A thought on toddler cognitive development

So the kid is a year old now, and he has learned how to throw things. He enjoys taking things out of containers and sometimes putting them back into containers… although not always the same container, such as when he starts putting recycling into the trash can in the kitchen. He will happily jettison food from his tray that displeases him, or food that he wants out of the way when he sees better food coming, or any food left over when he’s done eating, or just food that he’d like to test the aerodynamic properties of.

Mama and Papa don’t like it when he throws food on the floor, though. We look at the food and make sad frowny faces. He sees our frowny faces and gives us this wide-eyed innocent look. He tries misdirection, such as holding and waving a piece of food in the air for a while before just happening to drop it.

This morning, he tried a new trick: I was sitting to his right. He took a bit of cereal that he wanted to get rid of in his left hand and casually hung his hand over the side of his high-chair, out of sight. I got suspicious and checked his hand, and sure enough it was empty. I went around to the other side of his chair, looked down at the cereal, made a frowny face, and we looked at each other in the usual exchange.

I was still impressed, though! It’s pretty amazing, if you think about it. It means he can do these things:

  1. Guess at people’s moods and emotions.
  2. Remember what makes them upset.
  3. Want to avoid upsetting them.
  4. Understand fields of vision.
  5. Realize that people may not respond to things they can’t see.
  6. Guess at what is in or out of someone’s field of vision, based on local arrangements of objects in space.

And then he assimilates all of that into a plan to avoid upsetting Papa by hiding an event that has upset Papa in the past! Babies really are amazing, thoughtful creatures.

I’m still looking forward to when he’s potty-trained.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
This entry was posted in Musing, Nonfiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A thought on toddler cognitive development

  1. locksleyu says:

    Kids are great. My 3-year old son’s development is a joy to watch daily (:

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