Let your adult go and enter the world of “two”
I do NOT like being told what to do. While I’m less apt to blurt out, “No!,” and stalk away now that I’m “all grown up,” I still strongly resist situations in which I’m not in control. Sound like any two-year-olds you know? While it makes you clench your fists in annoyance, there is a gift in this phase (and this life-long temperment trait).
I can freely access my own creativity. In whatever I seek to accomplish, I jump in whole-heartedly because the ideas are all mine. Two-year-olds are always invested in their own ideas and jump into self-directed activities with wild abandon. It’s invigorating… usually. But it’s also easy to forget to follow their lead once in a while. Yesterday, I got a good reminder:
As I played with a pair of two year olds today, who just love pretending to drink from anything that looks drinkable… a plastic cup, my empty tea mug, a tiny red toy ketchup bottle…I recognized a similar quality of creativity in their game. Even though I, as an adult, may not feel overly excited at having objects thrust by tiny hands up to my mouth with a demand that I “sip” over and over again (right?), I know that this is a two-year-old’s way of being creative. Their brains are maturing through this play. They develop longer attention spans, turn taking, sharing, and pretend play skills. And here’s an added bonus: By following their lead and indulging in the games that are fun for them, I am off the hook. No need for me to develop fun and educational play activities. Nice, huh?
The best way to play with your two-year-old? Relax, and follow his lead. You’ll know you’re on the right path by his shrieks of laughter and twinkling eyes. So instead of spoiling their game on account of my adult boredom, I jump in whole-heartedly, pinkie up, grab the nearest toy dump truck with the empty yellow bucket in back and joyfully “SSSSSiiiiiip!”