A “spirited child”… the nice term for the kid who is high needs and drives you crazy at times. When I first heard the term, I thought it was a bit silly, aren’t all toddlers active and busy? Why do they need a different term for some of them. And then I had Little Bear… While Little Bear was a super quiet baby just taking everything in, at 10 months he found his voice and we haven’t had a quiet day in our house since. Don’t get me wrong, I love Little Bear to death, but I have also never met someone so small who is so intense, full of energy, and focused. All characteristics that are wonderful if you are working towards the SAME goal. However when you are on opposite sides of an issue, like say…. putting a shirt on to go outside… it is a whole.other.story.
I am not going to lie finding ways to relate and play with Little Bear can be a challenge. I want to embrace his personality and help build him up to become a confident adult. But sometimes it is hard, the tiniest things can turn into a full out battle with tantrums, screaming, and meltdowns. When Little Bear is in, is he ALL IN. One day he will make an excellent lawyer, but until then I carefully try to build a relationship with my independent and spirited little guy.
One activity that we can both enjoy being a part of is playing with LEGO DUPLO. Playing with DUPLO is not new in the Little Miss Kate household as we have enjoyed many play sessions with Monkey when he was younger (and he still loves to build). However getting down and playing with one on one Little Bear feels different, in a very good way.
When playing with DUPLO together we are on equal footing, there is no parent vs child power struggle just creating and building. I love watching the ideas that Little Bear can come up with to play with his DUPLO. With so much energy all the time, I feel like at times Little Bear has trouble expressing his thoughts in words. But when we are building we are able to talk calmly not only about the project we are working on, but also the events of the day. I know it will probably sound silly, but it is in these moments where I realize just how grown up Little Bear is getting.
We are not just building towers to knock down anymore (although that is still fun). It seems like overnight he is identifying letters with the alphabet DUPLO blocks, and can tell me the colours of all the blocks, not just “green”. And we are able to act out stories on the structures we build using many different characters like Mickey & Minnie, zoo animals and more. Playing out these stories gives me a small glimpse into Little Bear’s mind and makes me wonder just what challenges he will take on as he grows and what accomplishments he will reach as he grows.
But for today I play DUPLO with my spirited preschooler who refuses to wear a shirt “Because I don’t”
And those moments, when we can play together as friends, they are priceless.
Disclosure: This post has been brought to you in thanks to the generosity of JimJam Communications. As always, all opinions expressed are my own and I’m thrilled to share with you why Lego is such a big part of my kids’ childhood.