My husband and I bundled up the grandchildren and took them for a walk last weekend. Izabela, 13 months old, was content to experience the excursion from her push car until she realized she was the only one not walking, and she demanded out. With her short little legs, she maneuvered slowly up the hill, so I lagged behind with her.
Iza’s four-year-old brother, Peter took possession of the push-car. At the top of the hill, he asked his Grandfather to walk down the hill and “catch him”. Peter raced down the hill, with his six-year-old sister running beside him. What both older children failed to notice was the creek.
Pokey little Iza; however, DID discover the creek. She stopped, looked at the creek and then down the hill at her siblings. It’s clear that she wanted to alert the older children to this great opportunity for play and mischief. But what could she do, this baby with practically no language skills? Well, she looked toward her siblings and said, “Oh NO!” and this got their attention
Iza’s little body was vibrating with excitement, because both her older siblings were looking at her. But what would she do now? I was very curious to see how this scenario would play itself out. Then, Iza took two steps toward the creek, pointed a chubby little finger at it and repeated, “Oh NO!” Both siblings responded by running back up the path to learn what Iza had discovered. Iza was delighted; thrilled that she was able to accomplish this.
If you think that babies are helpless little creatures that have no control over their environment, spend a little time observing one. You’ll be surprised.
Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion Director