Sunday, August 18, 2013

11th Month Goal = Mastered

Our boy did something amazing!

It happened on Friday afternoon.  I had just gotten home with him, plopped him on the middle of our living room floor, and headed to the bathroom.  When I returned to the living room two minutes later, my jaw dropped as I saw that our boy had turned on the TV, turned on the DVD player, turned on the separate speaker unit, and pressed play!  

To accomplish this impressive feat, our boy had to use 3 different remotes (which he first needed to retrieve by reaching and stretching to the top of the TV table), press one specific button on each, aim each correctly to the corresponding unit (the TV, the audio box, or the DVD player), and do them in the correct order.  (This is something that his own mama struggles with on a daily basis.)

Did he accomplish this goal?  Yes.  I was completely amazed.  He sat there watching, totally content and satisfied with his efforts.  I immediately picked up the phone to call his daddy at work.  "You won't believe what your son just did," I began.

Now that I think about it, he had been working up to this special moment, practicing with those three remote controls on an individual and daily basis, testing and retesting his hypotheses on how they worked and didn't work.  He'd go back-and-forth between muting and un-muting the audio, exploring whether or not a remote control works when it's pointed away from the TV, and learning which buttons on each unit are most important.

And now, finally, at 11 months old, our boy has gotten it!  No instruction manual did he read.  No tutorial did he get from his father.  By trail and error (and perhaps watching Mommy and Daddy very closely), Liam has self-taught himself how to use everything.

How can I be sure that this was a sheer act of will, rather than a random coincidence?  Because Liam, who's watched the Praise Baby DVD collection a million times, used his new-found independence to select something different for himself.  From the menu he chose to watch the "About" section, a segment showed us interviews with the makers behind the product, something altogether different to enjoy watching -- and enjoy he did.

So what's next on this ambitious little boy's to-do list?  I'm guessing it will be figuring out the CD player, for I now can't get through a solid feeding without him lifting off me and leaning down, very eager to figure out how the Rosary is playing from that plastic box on the floor.  He's already managed to open the lid, lift out the CD, replace it, change the volume, and--as he prefers--keep it on constant repeat mode, which is the reason why I find myself getting up at 3 AM these days, puzzled by why the Rosary is STILL PLAYING, long after we've all gone to bed.  (Oh wait a minute.  If he can do all these things, I guess he's got the CD player figured out, too!)

Congratulations, baby boy.  You're getting technical with your problem-solving skills.  This is one fine-looking feather in your cap!