Wonder Twin Powers Activate

This is the first post from MZ's dad.

We had a Chanukah party the other night, where at least eight toddlers were in attendance (plus a toddler's baby brother who slept through most of it -- ahhh, remember those days) and maybe another toddler or two snuck in -- I couldn't keep track.

First of all, it was sheer pandemonium: toys flying in one room, stickers sticking in another, dreidels spinning, stair climbing on both sets of stairs, occasional cat pettings with the brave Moki who seems to enjoy more toddlers rather than fewer, light switches going "On" and "Off", balls rolling down hallways, cookies-cake-gelt being devoured for instant sugar highs, running-climbing-jumping-falling and announcements of all the above at the top of the lungs in barely discernible 2-year-old-speak; dads and moms catching up and chatting in snippets of conversation, having a plate of latkes or a glass of wine, putting down a plate of latkes or glass of wine on any flat surface to catch a falling toddler or to help foster "sharing," etc.

In a word: pandemonium. Hats off to parents with lots of kids. I don't know how they do it – they must have a zen place they go to...a lot. But, anyway, in the total chaos, something popped out very clearly to me: toddlers have Super Powers. Last I really noticed with this group of kids who have known each other for all of their lives, they pretty much did the
same thing. We parents have been getting together as a group at least once a month for the past two years, and, more or less, the get-togethers go the same way: arrive, drop the potluck offering on the communal table, settle the kid into the communal play area, grab some food, nosh, chat.

Through six months of age the kids were laying on the floor, maybe rolling over. Through twelve months some standing, a step or two, basic playing. Through fifteen months lots of toddling around, exploring, devoting a minute to a given toy and moving on to the next one with minimal "playing together."

But, all of a sudden, we're here at 24 months give or take, and they're all different.

We're all different of course -- everyone is beautiful in their own way blah blah blah -- but it's truly amazing how different they are. One kid is jumping off a stack of phone books and sticking the landing, another is explaining what she would like to eat now and what was wrong with what she just ate (or didn’t), a third is busy taking apart and putting back together toys that no parent can figure out. Some are playing together since they know each other from day care, others are playing together for the first time and enjoying it. Still others are doing art -- playing with crayons or stickers, or making the wind-up toy go, crushing the wind-up toy, swaddling the baby doll, swaddling the teddy bear, swaddling Moki.

They all have their own unique capabilities, but what it looks like, since it's all so new and so very evolved from the past two years as our blobs have progressed into human beings is that they all have new and special Super Powers.

It's the Hall of Justice right here in our living room. Just like Superman or Wonder Woman, each of our little ones possesses the power to change the world in their own very unique way, and it has just become totally clear to me how special that really is.

We're getting to observe a lot of things about human development as these little folks grow, but it's amazing to see the things that are most magical about ourselves emerge. It's as if the magician is letting us in on the mechanics of the trick the whole time he's doing it, but we still don't completely get it, and therefore the magic is preserved. How does Superman fly? I don't know. How can MZ speak so well? How can
Pugawug take that apart and put it back together again so effortlessly? I don't know. Must be their Super Powers.



At 2.1.07, Anonymous meg said...

Heh. We were the only kidless couple at a Hanukkah party this year, and the pandemonium nearly killed us. Twenty kids, scattered in age between one and eleven, and all of them doing their level best to make the others melt down and/or get immediate and urgent attention from nearby adults.

At 2.1.07, Blogger Roasted Squid said...

What a great post R! Sorry we missed the party due to ear infection and fever. I hope to hear more of you on this blog. I agree that are kids seem to possess at least superhuman energy these days. See you guys this weekend!


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