In the past couple of days, even with a really bad cold, 13-month old Zach has made huge leaps in the “sequences” department. Last night he took his sandbox shovel to the open dishwasher (while I was loading it), put it in the top rack, pushed in both racks, and closed the dishwasher door. I thought he was going to pull out the silverware, as he tends to want to do, but I waited a moment before leaping to action and just stared, slack-jawed, until he closed the dishwasher door and toddled off.
Earlier that same day, he used the potty and, with some help but absolutely no prompting, picked up the receptacle, poured it in the toilet, flushed, and closed the lid. Then today he found a piece of plastic on the floor, picked it up, went to the trash cabinet, opened the door, put the plastic in the trash (I helped him lift the lid) and closed the cabinet door.
I watched him accomplish all of this with the appropriate motherly pride, but then my over-worked, sleep-deprived, foggy momma brain had an “uh-oh” moment (like Oprah’s “aha” moments but less “hallelujah!” and more “holy crap!”):
HE’S BEEN WATCHING.
Yes, this 25-pound ball of boundless energy has been taking in our every move. He’s watched me load the dishwasher and empty the potty, and that’s great. But he’s also watched me fling shoes into the closet, shove dogs off the couch, and leave books on the floor. In the classroom you analyze your every move; you walk gracefully and speak quietly. At home, between the chaos of dinner, dogs, and diapers, it’s all too easy to forget.
But I must remember… I must remember that he’s watching. And learning. Incarnating, is the word that Dr. Montessori used. Making into one’s flesh. Constructing himself from the indiscriminate impressions he takes in with his beautiful, powerful, 100-billion-neuron absorbent mind.
No pressure, right mommas?