We are walking down the road and Darcie, in all her nearly-two-year-old glory, is waving wildly at the traffic, saying ‘Car!’, ‘Car!’, ‘Van!’. To an outsider it could easily look like my toddler is simply excited to show off some new vocabulary. But to me, and to a handful of others, it looks very different. Darcie is using her magic powers to make the cars move. Obviously. She swipes some of them dramatically over her shoulder as they whizz past us and pushes others away from us using her magical hands, her magical gestures and her magical sound effects. To her, she is moving these cars and deciding which direction they go in, and she’s having the best time!It all began as an attempt to get Darcie to stop hitting the telly to try and make Paw Patrol play. We had recently purchased a new television and the thought of our toddler smashing it off the stand was too much to bear. Rather than spend hours dealing with the tantrums and trips to the naughty corner, we decided to come up with an alternative solution. ‘Darcie, you have to stand back here and use your magic powers to make it play’. We showed her the magic gesture and used the hidden remote to make her best buddy Marshall appear on the screen. From that moment on we have had no more telly hitting incidents and she loves using her magic powers instead. Thankfully, she also doesn’t particularly seem to mind when her powers aren’t working, she just shrugs it off and finds something else to do.
The idea of her magic powers was later reinforced when she encountered a Touch Lamp at my Dad’s house. Suddenly her magical powers were multi functional! Not only could she turn the telly on but now she had progressed to lights too. Slowly I’ve noticed her trying out her ‘powers’ on other things too, the cars are just one example. She can happily spend a good ten minutes at the window trying to magic the neighbours cats onto our drive. The party poopers among us would say ‘But what about when she realises her powers aren’t real? Doesn’t it bother her when they don’t work’, and to them I say ‘that’s fine and no, not at all!’. She seems perfectly okay with the fact that her magic doesn’t always work and I do realise that she isn’t going to go off to university believing that she can magic her suitcases with her and not have to carry them. I love that she believes she can make things happen with her mind, even if they are already happening around her anyway! It’s the magic of childhood and the beauty of her imagination and I’ll do whatever I can to encourage that.
Imagination is so important in childhood and it is amazing to see hers develop. I love the little games she creates with her toy animals or how much she enjoys caring for her ‘babies’. I love the way that her conversation often doesn’t make sense, not because she is only just learning to talk or because her vocabulary is limited but because she is telling me about something that exists only in her perfect, magical mind. I wish I could see through her eyes and see the way that her world shines with a different sparkle and magic. We could all do with being a bit more toddler sometimes. I can’t wait to see her imagination develop even more as her skills develop. I want to see the pictures she’ll draw and the stories she’ll write. I never want to be the mum that dismisses her when she says that there is a fairy in the room, a unicorn in the garden or a dragon flying through the sky. We have to nurture these crazy imaginations and let them run wild with their ideas.