Friday, December 3, 2010

Entropy and Construction

 (Enzo the Helper.)

In the last couple of weeks, some of Enzo’s new skills have become increasingly obvious.  Tami tells me that this week she watched him take notice a toy on the ground, squat down low without sitting, pick up the toy, stand up and continue walking with the toy.  Also, he’s learning how to get off of our bed, with us watching but not always helping him, by turning so that he is feet first getting off.  Tami has been showing him how to this for a while but I didn’t expect him to learn how to do this already and to remember to do this most of the time.  It’s really neat watching him do things that require planning.  And, there is another trend that has been building.  One that showed itself very clearly last night. 

Enzo’s general play, as is to be expected, is entropic in nature.  He is an agent of chaos in his actions even as his body builds him with the force of order into a larger human.  In keeping with his entropic nature, Enzo likes to see stacked blocks and then wave his arms through them until they fall.  My task is stacking them quickly and watching him knock them down again.  It’s fun.  Besides blocks, Captain Entropy likes to wave his arms about towards pillows or his mom or his dad when he is excited.  Enzo especially loves helping mom and dad by finding any box, or clothes hamper, and pulling everything out for us.  Adorable.  Messy, but adorable.    Lacking the dexterity and practice to manipulate, it makes sense that children first learn how to use their power to break apart and create disorder.

Eating has been the exception for some time.  Enzo can use two fingers to pick up small pieces of food and move them to his mouth.  I like watching that, too.  Recently, however, and this is the new trend that I alluded to above, I have seen Enzo place toys or clothes back into a container.  Yesterday, I watched him empty and refill a toy box (meaning a small box he likes to play with as a toy) with several wooden blocks.  It was like watching him practice putting blocks away.  He would place them in and get them to be relatively neat.  Then, empty them to do it again.  But the next time, he might try to throw them in from a couple of inches away.  Some would go straight in.  Some would bounce.  In one case, he kept throwing the same block at the area where it would bounce out, several times, making only the slightest adjustments to his throw.  The “throw” here was less than four inches.  He would throw other blocks in to the middle of the box.  But the one that bounced off the edge he pursued until it just barely cleared enough of the edge to go in.  It looked as if he was testing the situation to be sure of consistent results and then testing to see how to change the results. All of this took place while he was calmly sitting and focused.  I sat behind just watching.  There was no doubt that he was finding pleasure in organizing his blocks this time.  He was an agent of organization and construction, not only an agent of entropy and chaos.  When he does interesting things I often remind myself to be still, watch and appreciate; fighting the desire to get involved and distract him with my excitement.  When he was finally done with his little box and big blocks, that’s when I went back to kissing him, making noise, and playing with him.

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