Happy to Just ‘Be’

Published June 7, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I was thinking today about when I was a child. I remember playing ‘fish and chip shop’ with my brother. We cut up paper and pretended they were chips and then used more paper to wrap them up and ‘sell’ them to one another. I remember pretending my swing was a cooker and mixing ‘mud pie’ or ‘magic potions’ in a plant pot sat on the swing seat, we did lots of imaginative play when I think about it, but I also have memories of just sitting. I remember watching my mum sing and also times when I would sing along with her. I remember watching her make me lunch whilst I chatted away besides her, just happy being there and chatting. I had no toy in my hand, there was no tv on, it was just me and my mum ‘being’ together. I remember sitting on my Nannys lap, just because I wanted to talk to her, she didn’t have anything for me to ‘do’, and it wasn’t so I could get a better view of the tv, it was so I could sit with her, or talk to her. I talked a lot as a child I’m told! There’s been no change as an adult, I’m still a chatter box πŸ™‚ I also remember lying on the sofa on my back trying to count the flowers on the wallpaper on the ceiling, just because I could. I remember sitting and pulling faces at myself in the mirror for ages! I used to like watching myself cry in that same mirror I’m told, that was clearly the start of the drama queen bit in me! But what I’m getting at is that I was happy to just do nothing sometimes, even if it was only for a few minutes, I was only a child after all, my attention span was just as short as the next child’s, but I was still happy to just ‘be’.

My girls never do this. In fact, I tried to think today of a time they were just happy to ‘be’. I couldn’t. They constantly need ‘something’ to do. Whether its tv or toys. They NEVER just sit and talk, and unless they’re asleep they never stop. They’re never content to just ‘be’.

I’ve struggled to explain this, and I don’t think I’ve done it very well here either, probably because I don’t really understand the ‘why’ behind it all.
I’d be interested to know your experiences and thoughts. Do you have memories of being content to just ‘be’ when you were a child, or how about your child, were they or are they happy to just ‘be’, even if only for a minute or 2?

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11 comments on “Happy to Just ‘Be’

  • Oh, I can so relate! I totally remember finding patterns in the wallpaper, faces in the carpet, and just down time with my parents where I was totally happy. I would LOVE to have that with my kiddos now, but the younger ones just can’t do it. I have them actually practice just sitting still – it is good for them but they hate it. Hopefully with time…

    • Yes my girls struggle to sit still. I tried ‘strong sitting’ that I read in one of those adoption books, I forget which one. They hate it, they just see it as a punishment so it has no benefit really, its become more of a ‘time in’ type excercise, probably due to the way I’ve instigated it. I do wonder though why it is that they can’t just ‘be’?! Where does this need to always ‘do’ something come from?! Perhaps if I understood that, I’d be better equipped to help them. Thanks for your comment, its good to know I’m not alone πŸ™‚

  • i can resonate so much it’s too hard to comment. we should probably joke about instead. let’s have a post devoted entirely to how hilarious the dysfunction of little things like this is. (ps, great post, you are not alone)

    • (Seriously hating the lack of spell check function on this reply form but here goes) I think your right, if we didn’t manage to laugh about some of these ridiculously dysfunctional behaviours then we’d truly go insane wouldn’t we. I use sarcasm purely for medicinal purposes! πŸ˜‰

  • I think the need to constantly “do” something may come from the need to avoid the fear of actually daring to be quiet where intrusive and unwanted “bad” thoughts might come.

  • My daughter can’t just ‘be’ either, sadly for her she struggles to play with toys too so it’s either telly, one-on-one activity or getting out of the house for us. Usually the latter because with a two year old its hard to divide the attention, they both have attention needs for quite different reasons.

    • Yes ours all demand attention too, although I find this is much less when we’re out and about. Being at home seems to switch on all the demanding/needing behaviours doesn’t it, so giving one to one is very difficult isn’t it :/

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