I’ve written so much about learning, about early childhood development. I am always so intrigued by the way that we discover the world, and all the ways that we as parents can help our kids understand the world around them. The first few years of their lives are so important, can make such a difference. And sure, they all learn to do things even without extra fun activities, but it’s just so rewarding to watch them learn and explore. But seeing that understanding in their eyes? There’s nothing quite like it!
I will still write about swimming lessons, and bath time, but this is just a quick post about a specific moment that made me so happy. Last night, Harley was taking a bath. We had already done all the cleaning stuff, naming her body and getting her face wet as training for swimming. So it was basically “free play” in the water. She could just sit there and play with her toys, splash or whatever else she wanted to do. It’s how I generally do bath time, and the ending bit where she just plays can last anywhere from 2-10 minutes depending on how she seems and how bored either of us gets.
Last night, she was sitting there in the water, and instead of reaching for her toys, she was having fun splashing. Then she would pull on the side of the tub and get herself halfway up to standing, at which point she would bang on the top of the tub. Bang bang bang, then splash splash splash. I’d bang with her on the tub, explaining that it was the tub, that it was solid but wet while the water was liquid. Bang bang bang, splash splash splash. She was having SO much fun doing it. She loved seeing how the same movement with her hand had a completely different impact in the water or out of it. The one made a noise and one sensation, the other made a different kind of noise and tons of water went everywhere. I don’t even know how long she went on doing it, but it seemed like a while. She just had so much fun, and you could see in her eyes that she was understanding it – liquid vs solid, water vs tub, bang vs splash.
Sure, it might seem normal or common sense that liquid and solid are different, that the side of the tub feels differently to the water in the tub. But it’s part of her discovery, part of her learning that she can make the same movement and bash the side of the tub, or splash water everywhere. it’s adorable and hilarious and makes me so happy. Harley loves to play, to learn, to explore, and when I see that spark in her eyes, I know we are doing this the right way for both of us.