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 🙂 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?