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2 Year Old Imaginations

It’s amazing to hear your child talk for the first time.
It’s then amazing to hear their minds at work.
It’s even more amazing to hear their creativity and imagination shine through.

Toddlers don’t exactly have a normal perception of the world. I was at a play area in a mall the other day. I saw a little girl brush past my daughter. They touched….barely. My daughter turned around and yelled “She bonked me!!!”. Quite the exaggeration, yes. But to my daughter it wasn’t. That little girl bonked her…whether it was hardly at all, or on accident doesn’t matter. There was contact and my girl was going to call her out on it.

Inside I was laughing (maybe a little outwardly as well- although I was trying to sympathize with my daughter).

I explained to my daughter that it was an accident, and what that meant. The other little girl said she was sorry immediately and we all just moved on.

My next reaction was pride. I was so proud of my daughter for saying something. Yes, it was ridiculous, but I’d rather have her say something at ridiculous moments, then learn to not say something when it matters. And how brave. I always look back and wish I’d said more… so I’m trying to show my daughter that she can stand up for herself and still be polite about it. There’s just the issue of perception… and what really happened. My daughter doesn’t have the ability to decipher all the details just yet- she’s only just starting to figure it all out.

So, when I picked my daughter up from school today, and heard nonstop talk about this boy who pushed her… I knew there was a high likelihood of exaggeration to say the least!

Here’s what my daughter told me:

“Another kid was crying today”
“AJ was crying”
“He asked for a tissue”
“AJ was crying for Mommy”
“I said sorry”
“AJ pushed me”
“I don’t have a plan for that”
“I fell on the ground”
“I tripped”

She repeated these things over and over again. I asked questions, she gave answers similar to above. Then she started expanding…

“AJ pushed me”
“He didn’t say sorry”
“I pushed him back”
“AJ cried”
“He pushed me and I fell down on ground”
“He didn’t want me to go outside”
“I went out to the playground”
“I said I was sorry”
“AJ pushed me”
“I don’t have a plan for that”
“AJ cried”

It went on and on. This was all she wanted to talk about. I was dying laughing at the “I don’t have a plan for that” comments. I assumed I knew nothing about the event since I couldn’t take her words at face value for true context of the situation. We talked about a plan for what to do if someone pushes her. We talked about saying “No, I don’t like that”, “Please don’t touch me”, and informing an adult. We talked about not pushing other children back.

Then I was curious. I was not at all concerned about the “incident”. Kids are kids. Whether it was an accident or not, they are 2 years old and this is the first issue I’ve heard from school. So… really it’s no big deal and to be expected in a class at some point. Plus, I knew full well that he could have just touched her and she would have told me it was a push. Who knows!? I was curious, though, as to how much of a story I was getting. How big of a story has she created? I just want to be prepared as a mom, really!

So I decided to ask the teachers when we got home. I sent them a message to see if anything had happened (also included the other mom).

Here’s what actually happened:

As the class was preparing to go outside, everyone was excited and in each other’s space. The little boy knocked Caroline over (perhaps on accident), and said he was sorry. No big drama, no pushing back, no tears.

So my little storyteller….. I’m going to have to watch out for her! LOL!

It’s really been amazing to see, however. She pretend plays at home all the time now. She has little Daniel Tiger figures that she plays with and a few other small character toys. She talks for the characters and has full on conversations all by herself (thank goodness, because I am horrible at pretend play). She has them talk about things like going to school, going to bed, eating lunch, going to the playground, etc. She also has conflicts arise and conflict resolution: She’ll have Daniel Tiger say “I don’t want to go to school”, then Mom Tiger will say “You have to go”, then she’ll say “Mom will come back to pick you up”, and “It’s ok Daniel Tiger”. She’ll also cry for the characters, and then ask if they are ok, give them a kiss and make everything better. She has her own spin on scenarios she sees in her shows, reads in her books, and experiences in real life. It is absolutely fascinating to listen to. After talking with her teachers today, it sounds like she is doing this similar creative play at school as well!

Caroline’s imagination is just soaring right now (26 months old), and I am absolutely fascinated watching everything unfold. She is demonstrating so much understanding and empathy through her pretend play, and it is lovely hearing her viewpoint be expressed. I love that my little girl is standing up for herself and speaking up, and I love that she’s interested in talking about everything so much.

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