Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Boy

Mama Journal Entry

One day recently Tommy told Rebecca that J is "like him now". I guess meaning that J is not a baby anymore, but a big boy and a friend. J and Tommy (5) play so well together. They are like brothers except they never fight. J does whatever Tommy does--he copycats and likes to make Tommy laugh. It's cute and fun to watch, but it makes me wonder, will playing with someone so much older make J grow up faster? His play is already more imaginative than I expected or thought possible for a 20 month-old. Last week at Rebecca's he found a Rubbermaid stepstool in her kitchen. He carried it to the front room where he was playing trains and used it as a tunnel, chugging the trains along under it and saying "dark tunnel".

And ever since we went to the pumpkin patch and took a hayride with Tommy, J plays hayride at home. He pushes his highchair around the kitchen, or climbs on a chair, or stands on books or a pillow all the while announcing, "Hayride ready! Hayride comin'! C'mon Tommy!"

Like any parent, I hope to do as much as I can to foster his imagination. Yesterday I decided that the key to encouraging imaginative play is to provide J with new experiences. Toys are fun and can be imaginative, but experience gets in deeper and takes root in the mind and the imagination. Had he not felt the thrill of bouncing through the pumpkin patch on a bale of hay on the back of a tractor, he would not be tearing the house apart right now using his Lego table as a 'hayride'.

Watching such a little guy pretend in such a huge way really strengthens the value that my husband and I share of using our money and time on activities rather than things.

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