Cats have necklaces, cars have shoes, and the door likes it when you say goodbye. Soft toys are real and must be made comfortable for the day, sunflowers are as tall as lamp posts and it’s ok to ask a tree if it’s had a nice day. Yes it’s just our regular walk to and from nursery.
I like looking at the world through E’s eyes. In many ways, all she says makes a lot of sense. A telegraph pole used to be a tree and, if viewed in the right way, still looks like one. The cat’s necklace is really a collar but the logic makes sense. As does the thought that the cars have shoes.
The walk takes us 5-10 minutes or so (most of it in the pushchair unless she’s feeling adventurous.) As this constitutes quite a lot of my day with her I use the time to talk to her about what we see. It’s good training for observational skills. She sees more things than I and focuses on items I wouldn’t necessarily notice. Today she was delighted to see so many lamp posts (she calls them “tall lights”) on the way – she’d not noticed them before. She greeted each one with a shout and a laugh, only punctuated by vans and cyclists as they went past us. She’s into vehicles at the moment.
So we learn our colours using cars and flowers, we learn different types of bird as we see them fly overhead, we wave at dogs and cats as they go about their business, and we comment on the vehicles we see. It’s an action packed 10 minutes.
I guess the educationalists would like this kind of interaction but to tell the truth, I get as much from it as she does. I notice the small details I wouldn’t otherwise – how else would we know pigs live in the garden of a house round the corner? – details that spark thoughts and stories in my head, I smile at people and say hello. It helps embed us into the local community. Despite what you might hear in the media, those of us city dwellers do have a community. I know the dog walkers, the fellow workers, the families, the street sweeper and the maintenance man who works in the park.
Part of me is already regretting that she won’t always find magic in these mundane details, that soon she will be able to see something new and won’t make a logical but slightly inaccurate guess at what it is. So to record these details to remember her as she is now becomes vital, something for me to bore her with when I am old. For now, she charms with her imagination.