Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seeing the Good in the 5yo’s Intent to Touch

We cruise the aisle of the grocery store, six children in tow, seeking milk and eggs and vegetables and maybe a treat {or two}.  All along the way, the middle boy child, the one at that age between “What a big boy you are!” and “What grade are you in?” saunters to the side, running his hand over every possible item and product within his reach.

I call his name. “Don’t touch, please.”

We turn into another aisle, pushing quickly past the glass bottles to get to the refrigerated section. But I hear bottles rattle together, and I don’t need to look to know. “Don’t touch,” I call again.

I glance back to verify his obedience, hoping to encourage him with a smile, and I spy that look in his eye. That look that says he wants to touch something. He’s thinking about touching so that he can hear the tinkle of the glass bottles again.

My mind flies to one of our family's favorite movies, the second Night at the Museum. In one scene, Larry scopes out the tomb exhibit at the Smithsonian. He is approached by Brandon the guard and accused of ITT ~ Intent to Touch. They engage in some verbal jousting, and then what does Larry do? He touches the exhibit. 




As we continue down the aisles, I take a deep breath and remind myself that my son is five. He's exploring and learning and growing.

Maybe he'll be a loving husband and affectionate father someday, hugging and cuddling and holding hands.

Maybe he'll be a master woodworker, handcrafting furniture so sleek and smooth you can’t help but run your hand over the grain.

Maybe he'll be a chef, adding a pinch of this and a touch of that, judging the right amount by the feel of it between his fingers.

Maybe he’ll be a skilled surgeon with a gentle touch…

…or a horticulturalist who loves the feel of the dirt in his hands and grows gardens full of beauty and peace.

But right now, as I put the finishing touches on my daydream, I glance over to see my 5yo with ITT about to grab the pendulum on the wall clock. I suppress a sigh. The words are on my tongue. But I approach him instead and whisper, "Don't touch, please," in his ear, wrapping him in a ginormous hug.








Does your child have ITT? How do you handle it?


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10 comments:

  1. So sweet and loving. And such a writer you are! I loved this.

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! Your words are a balm to my soul. :-)

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  2. Sweet boy. I know how he feels. There's just something tantalizing about touching things that have different textures or make sounds, that we're curious about. I have a 3 year old like that. Great post! You definitely encouraged me to be more gentle in my disciplining of my daughter.

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    1. Yes, tantalizing (great word!), and of course, they don't always realize the possible consequences, like the crash of glass bottles spilling liquid across the grocery store floor. :-) Or...perhaps they do and would like to try it? Either way, it helps me when I look for the positive aspects of being tactile. I'm glad you were encouraged, Keri!

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  3. I have this 5 year-old! :-) Thanks for the reminder to be patient with him.

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    1. I'm glad you found it helpful and encouraging. :-)

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  4. Truly one of your best writings Meghan!! This spoke volumes to my heart when I read it. My youngest recently turned seven, and she has always been this way. She is also my most loving child who enjoys to be hugged and cuddled even more so than the others. I never thought of it in this way before. Thank you so much for causing me to see this from a completely different perspective. God sure knows how and when to send us encouragement! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! {And I wasn't even sure this was the right thing to post....} Blessings to you and your family! :-)

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  5. My son who was like this is a wonderful husband now :-) Enjoyed this!! Thanks Meghan.

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    1. Great testimony, Judith. Thank you! :-)

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