Development of an Autonomous Inner Life

Visiting my 2 1/2 year-old grandson last evening to play with him and put him to bed, and seeing the latest changes. The past two weeks he has become very talkative once in his crib, sometimes taking a couple of hours to drop off to sleep. His parents have long had an intercom so that one can discreetly listen in for whatever needs and required help or attention.

Last evening his imagination reviewed events of the evening and day in many fragments and occasionally complete sentences. Examples: Go round and round (referring to his getting adults on their feet to walk with him in circles around the house). Line (he got interested in making lines with blocks after I demonstrated he could go a long ways into the hallway and other rooms). Where’s Mommy and Daddy? (then) Where’s Mommy and Daddy? Mommy go to big store. Peanut (name of his dog) Okay, Okaaaay. (part of a discussion with one of his dayhome pals or his parents?) Gwanma, Gwanpa. (Well, there you go, I thought. I guess I am now really, (un)consciously, a part of his life as far as he’s concerned.)

There is much to go over, review, and ultimately process–the information of his day. No doubt he relives key moments and files them away for memory (he has been remembering more of his short life and recalling it the past month.). It is interesting and a privilege to listen in on the development of his inner life and hear him expressing himself wildy, freely, and happily. He already has a very rich, complex, busy life. There is much to do. There is much to think about and mull over. And there is now much to say, even to himself and crib animals late into the darkness.

And so the monologue continued last evening for two hours. He instructed his cribmates–panda, giraffe, and fire truck–to “go to sleep” as he occasionally clicked the fire truck flashlight on and off. They were under orders in his dreamy world, about to become the world of sleep, which he slowly talked himself into with no intervention from any other adults. In any case, he would see them all again when he woke up nine hours or so later. All was and would be well.

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