The Real Magic Word is “Special”

Of all the explanations for the typical toddler’s relatively minute attention span, the one I like best is that he is so eager to learn about the world that he doesn’t have time to linger. Once he’s explored something he’s on to the next challenge. New experiences are a young child’s brain-food, which helps explain his ”been there, done that” attitude toward the talking T Rex that captivated him yesterday. A tot’s tendency to favor the unique can make the word “special” a harried parent’s secret weapons. A two-year-old who turns up her nose at a glass of orange juice might gulp it down enthusiastically if she’s told it comes from Grandma’s special supermarket or is being poured for her into a special cup. To little ones, “special” resonates with all things new and shiny. It turns the ordinary exceptional and wonderful-like their birthday or Christmas. Throwing the adjective in before anything is no guarantee. But if you’re lucky, even the antibiotic prescribed for her ear-infection will get gulped down if you mix it with some punch and call it “special juice.”

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