Thursday, 1 November 2012

Band of toddlers at the playground

We have been bringing Kah Yen to the neighborhood playground before she even learnt to walk. We enjoyed spending time with her there. In the beginning we would follow her whereever she goes and show her how to play the different equipments. However, as she grows and becomes more mobile, we usually encourage her to explore the playground on her own while we lay back at the bench. No not because we are lazy parents, but we want her to have a chance to learn to socialize with other children at the playground.

Kah Yen is a relatively quiet, conservative and timid girl. (I really hate to label her like that but I don't know how else to phrase it). She is always a little scared of strangers coming near to her or staring at her. Sometimes she is afraid of bigger kids or even toddlers of her age too, when they are too rough and too intimidating. At the playground, when other kid come too close to her, she steps back. When other kids climb up the staircase or slide she is on, she quickly moves away. When a group of bigger kids are playing something fun, she will watch them but always from a safe distance.

We worry about her, unavoidably. Hence we continue to make effort to guide her to interact with other kids. Now that she is a big girl, well, almost, she is turning two soon. We notice she is more comfortable playing with other kids now.

Yesterday Daddy brought her to the playground, and afterwards showed me a series of photos of her with other kids. It is always so interesting to see the way children play, even though I was not there myself.

It started with Kah Yen blowing her bubbles - one of her favorite things these days ever since we allowed her to blow on her own. 

And a sweet little girl was drawn to the bubbles, she came over to sit beside her and watch.

Another girl came along. No words exchanged. Kah Yen continued to play on her own. If I was there I would take this opportunity to teach her to share, Daddy totally forgot about it since he was busy taking photos.

Then, a baby came to the playground in a very fancy baby car. All of them were drawn to the baby car immediately and one by one they moved towards the baby. No words exchanged.

Kah Yen showed her affection to the cute baby by blowing bubbles right at her face! Apparently that's her way of sharing and giving. Daddy corrected her later.

The three kids conveniently played with the baby's car like nobody's business. This baby must be an angel to allow three big kids to take possesion of her property just like that. Look how innocently she looked at them.

Just like that, they formed their own "Band of Toddlers", no drinking of blood or swearing of pledge, not even a word was spoken. Just like that.

I love the way they play together. Sometimes we call toddlers "social morons" because they never bother to say "Please", "Thank you" or "Sorry", they snatch things as if everything is theirs, and whatever they see first, they play first. Yet at other times they can play in harmony like they have always known each other, they care little about each other's differences, and what belongs to one person soon belongs to everybody.

We adults surely can learn a lot from them.

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