I was playing with them.  The imagination time, the music, the story telling…all of it was organic FUN!  The simplest things brought so much pleasure…flash lights, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, plastic bowls were all props in our adventures.  When my son was into trains, we lined up all of the dining room chairs to make a train and travel using our imagination.  When they were obsessed with Jack and the Beanstalk, we wrapped fake leaves around the ladder to the top bunk of their bunkbeds and pretended to be Jack and the Giant.  One of our favorite things to do was to walk around the block to the “big rock.” This is a rock in town that was three quarters around the block from our house.  When you are about two and a half feet tall and sporting full winter gear, that distance can be quite the trek!  Sometimes I pulled them in sleds.  We would go to the rock and each child had a turn jumping off of the rock (with my help of course).  As they grew they started to ask what the rock said (It marks the site a stockade that happened in that area).  Then they were reading it to me.  Then they were riding their bikes to it and back…by themselves.  Recently, one of the kids said to me, “Hey didn’t we used to go to that rock to play?  It looks so much smaller now than it did then!”  We read books and snuggled for hours. (I try to sit next to my 13 year old now to watch Netflix shows and I get kicked off the chair immediately...just to put this in perspective).

All of this got me thinking…why do we have to grow up and lose all of that?  The imagination, excitement in simple things, showing our true emotions and DANCING like no one is watching whenever we want should be how we live now!  Just because we grow in age, doesn’t mean we have to forget how to live this way does it?  I say NO!  In fact, I am making this my early resolution for the New Year.  I declare that I will take time every day to act like a child! Yep, I’m gonna.  Some might think it’s weird to resolve to act like a child, and to that I say…good!  I want that feeling I have when I am dancing around and belly laughing with my yogatoddlerz every day!  So I am going to.  And you can too!  If you want to, you canJ  My kids already think I’m a little nuts, so what the hell?!?  So if you ever want to go act like children together…dance in the snow, or barefoot in the grass, show raw emotion, jump off of a rock…look me up! Here’s one thing you are NOT allowed to do…take my chocolate.  Or you will experience a full blown Heather tantrum! 

Peace-Out Yogatoddlerz!