Thursday, January 6, 2011

watching a person unfold into humanity

Eva is working on grabbing toys while she is propping herself up (in a standing position) on furniture. I can see the wheels turning. She wants to grab the object. She also wants to stand and hold onto the furniture. But she can't stay standing without holding onto the furniture. She's tried and figured it out. It hurt to learn that lesson! After she fell that first time she went about furniture-standing much more cautiously. And to get down there were two options 1) wait until her legs almost buckled and then cry for help, while shaking from head to toe meanwhile (looking very helpless and often getting the hoped-for assistance) or 2) slowly tipping like a falling tree, allowing her big baby belly brushing the couch to slow the force of gravity. I watch these things and wonder with her. How she figures them out. How she decides to explore further. How she trusts again and risks again. The world is a scary place! But she is a brave soul. I think all babies are. To work within a world where things hurt and are not always working out as you would like them to. To work at things that time after time don't succeed. I wonder at how she is motivated to try things like walking that she has never accomplished before. How does her body and her brain motivate her to try for the first time? And second and third time (after those attempts didn't work), before there is any reason for her to think that she will eventually get it? Eva puts her whole body into moving. She can scoot and just this last two or three weeks can do a proper knee and hand "crawl." If she sees a computer cord or a piece of paper she is on a 100-meter sprint speed toward it, nothing will stop her. Yet, to my great delight and humor, if I pick her up and play a different game with her the memory of the cord is removed from her entirely and she is enveloped in the new activity. I will delight in this for as long as it lasts. It seems if we could delay this lack of short term memory until about age 4, many toddlers would be easier to manage :) So Eva is moving through this world, one small task at a time. And I am watching. I love just seeing it, experiencing it though her eyes. It really does make me feel like the whole world is new again. Small banana pieces are new again. I cut some up for her today and reveled at how she watched them, grasped for them, and in spite of them slipping away from her rigid little fingers, she continued on this journey at trying to get them. Although when she did I was surprised to find that the goal was not to get them in her mouth and I'm not quite sure what the real goal was. Perhaps just to chase them. Ahhh, raising babies makes me feel young and carefree and wild. I love having a little learner in my house. It is so strange and lovely!

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