When you are a little kid, your friends are usually siblings or cousins. Since there is not much choice of who your friends are, at this age, all you can do is hope you get along pretty well. Thankfully for me and for my girls, that was exactly the case. While the girls had their typical little kid tiffs, for the most part, they were best friends. They did everything together. I didn’t have to find ways to entertain them for very long, because they took over that job very early on. As soon as Amy was able to play, they were always making up their own games. It was entertaining to watch them play.
Corrie and Amy never fought much, and in fact, I actually had people comment on that fact. It made it easy to have them do things together. Everything from riding around in a wagon together or even riding…or being pushed on the same tricycle. They loved that neither of them had to wait their turn. It also made Corrie feel like a big girl when she could hold her sister in place so she didn’t fall off. I loved how protective Corrie was of her little sister. It was very sweet.
It’s not very often that you can turn a normal tricycle into a tricycle built for two, but when kids are little, you can fit two little ones on a tricycle. And Amy was just so excited to be on there. She felt like a big girl too, and when someone pushed them around the patio, they were in seventh Heaven. Of course, pushing a tricycle around a patio all day can get pretty old pretty fast. Nevertheless, to make for happy toddlers, pushing them around on a tricycle is the perfect solution…temporarily. Too much pushing the kids around the patio can make for happy kids…and worn out adults.
Those early childhood days, when your siblings are your best friends, go by so fast. When I look at the fun my girls had, just hanging out together, it always puts a smile on my face. They are still close, but can siblings ever be as close as adults as they were as toddlers? I don’t see how they could. People get so busy, and besides, can anything ever compare to the fun times you had with your sister, when you were little kids?
I love seeing the funny ways many babies and toddlers fall asleep, because they are so uninhibited. They get tired and they just nod off in whatever place or position they are in at that moment. Sometimes they have been fighting the whole thing for a while, and sometimes you don’t really want them to fall asleep…just yet. You hope they will stay awake long enough to finish dinner, because you know that if they don’t eat enough, they probably won’t sleep long, and a hungry baby wakes up grouchy!
One of the funniest ways kids fall asleep is when they are eating. Sometimes their face is covered with food bits, and they have a complete mess all around them. Sometimes, they are just about to put their face right into that dinner, and it doesn’t matter to them, because they are just too tired to care. And, when you think about it, does food on a baby’s face really bother them anyway.
Babies are so funny. They are out trying new things…keeping themselves running, or crawling, all the time, and before you know it they simply drop from exhaustion. That is not unusual by itself, but it is the way they drop that usually brings a laugh. They might have their little butt in the air, or be lying over a pillow, that is under their back instead of their head. They might snuggle up to the dog or a favorite toy, or they might be face first in their dinner plate.
One of the funniest sleeping moments with most babies is when they have nodded off in their windup swing, with their little head hanging down on their chest, and then you go to wind up the swing again. They jump the minute you start to wind it up, their head flies up, eyes partway open, but the baby is not really awake. You are trying not to laugh, because you really don’t want to wake the baby up, and that was the reason you were winding the swing up anyway, right.
Yes, sleeping babies can be very funny. For most of us a sleeping baby can also be a relief. If they have been crying for a long time, we are so ready for it to stop, but once they finally crash, all that frustration goes away, and we simply watch them and enjoy the funny way they can look. Either way, there is nothing quite like a sleeping baby.
When toddlers are placed in close proximity with a baby, it always seems like the first thing they want to do is touch the baby’s head. I never could figure out what the attraction was. Of course, the last thing the adults want them to touch is the baby’s head. And maybe that is the exact reason why they go for it. Whenever someone hands a baby to someone who is or seems inexperienced, the first thing they say is, “Watch his head!!” It makes the head all important I guess. Or maybe it is because the baby’s head is often pretty bald, so like any other bald head, some people want to rub it…another thing I never could figure out.
When my grandchildren, Christopher and Shai were 16 months old, my third grandchild, Caalab arrived. There were times when Shai, at least, wondered why her parents had to get her a brother. He cried, and she really hated that, but in many ways she loved him too. And to these two best friends and cousins, who spent much of their waking hours together, Christopher and Shai found Caalab to be something of an oddity too. They hadn’t been around babies much, and so they didn’t really know why Caalab did the things he did…like crying, especially when they touched his head or tried to pick him up. They couldn’t figure out what his problem was. And all Caalab could think of was please don’t drop me or poke me in the eye.
For parents keeping the baby safe from the other kids can almost be a full time job, and yet the older children don’t mean any harm. All they want is to be involved with this new little person who takes up so much of the adults’ time, and seems so important to them. I think they are just curious. They want to help out with the baby. They want to play a part in this new life that has come into their world. And they want to see what makes this baby tick, so to speak…probably part of why they have to touch the baby’s head. To a toddler, babies are something very new…and toddlers really just want to understand what all the fuss is about.
There are few things in the life of a toddler that they enjoy more than a pony ride on a grandparent’s foot. It is the first type of ride most kids get to take…almost like their first carnival ride. It is amazing that such a simple ride can thoroughly delight a child. It is such a simple thing to do and yet it can give the rider hours of fun…if your leg could hold out that long that is. Nevertheless, the child will continue to as you to “do it again” for hours.
We seem to mimic some of the rides we loved as children in the play with our toddlers a lot. The merry-go-round is done by swinging the child around until they are dizzy and delighted. The airplane is done by lying on the floor and holding the child’s hand while lifting them with your feet into the air. They may not know what we are imitating, because they are too young, but this type of play is passed down from generation to generation.
I remember that JD really loved to get these rides when he was little, and he would ask anyone in the room to give him another ride. Sometimes he would have to go from person to person as one leg or another would get tired, or the adult would get bored with the game. It’s funny how some kids like the pony ride more than others. JD loved his pony rides.
Today, JD rides a different kind of pony…or should I say horse power. JD rides and has raced motorcycles, along with his little brother, Eric. And lets not forget the many cars and pickups that have made their way into JD’s life. He will spend hours working on a vehicle…often into the wee hours of the morning, when he doesn’t have to work the next day. Sometimes, I think he is obsessed with engines, but I suppose that is not all that unusual, given that his dad also loves engines, cars, and motorcycles.
Today, JD has taken on the role of the ride giver with the little ones we have in the family. He is always roughhousing with his cousins, be they little or not. My grandkids have all reaped the benefits of JD’s playful nature…although the adults have wished they would all settle down from time to time. I don’t blame those early rides for all the roughhousing though, because sometimes that is just how a person is. JD is a kid at heart, and I think that as long as there are little ones around him, he will jump right in there and play with them, so…move the furniture back…if you want to keep it in one piece that is.
My grandson, Christopher, always loved to play in boxes, baskets, cupboards, or any other possible hiding place. I’m not sure why he liked these places, but I do know that picture after picture of my grandson finds him grinning happily from his hiding place as he peeks out to see if anyone is watching him, or if his parents can find him.
I am always amazed by the things toddlers see as being all important. Little ones are continually watching their parents and other adults around them to see what they are doing. Little did we know that our every move would be watched and mimicked…until we had kids that is. It makes you want to think about the things you do and say, doesn’t it? Children interpret the actions of adults as being what the cool kids do. Then they do everything in their power to imitate those people who are so important to them.
We always found that with Christopher, the household chores were the most important part of his day. His waking hours would find him “folding clothes” or should I say, unfolding the ones Corrie had in the basket or taking the unfolded clothes out of the basket, because there was something about that basket that made it very important. If it was a good enough place for the clothes, it was good enough for Christopher…so, clothes removed, enter Christopher, and there he would be sitting in the basket grinning…with the clothes all around the basket.
Christopher was also very interested in the kitchen work. Given a free moment from taking care of all the family’s laundry, Christopher would make his way into the kitchen to start dinner for the family. Pots and pans would come out of the cupboards in preparation for the days meals. Sometimes, it seems the pans had moved to the back of the cupboard…as pans will find a way of doing, but little trooper that he was, Christopher would simply climb into the cupboard and crawl back to the back to retrieve the exact pan necessary to making the meal he was working on.
When you are taking care of your family, Christopher always found that the day’s work was never really done. He “worked and worked” all day long…as his parents went along behind him picking up the clutter left behind…but really, how could they be upset when Christopher would present that precious, grinning little face. After all, we can always use a little help in the kitchen…right?