Entertainment of a child..
Have you ever watched children, particularly young children? I mean, like really watched them? I’m not talking in the sense of babysitting them or keeping them away from self inflicted bodily harm (though this is important too). I’m talking about sitting back and watching them when they have no idea that you are really paying attention to what they are doing. From time to time, I like to sneak watch my boys, just to see what truly strange, entertaining and sometimes even gag reflex worthy actions they will do.
The most recent example came when we were visiting family and I hear my uncle ask my two year old.. “Did you just lick your shoe?” Perhaps what was more surprising to me was not that I wasn’t surprised he would do this, but that I actually weighed the fact that if he only licked the top of his shoe and not the bottom, it wasn’t too bad. And if he did.. oh well.. it’s just building his immune system right?
Then there is the example of my oldest. For the longest time, he had this weird habit of pulling the pilled up balls off his socks and rolling them all over his face while sitting in group at school. They were the tiniest, almost microscopic, things and when I asked him why he did that, his reply was a shrug of his shoulders and a simple “Because I like too.” Now, that in itself wasn’t that bad, except then he followed this action with eating the little sock balls. (EWW.. I know.. my kids have some weird thing with feet in mouths or something.) We kicked that habit when I showed him the inside of his shoes and asked him to smell them. (That would be enough to cure anyone of that habit I think.) Well.. I might have also shown him some pictures online of what can happen to someone if they get some strange disease.. but I’m not sure how well that helped him or just scarred him for the rest of his life.
But aside from the rather gross (but perhaps at times entertaining) things that children do, they are also remarkable to watch. They will find amusement in simple things adults wouldn’t even think would be entertaining. (Kind of following the line of reasoning here that the box is more fun than the toy that came in it.) My two year old will spend hours (or so it seems to him, it’s probably like a half hour) sticking sticks into every random ant hole while we are at the park. AT THE PARK. I mean, sure there are slides and climbers and all that good stuff but sticks and random leaves are clearly much better. It also leaves me wondering why I thought my child needed to go any further than our little patch of grass we have. There are plenty of leaves, wood chips and ants to terrorize out there.
Or how about this, have you ever noticed how entertained they can be with just their hands? I remember when my son was about 6 months old, the opening and closing of his chubby little fist was much more entertaining than the rattle I was so desperately trying to get him to shake. Granted, now I do understand it has to do with making brain connections and understanding they are in control of their own bodies (hence the repetitive movements) but really? Wouldn’t shaking a rattle still be more entertaining?
And you know that infinitesimal hole you had in the fabric of your couch, chair, wall paper, whatever? Children have an amazing innate ability to find that hole and scratch away at it with their tiny little fingers. Pretty soon, whatever it is will have to be repaired and you will be amazed at how much time it didn’t take them to destory it. A burglar coming into your home and ransacking the place would have to take longer than it did for them to spot this tear and work it until it was big enough it could be seen from space.
Despite how many items in your home you will end up needing to replace (or how many times you will find yourself uttering the phrase “See, this is why I cannot have nice things!” I’ll admit though, that phrase is more frequently directed at my husband than my two young boys), the first time your child says a clear phrase, even if it is “Go away, Mommy.”, you will feel a little spark of joy. You will relish that they are indeed growing up and feel that you have perhaps taught them a thing or two. And, if your house is anything like my house, you will politely nod your head and remind them the proper way to say something like that would be “Please go away, Mommy.”