Somewhere I Belong
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Why kids play and so should you..
So I visited my friends house today evening. She has a kid. Same place as my last entry with the pug. This time I wanted to try some experiments on them. They didn't know that.
So I bought some chocolates first. Became from a stranger to a stranger with gifts. So I enter and she still a bit hesitant. So I give her the first of a few chocolate bars. She takes them and runs in the kitchen instinctly to give her mom. Then comes back and I give her one more. After a few more I've gained her trust. She's not the type to hog all of it. But the act of giving and receiving was what she enjoyed.
Now on the couch sitting and gossiping with her mom. The kid plays in front of us. I have some snacks and with tomato ketchup. Mom says don't eat in front of her as she licks it with her fingers and may want to finish it all. That gives me a brilliant idea. I do the same. I look at her make sure I have her attention and dio my finger in the ketchup and lick it clean. The kid look and giggles. Strike two. Now definitely I've peeked her interest as I've demonstrated her own behavior making me one of her own. It's like making friends wirh a wild animal you know. Slowly build trust. Mimic their acts.
An empty packet of chocolate. It's a small red box. Now to engage in some sort of play I do what kids do best. Pick it up and throw the box. Boink. It bounces off her head and lands on the floor. Her reaction was playful and not the annoyed type. So I knew I had something there. She picks it up and throws it back. It lands near me. I pick it up and throw again. Her hands up in the air and she laughs every time we do it. This back and forth goes for a few long minutes. The mom looks at us and says Now there are two kids in the house. Then I do something I knew the kid will enjoy. Throw the box at mom. The kid giggles and laughs. Mom joined in and throws it around too. The simplest things are what Bring us the most joy.
I need to introduce a bit of chaos. So I see a plastic wrapper. I pick it up and slide in behind the kid under her top through the neck. It sticks to her back. And I move away. She freezes and her face turns from happy giggling to a statue. Then I see something. She starts to feel this new thing on her back. She tries to grab it but can't cause she doesn't understand it's under her top not on outside. I tell the mom not to help her. As a dog chasing its tail this little one does circles around herself. I can observe her using every ounce of her motor skills to try and figure this shit out. That level of focus. Then she finally gets it and grabs it and looks at her mom and me with a yeaaahh I did it smile.. In just a few moments I witnessed her go from facing a problem she had never encountered before to finding a solution and overcoming it with sheer determination. This is what lacking in adults. This drive to overcome all odds and get what we want.
In this short evening through observation of our own species offspring can tell us and teach us so much about our well forgotten past. We as adults treat kids as kids. But in their playfulness they get to develop into the best or the worst of their kind. Every mamal as a youngling engages in play. And I mean physical contact type. Not glued to your iPad and Nintendo. From bears to lions to your very own dogs. We humans need it too. I'm glad that the kid is active and likes it rough. To tumble and jump around. For them everything is play. Every object in the house is their toy.