I’ve been thinking a lot about William’s interests, toys and activities of choice today. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it because we’re stuck at home after his vom-fest this week. Seriously, I managed to work a whole 45 minutes on Monday before having to take my poorly little man home. And the rest of the week basically became a write off there and then as far as work is concerned! Parenthood sometimes, pfft… Anyway, that’s a different post!
So anyway, I’ve been thinking about interests and when (if) it’s too soon to really be nurturing interests with the kids. I’m not really talking about a 6 month MLP (that’s My Little Pony to the lucky of you out there who aren’t afflicted!) obsession, or a sudden interest in where the water goes when you flush the toilet (although I do know of a nursery that took that very question and featured a month’s worth of activities around it!).
I’ve been thinking about the bigger things, the things that will remain interests for huge chunks of their childhood and even into adulthood. I’m talking music, dancing, photography, reading, sports, drama (there’s no shortage of that among any of us, I’m sure). How soon is too soon to be encouraging these interests, or even noticing them?
I’m in danger here of sounding like this mum;
“Oh my gosh, my kids are just so talented. Wills practically came out of the womb playing the oboe!”
I promise you I’m not, though. Like any parent, it’s always in the back (front) of my mind, that niggling feeling that I’m not doing enough, though. I should be doing more – so much more!
Amelia has always been creative, in so many ways. Her imagination astounds me daily, and to listen to her play sometimes even I feel transported into the magical worlds she creates. She has recently shown an interest (and aptitude) in photography, and it got me thinking about what she is really capable of now that she is old enough to treat things with a little more care. Given that I’m rather attached to my phone, which is the only half decent photographic device we own, I have started to wonder if we should just buy her a camera and let her snap away to her heart’s content?
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This child! When she wanted to stop on the stone steps and take pictures (she spent most of her time directing and taking photos of me!) I would have normally said no because we're on our way to somewhere. . Allowing her the time to just play and be her made me properly sit back and think about how much she has grown and how much her personality and interests are shining through! She directed like a pro, and took better photos than I could have!! . It's the little things that make the day that much brighter ❤️
But what if it ends up discarded, languishing in a corner of her room somewhere? What if we spend hard earned cash on something that she ends up deciding isn’t for her? Is that a waste? Is it pointless?
Then there’s Wills; all jokes about oboes aside, the boy seriously loves music. Most kids his age do, right? And everyone likes a good beat! But the more I watch him and take note of his play, the more I’ve realised that there is music in everything he does. In the bedroom, he ignores all of the toys except the music box. I found him in the middle of the night recently stretching as far as he could out of his cot to reach a trumpet and set of shakers. In the kitchen, he pulls all of the pots and pans out of the cupboard until he finds his two fave metal pan lids and then sits contentedly banging them together like cymbals. During the day, he’s totally disinterested in kids TV, but goes nuts if I put on a music channel. At bedtime, he looks at me expectantly until I start to
sing wail for him, and as soon as I start he says a little “aahhh” and lays his head on me.
Is it totally ridiculous that at the tender age of 10 months he already owns a guitar (we got him his own so Amelia could have hers back, which he sits and carefully plucks each string one by one), trumpet, drum, maracas, recorder, and a thousand other noisy things? Is it totally ridiculous that while I’m writing this I keep getting distracted looking for a camera for my 3-year-old?
I don’t think so. I believe that our children can, and will, do whatever pleases them, and are truly capable of anything. So what if Amelia hates photography next year? She loves it now, so why shouldn’t she be given the opportunity to explore and enjoy it to her full potential. So what if Wills ends up tone deaf; the one thing that makes him totally happy, bouncy and excited (aside from food) is music. So right now, isn’t it my job to do everything I can to facilitate his enjoyment?
Also, I’m secretly harbouring a total obsessive mum-type dream that in my twilight years I’ll be gushing about my daughter, the modern Annie Liebovitz, and my son, 2030’s answer to Ed Sheeran!