Parallel Play

Falls down. Gets up. Falls down again. Giggles. Gets up. Falls down and it hurts. Gets back up. Cuddles.

I watch Daisy and her untailored emotions. Within the space of 5 minutes things are the best they’ve ever been; then the worst. She isn’t discouraged because she fails. She isn’t put off doing something because she doesn’t understand.

I am. I get discouraged when I fail at things – this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll stop me trying again but it does negatively impact me. I take it to heart. Why? At what age does that wonderful curiosity and want to do things become eclipsed by the fear of, or the fruition of, failure?

I HATE being new at things. That horrible feeling in your stomach of not knowing anyone in the room. The not knowing where things are. In child classes it’s more – does Daisy need her shoes on? Am I meant to take mine off, too? Dear Go,d why did I put 3 different layers on her?! What if the room is hot? What if the room is cold? Should I take her pushchair in or leave it in the car and walk in? All those silly things swirling around my head. Coupled with small talk. I hate small talk. I’m useless at it because I’m an oversharer.

Daisy doesn’t worry about any of that. The amount of classes she’s been to and new environments we put her in. She stands in the doorway for a minute, has a look around and off she goes. Investigating. She doesn’t quite get playing ‘with’ other children yet. She’ll pass toys and take toys but the whole playing together concept is still not one grasped by a one year old. They parallel play. They exist alongside each other in their happy little bubbles until they learn and are ready to play together – how lovely is that?

Watching Daisy has taught me a few things:

  1. Don’t be afraid to show emotion. You’re not crazy. You’re human. They’re natural feelings. If somethings made you happy – smile. Equally, if something has made you sad, cry. Don’t force yourself to be OK when you’re not.
  2. When you’re knocked over or fall over, dust yourself off and stand back up again when you’ve had chance to regain your balance. If you can, find the funny side.
  3. Take things at your own pace, even if that differs to other people. Whether faster or slower. There’s no shame in your pace being quicker, just as there’s no shame in your pace being slower. Everybody is different and that’s why the world can be so wonderful.
  4. There aren’t many things that won’t feel better after a big cuddle. So cuddle those around you. They (or you!) may well need it more than you realise.

When I became a mum, I thought I would be the teacher. I thought I would be the one to teach her to be kind to herself. But my sassy little lady, as always, had other plans and in her short life so far has taught me more than she will ever know.

If I can be more of anything in life? I’d be more Daisy.


One thought on “Parallel Play

  1. Ohhh Frankii, I loved this post!! I’d like to be more Daisy too. I’m not sure at what age you lose that ability to be fearless or that unquenchable thirst to discover but I certainly think it’s a shame that we lose it. We need to be more like toddlers, less worried all the time. H 🙂


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