Posts Tagged ‘
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
2 years, 4 months.
Since I took you to Shipwrecked, your favorite indoor playhouse in the Nashville area, for the past two weeks you kept asking me, “I go back to Shipwrecked? I drive Buzz?”
So yes, you finally got your wish yesterday. You got to drive Buzz. And boy did you enjoy it… I think…
Last time, I explained how you drove the Lightning McQueen car like a crotchety old man. Driving Buzz was the same way for you.
Clearly you were just there for business, not pleasure.
Your objective was to drive the Buzz Lightyear car from one side of the indoor playground to other, without any other kids trying to take it away from you.
Based on the look on your face in the picture above, I’d say you did a pretty good job of scaring them off. I’m sure you made it clear you weren’t there to make friends… but just to drive Buzz.
Fortunately, after you accomplished your mission, you starting interacting with the other kids there. You abandoned Buzz for the ball pit, the train table, the book nook, and the building blocks.
You didn’t even mind that other kids drove Buzz during the rest of our 2 and a half hour session.
I guess we could say you are learning to share, despite being an only child right now.
Well, this is a start, at least.
Sunday, December 9th, 2012
I’m willing to admit: Sharing is a more difficult concept than it sounds.
For the past several months now, I have noticed, and having caught on camera, you bogarting your toys.
By that, I mean that you often carry around 2 or 3 toys at a time, holding them closely to your chest like you just got released from serving time in the slammer.
This is something you do whether you’re just with me and Mommy or you’re playing alongside a friend.
Based on my observations of the way you play with others, I’m assuming your daycare teaches that if a kid is already playing with a toy, another kid can’t just come up and take it away from you; forcing you to “share.”
When you’re forced to share, you’re not really sharing; not from your heart, at least.
In time, you’ll grow to understand the importance of truly sharing; meaning you willingly sacrifice something you care about, on your own initiative, to help someone out because you recognize the personal and moral responsibility of giving to those who have less than you do.
For now, what you usually do when another kid tries to take your toy is you quickly find a different toy and hand it to them.
I like that. It promotes a peace of mind for you, knowing that you aren’t forced to share the exact toy you’re playing with whenever someone else wants it.
Another reason I like this concept is because I don’t want you thinking you can just go up to any other kid and take his toy away. That could either make you a bully or make you be bullied.
I know that right now this is a bit confusing.
After all, at daycare, all those toys are shared among the community. But at home, those toys really are yours. Hence, the popular toddler catch phrase, “MINE!”
So I get it that you want to bogart your own toys when you’re not at daycare. You want to have a sense of ownership since, most of your weekday hours, you don’t.
Sharing is a challenging thing to grasp right now, beyond the rules of your daycare. One day, though, you will choose to share from your heart, instead of because of policy.
Saturday, October 20th, 2012
Several times now, Jack has played with his new friend, Jake. Each time in the days that follow, Jack will randomly whine, “I want Jake…”.
I always instantly respond: “Really?!”
And when I say “Really?!” it has the tone of someone who is surprised in a peculiar way.
Jack’s friend Jake is a very kind, intelligent, and wonderful boy. It’s not that Jake isn’t cool, because he totally is.
The thing that’s weird about this is that when Jack and Jake play together, they don’t really play with each other.
Instead, they play somewhat away from each other, despite each other and around each other.
So really, it’s nearly a stretch to even say they actually play together.
After bringing this up to Jake’s mom today while our boys were painting pumpkins, she explained to me that this behavioral phase is called “Parallel Play.”
Cool, so it’s normal after all.
It’s just that with every other friend Jack plays with, it’s more of a thing where they spend half their time basically fighting over a toy and the other half laughing while chasing each other around.
With Jack and Jake, it’s like they have this mutual agreement:
“So listen, just let me attempt to have some ‘me time’ today even though you’re like 4 feet away from me. I’d really appreciate it. Nothing personal.
I’ll do my thing. You’ll do yours. Everybody’s happy. Thanks, man.”
After 3 play dates now, these two bosom buddies/perfect strangers have yet to look at each other in the eyes or communicate with each other in any way.
But that’s what Jack likes so much about Jake:
Jake gives Jack the piece of mind that he won’t be messed with. It’s mutual chill time for the two toddler dudes.
Needless to say, to the outsider, their friendship status is “It’s complicated.”
Monday, August 13th, 2012
“The only time you should look into your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure they have enough,” comedian Louis C.K. awkwardly tells his daughter on an episode of his FX show, Louie.
Well said, Louis.
And what a pertinent time to hear such a wise proverb. Because my 20 month-old son, as adorable is he may be, has become a complete Mine-O-Saur.
Like the titular character in the book by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Jack now feels the need to announce ownership of his toys to any other child who visits our home:
As an adult, I think about how seldom in life it’s really ever necessary to have to proclaim “Mine!” to anyone. Yet in the mind of a toddler, he has exclusive ownership of these toys my wife and I worked hard to buy for him.
I look forward to the day when Jack will be able to better understand the point of a wonderful song by Jack Johnson, from the Curious George movie soundtrack, “The Sharing Song.”
The main line from the chorus is this: “It’s always more fun to share with everyone.”
As an adult, I know how true it is. Even if it’s as simple as something like when I offer a piece of gum or a snack to a coworker, I enjoy the sense of helping someone else, despite it being in the smallest of ways.
This past weekend, Jack got to the point where he didn’t even want to go into the living room because his little cousin Calla was there playing with his toys.
He couldn’t tolerate the thought of her playing with blocks that came from the same container. If Calla chose a different toy altogether, then Jack would get upset because she was still playing with one of his toys.
So a couple of time-out sessions were earned.
If only toddlers could get it that it’s cool to share. I never really thought about this before, but I guess toddlers don’t care too much about being cool or how society views them.
Toddlers are too sophisticated for something as juvenile as peer pressure.