It was the warmest, sunniest day I can remember. Dadda and Mama packed me and the dog in the car and we went to Ganma and Ganpa’s house across town.
I remember having been there before and when we got there, they put me down on the driveway and walked toward the steps in the shade. I can get up the steps by myself now and the door opened and Ganma and Ganpa let me in.
It was familiar–the living room off to the right with the toys waiting for me on the floor. I hadn’t seen the tower of bright-colored cups in a while. I immediately began taking off the topmost cups one at a time and giving them to Ganma, Dadda, and the dog.
Then I got fed in a high chair that was different from the one at home. Pictures got taken and I smiled for the camera when they called my name.
After I got down on the floor and went for the dog’s bowls. I had seen Ganpa feeding the dog pieces by hand. He put the food in his hand, closed it, the dog pawed his hand, and he opened it so the dog could eat. I wanted to try that too, but Mama picked up the bowls for some reason and took them away.
Later, I came across the dog’s bone and picked it up to take it to the dog. It’s hers. I walked around from room to room with the bone in my hand with the big people laughing. I could not find the dog anywhere until Mama showed me Ganpa and the dog on a chair outside on the other side of the window screen. She put my sandals on and she carried me to the other side and put me on the chair beside Ganpa and the dog who was sitting on Ganpa’s lap!
It was warm and I didn’t have my hat on. Sunny too. Mama picked me up again and took me to a couch by the fence. Dadda sat on the other side and then the couch started moving. I had never been on anything like that before.
This must have been in a yard somewhere. There were trees and noises up high all around. When my feet finally hit the ground and I could walk by myself again, I headed across the big open part. Then I came back to the place where the chairs were and crawled up and walked over to where Ganpa and the dog still were.
Ganpa picked me up as he often does and we went back to the open area. He took me over to where the big trees were moving mysteriously like I’ve seen at home. He showed me an animal of some kind–squirrel, he called it, moving up and down one of the trees. He also pointed out something flying by, which he called a butterfly. We watched it go over the big white thing he called a house.
Then I saw things moving in the trees like at home. He pointed to them and said they were birds. Pretty interesting.
Ganpa showed me how to kick a round thing on the ground and stopped to pick something. It was a thin green stem, something he called grass. He put some of these in his hand and invited me to pick them up and handle them for myself. We picked up some other things, too, one curled-up dry thing he called a leaf.
When we walked around the side of the house, he let me touch the tree itself which felt rough. There was some black stuff in a big white container which he also let me put my hand in. He called it dirt and shook my hand after I touched it, to get it off me.
But the best time of all was just sitting by the couch with Ganpa and Mama on it talking. I just sat in a pile of stuff on the ground, and picked through it with my fingers. It was like the grass–all kinds of odd, small, light, rough shapes. I would hold up each piece I handled and let it drop to see what would happen.
I heard a noise above and beside me, but it was one of those flying animals looking down on me. Mama and Ganpa tried showing me something colored like an orange. It was very tiny and had wings which opened up. All the while the dog just lay on the ground, poking her nose in it, sniffing.
It was a pretty good day and ended suddenly with me being packed up and being put in the car again to go home. I know something special had happened that day, but I can’t talk yet. Maybe someday we’ll go back there. I know the dog and I liked it all.
An interesting Sunday, indeed. With my grandson, my own ongoing interests have been about revisiting learning and communication process. Most obviously, consciousness precedes words, language. But the past month there has been more babble talk with gestures and pointing so he already has his own language and is making his own connections.
He has long watched the wind moving in the trees through the dining room area of his house whenever he has been sitting in his high-chair for meals. A few weeks back he noticed the same effect through the front window and began to watch back and forth between the two windows, gesturing with alternate hands, quietly babbling with pitch and tone. He was, I believe, attempting to articulate pattern and connection relative to the trees on both sides moving in the wind.
Before that, he had been playing with puzzles and various kinds of organizing types of toys. So his consciousness has begun to organize and become aware of pattern. And so far the babbling syntax with nuanced pitch and tone is sufficing for him. He is quite happy expressing himself, mainly to himself at this point.
During a visit, I notice his changes–the new things he is doing, what he is noticing, and he interacts with his environment, as recorded somewhat by “Spring Sunday”. What is it like to be him? How does he process stuff? What goes on inside him relative to consciousness? Isolated moments and then onto the next distraction or new awareness most likely.
I entertain and ‘teach’ him–a lot depends on the field of opportunities for someone that new, young, and fundamentally curious. He gets a lot of stimulation and opportunity elsewhere–with his parents, the dog, other grandparents, and the three other kids at the day home. For instance, he often plays outside now and did his first painting months ago. All these experiences piling up and registering on his consciousness at the moments they happen.
I suspect he now has some kind of impression of our house and yard now, too. The house is bigger than home–he has more room to move around and lots of interesting things to see including owl dolls–to whom he says “Whooo”. Sunday was the first time in the backyard and it was good to see him running free and noticing birds, squirrels, ladybugs, butterflies even for flitting, fleeting moments. He also explored quite a bit and we ‘let him’ as in the case when he sifted a pile of vegetation I had raked up by the swing.
Noticing, learning, paying attention, finding new things for the first time–it was a lot of fun for him and me, vicariously. There are times when I see myself or his dad at his age re/living similar experiences. For me, there are photographs of old of me his age, and these remembered come to life, so to speak, because of him and what he is going through. Process, cycles, connections, patterns–over and over. Largely so.
Next up will be the repetition of words and identifiers for different things. He will learn a whole other language that will link him more with his surroundings and others. Somewhere inside, he will continue to discover and make new connections, see more patterns. And then the questions of curiosity. But I am getting ahead of myself and these early periods are short and in transition always like all process.
No, the language he speaks now, the thoughts he has now, are mainly important for understanding and expression for him personally in his own somewhat private, separated world. Making sense of things and talking about how he feels freely and spontaneously. In that, luck and privilege. Beginning with consciousness, then word.
Having a thought or feeling and expressing it. Impelled to speak. All the while learning something new.