A meeting of the toddler minds.

This past Wednesday we spent a wonderful day on my in-law’s dairy farm. My sister-in-law was down for march break with our nephew, so we took the opportunity to go catch up and man what a day for it. The sun was bright and the wind was low. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to take off.

We got there and firsts things first was to do a big reunion with Lilly and her cousin, Owen. They haven’t seen each other since Christmas and at only 6 days apart, they are very entertaining to watch. First protocol in toddler world is to closely examine the kid in front of you. This child may be your competition for all toys and motherly attention for the foreseeable future, so you need to fully size each other up. Once they had established that, they were able to go off and play together. Of course, playing at 19 months old is really just the art of finding creative ways to get whatever your playmate has.

They went through small moments of harmony mixed with little bits of the standard ‘she took my train’ cry (minus the actual words since they are both just learning to talk). I say ‘she took my toy’ cry because my kid did all of the taking.

Lilly definitely has the whole want-it take-it attitude down pat. Owen would at least wait until Lilly had dropped or set down the item, which was great. Sneaky as heck, but great! Lilly would just wait until Owen had it and rip it straight from his hands.

Cold, man, just cold.

Harmony…but only after enough diasours were
found for everyone to have one.

It amazes me that when you put two kids together at this age to ‘play’ they really don’t want all that much to do with each other. Aside from stealing each other’s things, they really just have this concept of being in their own world and conducting their own business. Occasionally if the other child makes noise, they might look in their direction. If you tell them to go hug the other child, they will often do it, but you can tell that’s just to please you. If you ask them to give back the toy they just savagely stole, they look at you like your crazy, then comply at a snail’s pace. Hilarious. I really truly wish I could just hear inside their heads during all of this.

Owen: I’m not sitting beside her long enough for you to take
a good photo. She steals my toys.
Lilly: oohh look a dog! Owen’s dog, no less. (She’d take that
too if she could)
Lilly: Listen kid, my mom says I have to hug you.
Owen: Mommy, save me!

I think I find it most interesting because this attitude of self involvement is really only this strong in toddler hood. The rest of our lives we are eager to fit in and spend time with our friends. We will blow off family, school, giving into peer pressures and doing things we would never normally do, all in the pursuit of maintaining friendships. Yet as toddlers, we frankly could care less. I know that Lilly will not always be like this, and eventually I will have to deal with some decisions she will likely make to appease her friends.

I think ideally, we would hold onto just a touch more of this self-involvement throughout the rest of our lives. Might save us from just a few more of those adolescent mistakes.

PS. This photo has nothing to do with the subject of the blog. My kid trying to get maple syrup directly from the tree is just too damn cute not to post. A true Canadian girl ;)

This is how real Canadians do it.

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