She lifted up her chin to reach above the surface of the table, just big enough to succeed, to get the best view of the world. She was proud that she was finally such a big girl; she had a real chair like all the adults. Lifting her little arms up high to reach the plate and inhale the last of her ice cream. She had already opened her mouth up wide to prepare for that last bite. She was very ambitious in her own way, always left her plate empty, and strived to make, especially the last bite, a perfect balance between the different ingredients. A perfect amount of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and nuts balanced such that not one was too dominant in proportion to the other. Also, she went for a big finish. The last bite had to fill up all of her mouth to make sure that every inch of it would be happy and not wanting. She was very fair like that. As well as fair and thorough she was fast too.
After finishing dessert she sat and watched her sister intently. She didn’t miss a single movement of her sister’s spoon going up from the plate and into her sister’s mouth. Eventually impatience caught up with her. While she was fair in general, she was slightly annoyed by the fact that her sister wasted a good portion of her ice cream. Her sister ate the ice cream so slowly that some of it melted. Her sister didn’t have a very sweet tooth, and once she was done eating ice cream and someone else might offer to eat her leftovers, it had melted and was no longer ice cream. Perhaps distribution should not be equal but according to need? – At least in regard to ice cream.
Wiggling her toes in a mixture of impatience and excitement (she was very good at wiggling her toes too), she watched out for any sign that everyone at the table was done eating. As her sister laid done her spoon, the little girl quickly jumped from the chair, thanked her parents for dinner and ran into the living room eager to watch cartoons.
A little while later, her cartoon time was interrupted. It was 7pm and her father always watched the news at this hour. Not to worry, she could play with dolls or Lego or just use her imagination. If necessary she could play with things from the cupboards in the kitchen or stones from the garden. She was very economic in her approach to the resources available to her, nothing was wasted. A stone could function both as a mark of a door entrance AND a doorbell. The terrace was the house, her dad’s workshop a factory, the vegetable garden was a farm, living room a day care centre for the dolls. Sometimes the factory would turn into a mechanic shop or a fortress, the farm into a mini-put forest, and the house into a traffic area and so on. No reason these transformations couldn’t occur within the same game. This is not to say that her games and locations were random. There were rules. These were not obvious to most people but to the intent observer there was a system. Sometimes the game and imagination would run amok and the rules might be broken. To remedy these mistakes there was another system that allowed her to rectify the breaking of the rules or at least make the consequences benign.
Sometimes playtime was confined to a much more humble space. However, this was not a restriction. On the contrary, it was a welcomed challenge that fed the imagination. She could sit in one spot and play for hours. In fact, sometimes she preferred playing in confined spaces where she could be the sole authority of which direction the game would head. Playing by herself was much more satisfying in general. She liked other children ” at least some of them. However, it was a bit up hill at times, as she didn’t always get why everyone continuously wanted to play house, nurse or some other specific scenario mimicking real life situations. Where’s the fun in enacting something that most people do every day? It was okay but not all the time. She liked to think herself somewhat of a pioneer in the realm of playtime ” at least in her own community which consisted of kinder garden and a few children living down the street. Although, her network was relatively small, it should not be underestimated. It took a lot of discipline to maintain these relationships and was a most exhausting task.
As years past and the little girl started school, her community expanded. She was out there experiencing the real world. Excited with lots of expectation to what this new world had to offer, the little girl took the first step into the schoolyard. Perhaps a little nervous as well, her second step was hesitant and she could feel her heartbeat rise, although on the outside she seemed perfectly calm. It was as scary as it was exciting.
There were lots of other little people talking and throwing themselves about the room, making their existence known. She just stood there with her new schoolbag still on her bag and her arms straight down glued to the sides of her body. What was she to do next? Should she just stay put or should she join the other kids, who either nervously or impatiently kept moving around, swinging a leg back and forth, leaning on a parent or lying on the floor. Suppose there was no one right thing to do? She was shy but determined to show that she was a serious and responsible 1. Grader. After the parents had left, the children were to sit in a circle and sing songs. As it would turn out singing was to be an everyday occurrence in the field of school, along with a reasonable amount of playtime and other activities that may differ from each day.
The little girl was not entirely sure what this school thing was to amount to. Since the teacher had the right answers and behaviour, surely she would be the one to emulate? Or was there some hidden agenda and knowledge that she didn’t understand? After a few days the little girl had observed that the teacher always had her legs crossed when sitting in the circle singing. The teacher also had a book she liked to look at when singing. The book seemed important. The little girl always made sure to sit next to the teacher in the circle with crossed legs, looking over the teacher’s shoulder peering onto the pages of the book. She couldn’t read the text, she was familiar with the alphabet, she could write her own name, her sister’s name, her mother and father’s names. However, her skills were not yet sufficiently cultivated to enable her to read the many words in the book. It had some nice drawings though. She liked drawings, she liked books also – and the stories she new by heart! She also liked singing, though never while peering into a book.
The little girl enjoyed living in her head, but liked to visit the physical world and its strange customs. It was fun and interesting to watch people. She was curious and liked to learn. However, some things remained a mystery to her.
… to be continued… at some point (2014)