Cydney is now two years old. She’s going from being a baby to a person. A toddler is still a sponge that takes everything in, but they start to put things out there as well. They start to show signs of their own personalities and such and they can become very entertaining watching them develop. The most entertaining thing is not just when they imitate you, but when on their own they display behavior just like you. Gets me all the time.
As all adults know until reality shows us otherwise, the world is a place of exploration in which we can run wild. What I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is that the biggest display of a child’s imagination comes from playing with toys. Taking a group of plastic figures, pretending that they and the world that they are in is real, giving them voices, and real stories with adversity to overcome. No longer being a baby, Cydney doesn’t play with toys the way that babies do in which you pretty much just look at something and figure it out.
While there is still some discovery in her play, its more so like a big kid. She makes action figures fight, Dora does homework in her dollhouse, and she takes care of the babies as well. She does other things that takes it to the next level as well. She takes paper towel, places it on the table, then places a doll on top of it, and attempts to change the doll’s diaper. One of her other things is she takes this flat Polly Pocket play set that my sister had that has a few houses and trees on it, picks it up, sings happy birthday, and blows on the top of the houses and trees like they’re candles. Then it’s your turn.
Imagination is a catalyst to play. Playing can and does foster character traits. Cydney can be a typhoon when she plays. She sees me cleaning up after her or around the house a lot. She starts playing clean up with me. She picks up her toy broom, may pretend to wipe something up, or will grab the bottom of my mop and push along with me. That play has taken this idea to the next level. For example, Cydney had some chocolate milk yesterday. I was in the middle of cleaning up and she took the last little bit of her milk and poured it on the floor. Of course I was upset. I couldn’t get to cleaning it right away, but I knew it was there. Three minutes later i look down and Cydney took some napkins and put of over the milk and made a real attempt to clean it up.
I look at when Cydney does things like that, or my nephew sits down at my keyboard and begins to play the piano imagining he is in front of throngs of adorning fans (The game a played the most growing up) or whatever it is that they’re doing and think about how eventually they won’t have that anymore, or your imagination and creativity evolves into other ways and that’s when it sets in that losing innocence is as certain as one day we’re all going to die. As we as adults get older, I am an advocate for still letting a piece of you still be a big kid (I’d say about 60% of me is still twelve). When those moments flare up and I feel too old, I let my kid live through mine.