Thursday, May 15, 2014

Learning Creatures

Caution Note: I've mentioned my daughter before, but this post is 100% about kids. Out of respect for my dear friends in the Loss community who have yet to find their rainbow, I'll be placing warnings on child-oriented posts, so that they may choose to skip that post if they are having a rough day.

We are learning creatures.

I was watching Pebbles today, and I was struck with the fact that we are learning creatures. From the time we are born, we are hardwired to learn. Every experience, no matter how mundane, teaches us something.

Pebbles was getting into everything today. She was a whirlwind of energy and I was looking for something that would slow her down a bit, so I could keep up. I handed her a little tin that I keep cheesy crackers in for a quick toddler snack. She had once before figured out how to pop and slide the lid open to get to the treats inside. However, today she was stumped.

Recently, she discovered that she could hand me something and I would interact with the item for her. She had fed me strawberries that were supposed to be her breakfast the other day with a childish delight that had me feeling like Lucille on the production line at the chocolate factory. Today was the first time she handed me something specifically because she wanted it fixed. So, I demonstrated to her how to slide the lid back and forth three times, then I handed it back to her.

It took a minute of trying and fumbling, but she finally got the lid slid open enough to reach in and pinch a cracker between her little fingers.


Once she realized that she couldn't reach more than the top crackers, she started testing her limits. First she dumped the crackers on the floor, but instead of just eating them that way, she picked them each up and put it back in the tin. As she did this, she would reach in occasionally to see if she could reach the crackers. She continued this methodical testing until she figured out the level that she could reach the crackers.

Okay, that's how far my hand can go...

When she sorted this problem out, she began a new game. She pulled each cracker out of the tin and lined it up along the seats of the couch. This is something I used to do with Cheerios to distract her when she was just starting to stand with the help of the couch and was super grouchy. We haven't done it in more than 3 months. She replicated it for a while, lining crackers up and then eating them one by one.

This one goes here!

Eventually, she bored of this activity and began to grab the crackers and huck them over her shoulder in and around her myriad of toys strewn over the floor.

Apparently it no longer goes there.

Finally, she retrieved the tin and its lid and began putting the remaining cracker pieces back in the tin, and tried to figure out how to align the lid right to slide it back into place. She gave up, choosing to put the lid inside the tin along with the crackers, but I was still impressed.

Only a few crumbs left for me to clean up. Everywhere!

This was a half an hour of total solitary focus after I had showed her how the lid opened. Complete self-directed play and self-directed learning. It makes me think that sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is to get out of their way. They've got this learning thing taken care of!

I learned something too.

Inside every Elmo is a Mickey Mouse just waiting to get out.

Next time: Spring is in the air!


  1. I love it! Pebbles is pretty cute and I loved hearing about her learning something new and entertaining herself in the process. I'm so excited you're blogging again!

  2. I love to watch little's learn! I am afraid of what is going to happen to the children being raised solely on and around technology, never being given the opportunity to use their imagination. They will most likely grow to be impatient, boring adults. Pebbles, on the other hand, will grow to be a beautiful girl who looks to her surroundings for inspiration and will reach for the stars!!