My toddler is beginning to talk.
He doesn’t use proper words often, but when he does, it’s worth listening to.
Toddler: “Stuck!” He holds out my tool box.
Mommy: “These are my toys. You have lots and lots of toys, I only have a few that you can’t play with.”
Toddler: “Don’t need toys.” Then he tries to get me to open the tool box for him.
See? He doesn’t need toys, he just needs tool. Or my phone. Or my camera. Or my laptop. Or anything else that is mine that I don’t want him to play with. Easy.
Mommy: “Balls don’t grow on trees,” as she watches Toddler picking little green tomatoes.
Toddler: He patiently explains, “Ball.”
Balls grow on bushes, he has proved this to me. He loves balls. He also loves tomatoes. Tomatoes are not green, thus they must be balls. How lovely that we have a ball bush for him to always have balls to play with.
Mommy: “Please don’t play in my coffee!” She looks on sadly as small hands put things in her coffee cup, not having rescued it in time.
Toddler: He does not have the words to explain that this is not a coffee cup. He does have lovely blue eyes, though, which he uses to devastating effect as toys go swimming in the Olympic sized pool.
You might wonder why I am sharing these tidbits of my life.
You might think that I am just bragging about my toddler’s wonderful use of speech.
I’m not. I am more concerned with the imagination behind the speech.
Toddlers have a completely different view of the world. Where I see a tomato ripening on the vine, he saw a fantastic bush filled with balls for him to play with. Perhaps I am limiting myself as I look at the world around me.
As a writer, I am supposed to delve into my imagination, pull epic bits of fantasy out of my gray matter and put it in writing for all to enjoy. And yet, I have never seen a ball tree, or considered a screw driver to be a fabulous thing to play with, or had a nice swim in a cup of coffee.
It is time for me to pay more attention to how he views the world. I need to change how I see it, leaving the literal behind and visiting the fantastic. Maybe the flower is not a flower, after all. Maybe it is a confetti bush, just waiting for me to free it into the air. Who knows what strange and wonderful things I can discover by visiting the mind of Toddler.