Thursday, September 15, 2011

"These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things..."

At our baby class yesterday, Claire was transfixed by a ukulele. A second earlier, she was having none of the merry-making, showing her unwillingness to participate with kicking and screaming. Then the ukulele strummed. She froze, went silent and stared, as if it were under a spotlight surrounded by darkness. Yesterday, it was the fish in a fish tank. The day before her toes were up for consideration. She is perpetually intrigued by the sprinkler on the ceiling in the living room – something we adults have been conditioned to tune out. They say the world is so vivid to babies precisely because everything is equal to them. And that babies sleep to get a break from all of the stimuli they encounter. Claire finds the sprinkler as important as the cat. Things must be only sensation. She can’t name the ukulele. She can’t categorize it in a group with other musical instruments. Adults chase this type of pure sensation. An alcoholic drink or a rollercoaster ride shakes loose the context of things. Of course, I think Claire finds her mommy and daddy important, as well as the two food sources that I carry around with me. Eventually, her attention should shift, as she learns to discriminate based on need and her knowledge of the function of things. I imagine that Lloyd the cat will become very important to her. And then he will teach her how need becomes love.

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