Life doesn't need to be all gift-wrapped and sparkling to light up the eyes of a two year old. It's worth remembering that building things (while obviously important) can wear a little thin. Yes, there's something about the sight of a familiar object being taken apart that resonates deeply with toddlers.
For the past two days my son-in-law and I have been breaking up concrete that used to form the bases of a small dilapidated garage and a glassless greenhouse. The idea is to free up more space in the garden for the children. Our two year old granddaughter already needs the extra room to accommodate her attempts at breaking speed records whilst going about her daily business. The twins are only 6 months old and still regard any extraordinary goings-on with rather bemused expressions. But the time will undoubtedly arrive when all three will be careering about within the confines of their own 'outdoors' and it will be handy for all concerned if we minimise the risk of collision.
This afternoon we completed the first stage of project 'garden expansion'. We moved 6 cubic yards of rubble and deposited it in a waste skip. During the process our little landscaper was assisting by carrying the withered remains of a forsythia bush, that had fallen victim to our efforts, to the skip. Not quite tall enough to complete the manoeuvre on her own, we took turns to raise her up like a champion so that she could bathe in the glory of her achievement.
All along the way there were enough pairs of adult eyes to keep her safe. The important thing was that felt involved and useful. Little people need to know their worth too.
She was beaming with pride and evidently filled with delight.......just before she announced that it was time for her to receive a drink and a biscuit as her due reward. At this point it was difficult to raise an argument against taking a break. Kids are so perceptive aren't they?
© 2009, copyright Martin T. Hodges