Yesterday Pip was sitting on my stomach as we lounged on the couch after school/work. She was going through the mail and was fiddling with a flier for mail-order checks. She thought the little photos of the checks were stickers, and kept telling me so. I felt bad telling her they weren’t stickers, even though they looked like them.
Since she was in a sticker mood, I got up and went to our junk drawer where I store all those free address stickers that organizations send to you in hopes you’ll send them money. I found a 4th of July sheet and I tore off a few of the images, like one of a top hat and fireworks and another of stars.
Back in the living room I lay back on the couch and pulled Pip on me. I handed her the stickers. She spent a few minutes of deep concentration unsticking them and I enjoyed the down time.
“Heart,” Pip said, interrupting my day dreaming.
“Mmm,” I replied, then realized she was showing me the heart that was on one of the stickers. (Baby genius! I texted aunties immediately.)
“Heart,” I repeated back to her, nodding. She put the heart sticker on her hand. Then she put the other three on her hand too. Then they moved to her shirt, where they lasted a nanosecond before she put them on my shirt. I was back to happily lazing, quite pleased with this amazing way we were engaged yet relaxing. I wondered how long it could go on for and wondered if it could last for 15 minutes! 15 minutes of down time, that would be heavenly!
After patting all the stickers onto my shirt, Pip then said “Bebo!” and proceeded to peel off the heart sticker, lift my shirt, and place the sticker in my bellybutton.
“Bebo,” she said again, grinning at me as she shoved my shirt back down, pressing into my stomach with both hands and covered up the stickers.
“Bebo,” I repeated, amused by the train of thought these stickers had inspired in her.
“Uh oh, where’s the sticker?” she asked me, cocking her hands out in the universal sign of question.
“Where’s the sticker?” I repeated, playing along.
She grinned and found it under my shirt. She lifted her own shirt, confirming to me out loud that she had a bebo too. And that the sticker could hide there, as well.
And so it went… that heart sticker traveled mostly below and beneath my shirt, each time prompting the “where’s the sticker?” question and then the discovery.
We were well past 15 minutes with this one little sticker, when it somehow made it to her nose. Then my nose. Then one sticker for each of our noses. Then shaking our heads as the stickers stuck. Then rosy-nosy together with the stickers.
Interspersed throughout the thirty minutes of sticker play was chatter, concentration, folding stickers, manipulating them, instructing that she would “open” the folded stickers, losing them, finding them, and losing them again.
At the end of it, when we had to get ready for bed, I marveled to myself how Pip’s inspection of the flyer in the mail led to a fun silly sticker exploration and sweet time together.
For all the toys, and books, and activities, and playdates, sometimes it’s the little things in life… like a heart sticker.