Perception. It’s a funny old thing isn’t it? We all look at the world in a different way and my personal perception of the world has changed over the years. But in the past few months, as Holly has become more active and aware, I’ve found my perception of the world around us has changed once again and the simple things in life bring much delight to my 21 month old.
She’s gathering words at breakneck speed and using them with much gusto. Her list of words, growing every day, consists mainly of favourite foods, cuddly toys and people. And they’re practised at every given opportunity, no matter the location or time of day.
The beautiful abundance of flowers in a number of our neighbours’ gardens evoke giggles, squeals of delight and chants of ‘daisy, daisy!’ at every turn. What’s more we have to stop to examine almost every actual daisy on our walk to the local shops – a feat that adds at least half an hour to every five minutes of walking. Our frequent drives along the seafront are punctuated by the announcement of the sea’s presence every few metres. And having encouraged her use of sign language from an early age, Holly has a lovely mix of words and signs to express her needs, emotions and requests. She’s even started to make up her own signs, making comprehension of her constant chatter difficult for the unprepared onlooker.
Who needs expensive, space-robbing toys when one has the delights of the world to keep a toddler happy? Holly is never more satisfied than when she’s exploring our postage stamp of a garden, moving gravel from one corner to another, splashing in the shallows of the sea, listening to the birds singing at her from the trees or kicking her penny floater ball around on the green space over the road. These are the things she loves to do most in the world. Get her paddling pool out and equip her with a container or two with which to slowly empty said paddling pool and she’s in toddler heaven.
‘Birdies’ are spotted, aeroplanes traced across the sky, dogs waved at and patted where possible and cars receive a good old yelling at as they pass on by. And her joy in every aspect of her environment has, pleasantly, rubbed off on me too. Her Daddy and I find ourselves constantly looking out for things to point out to Holly; cows to ‘moo’ at, sheep to ‘baa’ at, ladybirds to ‘ooh’ at and cats to ‘meow’ at.
The three of us can spend many long, happy minutes chatting about the waves crashing on the beach, gazing at the small colourful windmill catching the wind in the back garden, replaying the recent thunderstorms in one word sentences and enjoying bubbles floating and popping, swirling and dancing.
And so it seems that, in a time when life is sometimes a complicated beast, perhaps a view of the world through a toddler’s eyes is just the break from the rat race that some of us need? Why not get out there and enjoy the countless lovely things that many of us have long since forgotten to notice?
There is indeed a lot to be said for the simple things in life.
by Helen Bowman © 2012
Helen Bowman is a freelance writer, editor and proof reader who lives in Whitley Bay and works with small companies, individuals and groups to write, edit and proof read articles, press releases, website copy and all forms of the written word.
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