It can be hard to just play sometimes. To do it just for the sake of doing it, without any particular plan or purpose. no rights, no wrongs.
For instance, just the other day, Reef took my hand and led me to the floor. "Sit here," he says. We both laid on our bellies and amused ourselves with his Little People Farm, placed the animals in their rightful places and loudly made appropriate animal sounds on their behalf. And I was noticing him notice, and it was so sweet to just be happy in our cycle of play time -- without any need to teach, direct or correct. He was bouncing his animals on top of the farm and on top of one another. He obviously wanted to be silly. And it's crazy how, even knowing that, I could still feel the voice inside me thinking maybe I should direct him back.
I never want these thoughts to surface in our play time and even still I catch the thoughts swirling in my head. But it made me realize that, for the most part, these impulses we feel as parents to direct and correct and quiz comes from a place of us thinking that our babies think that we're engaged with the process, with them. That it's out way of showing them that we're all in. But if you step back for a second, it's so crystal clear that just being there without any agenda or goal in mind is us all in to our babies.
Reef didn't want to be quizzed about what each animal was or told where they go. He was feeling totally connected to his sweet imagination without any input from me, other than making animal noises. He's got it all figured out in play -- there's no needs for anyone to step in and bug him or distract or direct. When he gets going on his thing, his own discovery and play, he's doing just what he should be doing, exactly as he should be doing it. In his way. And sometimes that can be tricky for me, when he's in his own rad world, content and doing his own thing, that sometimes I want to join him and find our all about it. But ironically, my trying to enter his world is the very thing that would take him out of it.
Anyways, it's just interesting -- the noticing. noticing what he's doing and how content he is to be doing it, and noticing where my mind has a tendency to go. And the finding the space where I can be aware of my thoughts but just leave them as that: thoughts, not actions.