Thursday, November 09, 2006

Child Development

Over the last week, Elise has taken great strides in the "following instructions" discipline. Andy and I are amazed. She is generally an obedient child, understanding "no no", "take a drink", "say bye-bye", etc. But lately she has started to do other things, things that we have not deliberately taught her to do. This mostly involves going to the appropriate place for a given activity. When we say, "it's time to change your diaper", she will go to the corner where we keep her diapers and will sit on the floor and wait for us. (She tried to actually lie down in the usual diaper changing spot, but her attempt consisted of sitting and then simply flinging herself backward. This is a technique that we discourage.) When I say, "it's naptime", she will gather her pacifier and her lamb and will walk to her room. We keep the door to her room closed, so she'll just stand there and wait for us, sometimes hitting the door as if to say, "Open up!". The same with mealtime - she'll go and wait for us at her high chair. If we say "we're going to go bye-bye in the car", she will go and stand at the baby gate. It seems that something just clicked in her mind. This happened so suddenly. There was no gradual learning or practice. She just started doing it. Last night, Andy was home alone with Elise. Without prompting, Elise went and sat in her diaper changing corner and waited. Andy followed her cue and changed her diaper. Once that was done, Elise stood up and walked to her room. Apparently it was bedtime. It's so great! And it's so cute! We love watching her grow and learn and discover new things and develop an understanding of herself and the world around her. And we know that there is nothing unusually astounding about this. We know that this is a normal phase of development that all healthy children reach. We do not flatter ourselves by thinking that Elise is extraordinarily gifted or brilliant, and are in fact quite satisfied that she is healthy and happy and is developing as she should. But just because something is normal does not mean it is not amazing or beautiful. I think that being enchanted by the ordinary is a sure way of experiencing joy. I hope I will always be enchanted by children.


Bob said...

I am so envious. On an unrelated note, look at you blogging all the time! This is great.

Holly said...

I know, weird, huh? I must be going through a blogging growth spurt or something.