After a prolonged illness, my 6-year-old was full of feelings and energy. I could tell by the way he was quick to anger, quick to become indignant, and generally by what hard work it was to parent him!
I was recovering myself, and hadn’t found many opportunities to be playful. However, last night, I was happy to note that I didn’t need to instigate anything, I just followed his lead and trusted his instinct to heal by laughing.
We were reading a book upstairs when one of the characters, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk (who was appearing in another story!) said that last year he hadn’t bothered planting a beanstalk because the giants had been bothersome by yelling out rude things down the beanstalk.
That was all it was. Gabriel giggled and giggled and found it enormously funny that Giants would be yelling out rude things down the beanstalk. It was perfect, as it was right in my energy level area and I could continue the laughter by repeating over and over what Jack said. Then we started to talk about what the giants might have been yelling down and this lead to all sorts of name calling around toileting and potty. There were tears running down his face and it felt so good to see him so joyful again.
I was reminded of how Playlistening doesn’t have to be contrived in any way, if you just remain open to what they find funny and stick with it. I actually felt relieved to know that I can take some pressure off myself by not feeling like I have to be the funny one all the time. I didn’t even have the energy to set up Playlistening, but he found the laughter all by himself.