How do you explain love to a 2-year-old? As it turns out, quite easily. There is like and then really like and then like a whole lot and so on until one approaches love. The Child grasps this concept readily, going so far as to differentiate between being fond of something and actually loving something. Agency or desire, however, is hard to explain to The Child as the criteria necessary for that emotion to exist.
This past weekend she loved many a thing: relatives, toys, noodles for dinner, ice cream for dessert and me for giving her said ice cream. Two characters from a book of hers were in love, she told me, as were some ducklings we saw following their mother. I’d say she was right on all counts. But when we passed a fire station with its doors up she made an odd connection.
“Aww, those trucks love each other.”
When I asked how she came to this conclusion she informed me, “They all live together like in our house and they’re snuggling close for their bedtime. Like we do.”