Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Cognitive Development.

cognitive-developmentTonight I watched a boy who was about a year, year-and-a-half old speeding around the inside of a large house, repeating the phrase “La la la la la” over and over again, as if he had figured out only minutes earlier both how to run and how to pronounce the letter¬†L¬†and couldn’t, at the moment, get enough of either activity. He was at that wonderful age when one could see that his mind was full of rotating gears, but one couldn’t quite figure out exactly what thoughts those gears are producing.

There was a lace curtain hanging in the archway that separated the living room from the den. The boy would rush into the den repeating his musical mantra, his mouth constantly open, the front teeth pressed squarely on the front of his tongue, and then he would rush back out of the den, running past the foyer, past the dining room, and through the kitchen, which brought him to the living room. He would then turn around and come back into the den, not realizing that the two rooms were but one thin layer of lace apart. He repeated this pattern for three or four minutes.

And then he pushed at the curtain. He walked through the curtain in the den and into the living room. Emboldened by this discovery, he began to run in a complete circuit of the house, rushing into the den and then rushing through the curtain and back around again.

At some point, he realized that this amazing ability to travel from one room to the other worked both ways. He began running from the living room into the den repeatedly.

Up to this point, our intrepid hero had been pushing a leg of the curtain itself, pulling it up and over him as he ran. After a few more circuits, he discovered that there was a gap already between the curtains and he began running through that gap instead.

This whole process took about twenty minutes. The only look on his face was unadulterated joy and the only word coming out of his mouth was “la.” It was fascinating.

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2005 by in Science, Society.
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