The magic of being two and a half.

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*Warning: contains a Frozen spoiler, just in case you haven’t seen it *

There’s a point in Frozen where I always, no matter how many times I’ve watched it (that day), want to shout at the TV.

A young Elsa has accidentally injured Anna with her icy magic and the family go to the trolls for help in making her better.

The Troll King, Grand Pabbie, recommends taking away all the magic and even Anna’s memories of magic to be safe.

“But don’t worry, I’ll leave the fun,” he says.

It’s at this point I want to shout: “No, leave the magic too! Who are you to take away the magic?” (Even though it would make a very different – probably much shorter – film).

There doesn’t seem to be very much magic left by the time you reach adulthood, especially these days – unless you’re Elsa, obviously – and, to me, it feels wrong to take it away.

~

Two and a half seems like a magical age.

I mean, when Freya’s not in a huff about being given the yellow fork instead of the green one or because I made her wear pajamas to bed rather than a sparkly dress, of course.

She has a personality now.

She’s loud, spirited and ridiculously friendly; a proper people person.

She has a sense of humour – although is often entertained by the most random things – and some of what she comes out with has me belly laughing (“You’re the best cook in the whole wide world, mummy”).

She’s definitely a little performer. I quite often get treated to song and dance numbers while she uses her potty (with the lid on) as a stage.

The simplest things – a muddy puddle, a rainbow, a cardboard box to play in – fill her with joy.

Rainbow

Her imagination roams far and free. I listen to the conversations she has with her toys sometimes as I’m washing up in the next room and the fantasies she has them act out are full of fairies, princesses, robots and trolls with the occasional Octonaut thrown in for good measure.

She’s caring, too – and growing more so every day.

And there’s the wonder. She feasts on new experiences (sometimes literally). Last week she had pizza and an Easter egg for the first time (not together). Each day she seems to learn something and it’s amazing to think how much her world has expanded in such a short time.

Life is bright, happy and innocent – just as it should be for all children.

But, at the same time, I can already see outside influences having an impact on her, changing her personality – maybe even taking away a bit of the magic of being two and a half.

I’m not sure how to stop it – or even if it should be stopped. I mean, obviously, her personality is not fully formed but it feels like some important things are being altered.

For example, Freya has never met a stranger. Every child is a friend; she knows no other option.

I’m not a hugger (outside of immediate family). It’s not that I am against it, it’s just not the way I was brought up. Her dad is the same. And yet Freya bounds up to other children, usually the same age or older (thankfully never adults), and practically hurls herself at them. Obviously, like me, not everyone is a keen hugger so there have been several occasions where she’s been pushed away or the child on the receiving end has run off.

When she was younger she was oblivious but I’ve started to see confusion and then the sadness creep in.

I’ve tried to explain that she should ask if they want a hug first but I can tell she’s becoming wary of other children for fear of being rejected. She hasn’t hugged another child for a few weeks now. While it’s not a bad thing to be more aware of other people’s feelings, I worry that something natural, something that’s her, is being made unnatural.

“Hello! My name is Freya, what’s your name?” She said to a little girl the same age, if not older, behind us in queue who promptly ran and hid behind her mum’s leg.

I get being shy. My mum says I hated everyone, particularly men, and would scream if anyone so much as even looked at me let alone tried to speak (I’m pretty much the same now*).

So I get it and yet I see Freya’s inherent friendliness being subdued and I feel a little pinprick in my heart each time she’s rebuffed.

She gives me a look that says: “What do I do now?” But I was the kid hiding, I’m not any help. I try and explain being shy but it just doesn’t compute.

It’s like the magic is being taken away.

Maybe that’s life? Maybe, just as in Frozen, it has to happen that way? And, in reality, if that’s all I have to worry about given what else is going on in the world, I’ll take it.

But I still feel like I should rally against it.

I wonder how she will have changed at five, 15 or 39.

 

*I’m not. Honest.

PS If you were the person who nominated me in the Mum and Dad (MAD) blog awards, THANK YOU. I was incredibly touched, especially to be in the Best Blog Writer category. It made my day.

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10 thoughts on “The magic of being two and a half.

  1. Firstly congratulations on your nomination lovely, very well deserved X .

    Ah this is something I think of still, at every stage of my girl’s lives. For example, we have had not being invited to a party (it split my heart in two with each of them). Then a best friend who dropped the youngest as they went to different high schools, I know they move on, but it has broken her heart and made her less trusting. I totally understand this Tara, if only we could wrap them up and protect them forever, but we have to let the world in *sigh. Bless Freya, she is such a little love & I love the first picture, it’s great xxx

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Lisa. It’s so sad and difficult to know what to do to help. I remember going through my own friendship dramas and I know you get through it but, you’re right, it doesn’t take away the pain at the time. Hope you’re all doing ok, especially after your recent post.

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  2. Aww, something every mum goes through up and down the land. I think there’s nothing more sorrowful than the gradual erosion of young children’s unconditional and spontaneous love of everyone and everything. You’re quite right, it is magical and such a shame we can’t remain trusting and open for our whole life, the world would certainly be a much nicer place.
    It’s quite difficult to explain to someone so young the concept of shyness especially when your own daughter is so outgoing and friendly. Maybe there’s a childrens story that can introduce making friends and how being shy can make people seem unfriendly when really they’re not?

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  3. I hear you. I’m such a practical person that I answer most of D’s questions very practically … but then regretted, as I saw the cumulative impact of those answers, how he saw through illusion of magic (such as at Disneyland) with comments like, “Oh, that’s not Mickey–that’s just an actor dressed up as Mickey.” Noooo! Feel the magic! Embrace it! It’s for this reason that we did talk Santa in December, and decided to also speak of a Tooth Fairy. He has the whole rest of his life to be very practical and methodical in all things. For now, a little bit of a sense of the wonder and potential of it all is a welcome thing I’d love him to nurture ongoing … beyond child, if possible, and even if only just the littlest spark.

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    1. I’m the same. I’ve been thinking about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy too and, just like you, I’ve decided to go with them. I don’t think it ruined my life to find out eventually that they weren’t real (wait, what?) so I’ll be weaving some magic for a while yet 🙂

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  4. Sometimes it breaks the heart that our beautiful children, who in our eyes, are so perfect, have to be moulded by our imperfect world! There will be many times when you want to protect Freya from all the world’s evils, but you will discover that there are times to step forward and help her but many times to step back and let Freya learn valuable lessons about people herself. I think it is better to learn these difficult lesson in the pre school than the high school where it can be more brutal. My first son trusted all children to share toys when he first went to playgroup, until he discovered very quickly, that most kids do not share but simply grab the toy and run off. Our kids have to learn how to handle this and many other situations and learn so many fine nuances of “reading” other people. This will be especially useful in her life as a people person.

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    1. That’s probably a good way of thinking about it, Amanda. She is learning the skills that will serve her well later in life. Oh my goodness, I can’t even think about the horrors of high school! I hope you’re all well?

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