Monday, October 01, 2007

Parallel Play

Remember when you took child development and the professor talked about, or you read a parenting book and the author wrote about parallel play? That early thing you see with very young children where they play next to each other, enjoying each other's company, but don't really interact?

Well, by the time I took these pictures Richard and Julie were long beyond that, spending most of their time interacting. However, here we have two sets of pictures, each set taken within a few minutes of each other, of them doing the same thing.

These two were the day when Richard tried on my sunglasses, and then Julie had to. Notice that she has to hold them on to keep them from falling off. Also notice how short I kept her hair -- that was so that we didn't have to go through the terrible hair combing traumas that Mama and I went through. As in Where My Ringlets Went.

These pictures were taken on the porch of our apartment in Berkeley, so that makes Richard almost five and Julie almost three at the oldest.

This next set was taken in our house in Redwood City, while I was going to grad school. Which makes them almost six and almost four. I was cooking dinner and thought that they were still outside playing. Having been raised to pay attention to how they felt, they got tired and fell out for a nap. Richard is sleeping on his bed, which he had made himself, and indeed had been making himself since he was three and a half. It's not perfect, but it is certainly good enough.

Julie, on the other hand, only got as far as the couch. She was always the very finest example of the advice I gave parents in my classes: if your child comes in clean, she hasn't been playing hard enough, send her back out.

I don't think Julie ever had to be sent back out until she was well into her teens.


kerrdeLune (cate) said...

I love these photos, and they have prompted me to go back and look again at the childhood photos of my girls.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Your two muppets are just too cute J. I know what you mean about keeping Julie's hair short...that was my strategy for my oldest daughter for a long time too. I especially love the pics of them 'crashed out' sleeping....too sweet.