My definition of amazing is probably not the same as other people’s. Not in relation to my children anyway.
Since Christmas something has been changing in Eldest. It has happened gradually, almost unnoticed.
He is playing on his own. Imaginatively, and creatively.
This is something children do every day, but not my Eldest. This is the one thing he has always struggled with. Whenever he appeared to be doing this, all he had been doing in the past was replicating something we had shown him.
Then on Friday I heard some talking coming from his bedroom. He talks to himself anyway, but again replicating what we do. This time was different.
I snuck into his room, usually he is so conscious of his door when he’s awake that this is an impossible task. This time he was completely engrossed in his play.
He had combined his toy cars with his Playmobil pirate ship, they were talking to each other and were using the ship to get to school. None of this we had ever shown him. He had created this imaginative world for himself. What is more he did it because he wanted to, and not because he wanted to please a grown up in the room with him.
We have been giving him ‘alone time’ to play in his room with his toys, so he didn’t have the pressure of us watching him play. He puts this pressure on himself to please the adults that are with him. We trust him enough to allow him this time alone. He doesn’t always use it, but he has started to more and more.
Then, something else happened. He combined a new toy with an old one and created a narrative about what was going on.
His old dinosaur from Christmas 2015 didn’t like his new Ben and Holly toys, so he decided to eat them. (This is a friendly dinosaur too, I am constantly told, so Strawberry the fairy must have done something seriously wrong to deserve this kind of treatment!)
Maybe there was influence from Toy Story here but we haven’t watched that film in months.
Maybe people will find it strange that I’m celebrating the fact my son has been playing nicely with his toys, but I’m very proud of his progress.
This is a true milestone for him.