Tuesday, October 5, 2010

33 months

Like the other significant developmental leaps that have occurred in River’s short life, month 33 has been a big one. Within a period of a few weeks, he suddenly became a real person. Someone who inquires where I’m going, where I was, what I was doing, and takes in my answers with acceptance and thoughtfulness. Someone who points to a whale in a book, then points to a page with a seal and says, “Whales eat these,” with confidence. Then asks me what else whales eat, forcing me to look it up. Someone who takes great joy in the arrival of fall and the falling of the leaves, who will open the curtains and stare contently when he’s supposed to be napping, wanting to watch the leaves turn color and drop. Someone who understands things – what the different colors on a stoplight mean, what the different lights on the electronic toothbrush indicate, how to use a pair of garden scissors to cut flowers at the stem, how to choose the right tomatoes off the bushes.

The connections that have been made are more complicated. I can see his retention and hear his constant questioning. Now in the role of teacher, I’m explaining things like how waste is removed from port-o-potties, or how water comes down drain pipes. Though he’s physically very cautious, so far, he has no fear of ideas. We talk about monsters (and have put up Halloween monster stickers on our front door) and mention the death of animals without him showing any concern.

I’m starting to see how at this new stage, a stimulating preschool could be a good investment. By next fall, I think he would benefit greatly by being in a situation where he’s exposed to new ideas on a regular basis, where he learns how things work, where he has the chance to build upon what he knows and make new connections.

The building of a mind, a personality, an individual, is such a beautiful process to watch and to participate in. I’m a captive spectator.

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