This post definitely qualifies for the “random” category, but worth a mention I believe.
Have you ever contemplated the meaning of the word work from the perspective of a toddler?
I would venture to guess that the answer is probably not. It isn’t something I think of often and so I’m making the assumption that most other’s don’t either.
I have found myself, saying often to Miss G, in response to her query, “Mama?”
“Mama went to work.”
This typically comes after our morning ritual of kisses, hugs, squeezes, goodbye waves, and the official waving to mom in her car as it disappears down the road. Miss G has never had a moment (yet) when she displays sadness, or fear, or some other devilish emotion when either parent leaves her. I assume that is because she is not being left with someone she knows little of. Grandma has been a constant in her life since she was born, whether she likes it or not, so I think she feels quite comfortable allowing mama to drive off.
What I wonder on though is just what her 2-year-old brain makes of the term work. She will usually ask also about dada, and she gets the same answer, “Dada is at work.” We also usually elaborate a bit and I tell her, “Dada comes home after nap time, and mama comes home after dinner.”
I know she can’t tell time, but saying the same thing, in the same way is part of our routine each day. Consistency you know…
I think she understands some of it. Reinforcing that a nap is still a part of her day, and that daddy will return to play with her when she wakes seems to help her make sense when grandma says play time ends and nap time begins.
What I really wonder is what a 2-year-old thinks about when a significant figure in their life just goes away for some amount of time during their day. I know she will eventually come to understand what the term work means, and be able to describe what mama and dada do and why they have to go to those places each day.
For now, she seems satisfied when I give her the answer she expects, even without a clue as to what work means.
Little brains, in all their stages of learning and development are pretty amazing, and accepting.