Monday, November 17, 2008

Week 31 and Chapter 3

The third chapter of the Tao Te Ching teaches that people who are unable to be content when their basic needs are met will also be unable to be content with luxuries.

Last week was Smiley's 31st week and he has finally found contentment.

Every since July he has been striving. First he wanted to learn to crawl. Then he wanted to learn to pull himself to standing. Then he wanted to learn to "cruise" (walk while leaning on furniture). Then he wanted to learn to climb.

Now he can do all those things. He has no new goal. His waking hours are spent playing or eating or looking around when on a walk.

While learning those things, almost as an aside, he developed the abdominal strength and balance to sit up without supporting himself with a hand. So not only is he now content to just play, but he can play better. He can manipulate his toys much more: a larger range of motion than when lying on his belly, but using both hands.

Thus Smiley continues to learn daily, but now his lessons are smaller. How do you get a thumb and index finger to pick up a small piece of injera? Why does the little car no longer roll when pushed if upside-down? How do these beads slide along a string or wire? Does this toy rattle when shaken? Funny how the plastic cup changes his voice while he chews on its lip, but not when he chews on its its base? What does it sound like when I hit a wooden spoon against different things, or when I hit things with a plastic cup instead? Where is my frog?

It is a treat to see Smiley content and understanding objects as more than possible teething surfaces.

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