Toddlers are at the centre of their own universe but over time they do become more aware of others. Previously Tilly has shown a certain concern when one of us has been ill or when other children cry at playgroup but today her empathy took a leap in a completely unexpected direction.
It was the start of the day, which means either playing with toys or sitting quietly with me watching the early CBeebies offering. Today was a telly day, kicking off with a vintage episode of Tellytubbies. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, that was until Po (the red Tellytubby) went flying with her scooter and landed in a tree.
“Oh dear! Po’s landed in a tree!” I commented casually, as I often do to help Tilly understand and engage with what is on screen.
Rather than the usual amusement Tilly shows while watching Tellytubbies, she burst into tears. “Po!” she shouted, clearly distressed at what had happened to her.
This came as a complete surprise as Tilly had never expressed such concern for someone or something before, not least anything on television.
Of course Po was unharmed and when she emerged to laugh with the others Tilly returned to her normal entertained state.
It did, however, mark another small milestone in Tilly’s development as a small person. She saw potential harm to a character she cares about and reacted.
My expectation now of course is that the next time either my wife or I are ill, we will have concern and caring heaped upon us by Tilly. If that’s too optimistic we can at least hope that we might receive the same attention as a fictitious red television character. We shall see!
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