That's My Boy
I'm finding that one of the coolest parts of being a parent is getting to watch my son figure things out for the first time. Everybody always talks about "the wonder of a child" and seeing that "aha" moment, but it's easy to lose the significance when you repeat phrases like that over and over again. The thing is, everything really is new to a young child, and when you stop and thing about it, it's kind of a marvel that anyone ever figures out anything.
Earlier this evening I was watching Jason play with a piece of string. He had the string doubled over and was holding it in one hand so that it formed a little loop. Now, Jason has seen loops of string before and what he usually likes to do is stick a finger or arm through it. But what confounded him this time was that as soon as he got his arm through the loop and let go with the other hand, the loop was gone and he was just left with a piece of string draped over his wrist. He did this probably three or four times, each time surprised that the loop changed and a little confused and frustrated about what happened to it.
Now, I imagine that this little scene may seem a little banal--after all, it doesn't seem such a big feat to grown-up eyes to figure out that if you let go of the ends of an untied loop of string, you don't have a loop anymore. But if you stop and think about it, it's kind of amazing that that sort of thing is such second nature to us. And seeing someone come to that realization for the first time is just fascinating.
Actually, tonight turned out to be a bumper night in terms of figuring things out, because Jason also figured out how to get out of his crib tonight. Juliette and I were just starting to eat our dinner, having put Jason down about 15 minutes earlier, when we heard him start to fuss. These days that's a little unusual, so Juliette went to check on him, expecting to find that he'd thrown his blankets and stuffed animals over the side of his crib. In fact, she did find that, but she also found him standing on the little pile next to the crib. Fortunately, the crib can still be lowered one more notch, which I'll do tomorrow. For tonight, we set up the portable playpen in his room and put him in there--so far, he hasn't been able to get out of that.
It definitely keeps you on your toes, this parenting thing.
Go Jason! Of course, I dread the day Toby escapes from the crib...
I've tried to explain to people who are unfamiliar with children about this mind-changing phenomenon of having very small children around, but it's near impossible to explain without actually having a small child around to say, "Look how cool this is!"
I was just talking with Kristy earlier this week about how amazing it can be to think about all of the things that seem like something that a person would be born knowing how to do, but which actually have to be learned. What you're talking about here doesn't seem banal at all, Mike. I'm mostly glad not to have children, but I would like to be able to experience the type of thing you're describing here.
That's great, told ya so!
Just remember to world-proof Jason. Don't try to Jason-proof the world.