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Parallel Play

April 1, 2009

James is at a stage of socialization called “Parallel Play.” This means that he and his playmate will maul each other upon introduction, but ultimately don’t give a dang about one another during the rest of the play date. However, the following “Rules of the Toddler” force periodic interaction which continues only as long as there is dispute over a toy’s rightful owner.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5. If it’s mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in anyway.

6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.

10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

(found on the internet – no author cited)

J.D.’s colleague and our friend, Mel, made a poignant observation while “playing” with James (she had keys in her hand which he immediately confiscated and became very upset when she tried to suggest they were hers.) Many people never make it beyond this stage of parallel play. You may have watched a couple out on a “date”, one of which has sent 20,000 texts in the past 1/2 hour to her BFF (lol OMG) while the other updates his twitter status every 35 seconds. While this is very sad, conflicts over whose iphone is whose generally do not erupt. At least not in public. On the other hand, I can think of a few world leaders that have integrated the Toddler Rules into their foreign policies. We could probably make some side cash by signing James up as a political consultant.

I recently signed up for Twitter, mostly as a blog accessory. The whole process made me uncomfortable – like I had just installed a security cam inside my brain. J.D. caught me “twittering” and showed me this youtube video. Because perspective is important.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Colleen permalink
    April 1, 2009 3:57 pm

    Lol. So funny. I love the twitter video almost as much as the rules of toddler play. I think you are going to have hours of endless fun facilitating the MINE play. I think Oscar often starts to think that James is his, too. He might not give him back to you at the end of the day….

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