Monday, August 26, 2013

Through the eyes of a two-year-old--Carolyn R. Wilker

This 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.”
Other 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


Peter Black said...

Thanks for sharing your delightful reflections of your weekend experience with your darling granddaughter, Carolyn.
It was an enjoyable read for this grandpa! :)

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Thanks, as always for your kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

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