"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The World Through Patrick's Eyes

I remember hearing once that babies are like little research scientists. They are born into this world without really knowing how it works, so, as soon as they are able, they embark on an experimental quest to figure out their world. I have been thinking recently that in Patrick's Aristotelian categorization of inanimate objects, there would be two main categories.

Undoubtedly, one of Patrick's favorite things to do is throw. I guarantee he has thrown each of the objects in the above photo at least once. The only joy that surpasses a simple throw of an object is the joy that comes with throwing an object down the stairs. In particular Patrick likes to throw down videos, DVDs, and their cases (they make such a loud crash on the tile at the bottom!). But he's also game for socks, towels, clothing, bath toys, or whatever might be laying in the hallway parallel with the staircase. You might notice in the above photo that my tea kettle has a chip in the enamel; that's thanks to Patrick giving it a good toss in the kitchen pantry. In case you are wondering, Patrick does have a nice supply of balls of various shapes and sizes, including a new O-ball and some flashing balls from Christmas. He loves playing catch with anyone who will play, and I daresay he has exceptionally good aim for a 14 month old. If you observe him playing, however, you will notice that he does not see throwing as something to be limited to balls. He (repeatedly) threw Eva's new mini-keyboard (which miraculously did NOT break). After chasing his new runaway train, he captured it, turned around and went for the Hail Mary pass to his mom. I would venture to say that everyone in the family has suffered minor bruises from Patrick's pastime, but as of now we have no major injuries (and only a few broken objects). The other category, then, is
Not Throwable:
Try as he might, Patrick would not be able to throw the above chair. And there are certain items of this size and smaller that he obviously does not even attempt to throw.

Having mulled over Patrick's two categories for a few days, I finally chose breakfast as a time to announce to my husband my observation of Patrick's dichotomous categorization. Needless to say, my claim was immediately destabilized by the sound of scraping on the tile entryway. I was forced to add another category.

 Because, of course, there are some things that Patrick is unable to throw but they still provide him with entertainment because they are moveable. He can't actually throw an empty laundry hamper, but he can push it down the stairs and watch it fall. A full laundry hamper he can take for a walk down the hallway. I think light switches would also go in this category. Thanks to Grandpa Bob's bonding time with Patrick, my son thinks switches of all sorts are there solely for his personal enjoyment. Generally he can't reach light switches, but unfortunately the heater service switch is right at his level. I never leave the laundry area without checking to make sure Patrick hasn't turned off our heat.

Undoubtedly Patrick has other categories operating in his encounter with the world, but despite this, I think his most important designation for an inanimate object has to do with whether or not he can chuck it at a sister.

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