I have taken several walks through the Rotary Gardens with my three-year-old daughter. After our most recent outing, my husband and I were discussing the difference in point of view between us and our daughter. Consider these innocuous items:
From my daughter’s point of view, the stick that she found on the path in the “creepy forest” is a powerful magic wand that helps her fend off dangerous animals as she leads Mom and Dad safely into the sunshine.
From my point of view, the stick that she found on the gravel path that runs alongside the woods is a pointy object on which she can impale herself when she trips, falls and bangs her head on a nearby rock.
An overhead vine
From my daughter’s point of view, the vine hanging down from the tree overhead is meant to be grabbed and run with while she pounds her chest and yells like Tarzan.
From my point of view, the vine hanging down from the tree overhead has leaflets three, and she should leave it be.
An unusual fungus
My daughter: “Look! A pancake.”
Me: A poisonous fungus disguised, quite remarkably, as a pancake, waiting to send the first unwary child to the emergency room.
From my daughter’s point of view all of the busy bees present the perfect opportunity to stick your nose in the nearest flower and strike up a conversation with the occupying hymenopteran: “Hi there Mr. Honey Bee. Are you making honey?”
From my point of view, this close encounter represents a not-terribly-relished opportunity to discover if my daughter is allergic to bee stings.
Butterfly (on Daddy’s shirt)
From my daughter’s point of view, a chance to poke at Daddy’s chest with the aforementioned stick and say “Look Daddy, a butterfly landed on your shirt.”
From my point of view, yet another opportunity for the oft repeated mantra, “We don’t poke or point sticks at people.”
From my daughter’s point of view, her very own “octagon house” in which she, and only she, can spin and spin in the center.
From my point of view, a chance to (a) teach geometry—count the sides and name the shape, (b) teach manners—share the house with other visitors to the gardens.
A trip to the Gardens
From my daughter’s point of view, an exotic adventure, where fun is had by all.
From my point of view, an exhausting adventure, where fun was had by all.
© 2010 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.