“Want blue ball!”
“How about this other blue ball, sweetie? Would you like to play with this one?”
“NO!” The crying begins.
“What about this orange ball?”
“How about the monsters ball? Do you want this one?”
“NO! Want blue ball!”
Ah, the life of a two year old. No other ball is quite good enough, mom. To her credit, she scans the area, undeterred, scoping for any other potential distractions.
After trying unsuccessfully to hand him the monsters ball, his three year old sister quietly hands him the prized blue ball. All this has happened within the span of 30 seconds and with no pressure from any adult.
The boy, still sure hyped up about this ball, immediately pushes it out of his face and yells “no” once more before realizing it was the ball he wanted. Composing himself, he scampers over to retrieve it.
By now my jaw is flapping in the wind.
“That was very kind of you,” their mother notes, as if it were the most casual thing in the world.
My friend says she lives in Arizona, her address is in Arizona, but when I step in the house, I’m sure it’s another planet. Where else could you find toddlers behaving this way? Sharing without being forced? Saying ‘thank you’ without being told?
Her son throws his coveted ball over the fence and begins crying once more.
“Hey buddy, want to go get your shoes from inside and then go get the ball?” Mom is still undeterred.
His face lights up. Done and done. Tiny legs run inside, tiny hands put tiny blue crocs on tiny feet. Mom opens the fence and voila, Bruce has his blue ball once more. Victory. The two year old probably has a better grasp of responsibility than me.
The secret? No voodoo magic. Just love.