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Monday, August 26, 2013
Through the eyes of a two-year-old--Carolyn R. Wilker
past weekend my husband and I had occasion to look after our two-year-old
granddaughter— a blonde, blue-eyed child with a headful of “boing-boing curls”
as author Beverly Cleary wrote of one of her characters.
I wrote back to a fellow editor, Leslie R., who had
replied to one of my email messages that I had been busy looking after our
grandchild who’s two. She wrote, “I can't imagine a more pleasant
pastime than spending time in the magical world of the two year old.”
In a two-year-old, there is great
enthusiasm for life, along with strong reactions to situations the chilld cannot
master. Tasks that frustrate and spill over into tears or tantrums. At the same
time, wonders of the world that we adults walk by without noticing, they pay
full attention to, if only for a few moments. These things become part of her world,
and “mine” and “me, too” are favourite words.
We took her to church. There was plenty to
look at, music to move to, as well as a little bag of toys and treats to help pass
the time. A fellow speaking with us afterwards, upon learning that she’s two,
said “terrible twos,” but I answered, “It’s only terrible if you look at it
that way.” I think he was partly joking, but it's true.
Having taught preschoolers and having
had three of my own, I know there are many good moments— little arms wrapped
around my neck for a juicy kiss or a hug, as well as their exuberance for
life—that can be both exciting and exhausting. A two-year-old needs her routines,
good food, enough sleep, and people around her who look out for her. And not
just her parents. It includes grandparents, neighbours or any other people who
care for her or about her. Eventually it will include her teachers in school
and others in her community.
It brought to mind the saying, “It Takes
a Whole Village to Raise a Child.” On an Internet search of what could well be
a proverb, I found that the source is not easily tracked.
According to a discussion on H-Net among
African Librarians in 1996, Gretchen Walsh stated that no one could find a
source, but she wrote, “It’s a phrase that has really caught on.”
people have used the phrase, including Hillary Clinton. Another librarian, Greg Finnegan, replied, “Guy Zona in The Soul
Would Have No Rainbow if the Eyes Had No Tears (Simon & Shuster,
1994), a book of Native American proverbs, attributes the quote to the Omahas,
a Siouan-speaking tribe from Nebraska.”
Whoever coined that proverb was a wise
person, reflecting that we are to look out for children around us. It’s a
responsibility to watch out for the child who is not aware of certain dangers,
use the teaching moments well, take the opportunity to show the child that you
care for her. It’s also an opportunity to model good behaviour.
And so we did many things together this
weekend: played with toys, ate meals, explored the library, read the same two books over and over, pretended to have tea, tried out every
piece of equipment at the park suitable to her age. We blew bubbles, picked
flowers and tiny tomatoes, and best of all, there were many hugs.
Editor/storyteller and speaker. Author of Once Upon a Sandbox