Thursday, April 30, 2009

Figuring Out the Rules

I love watching Michael grown and learn. It's fascinating how much children are capable of learning in just a few short years. It's amazing to me that a child can go from having very little ability to move to running around like a maniac in two short years. Just think about how many skills they need to develop to be able to stand, maintain their balance, and then move forward rapidly. And, the whole time they are learning how to do that, they are also learning how to talk, eat, and other complex things. No wonder babies and toddlers sleep so much. It's exhausting to think about doing that much work.

Now that Michael is getting older, the skills he develops are not as obvious as taking his first steps, but when I think about the complexity involved, wow are some of them impressive. Take rules, for example. Three year olds can become very rigid and stubborn because they are starting to understand the rules of interaction. They start with things like saying please and thank you, and then quickly branch out into the complex social rules that we all follow. They become conditioned to their social surrounding with very little guidance. They recognize patterns and incorporated them into their behavior.

Michael really surprised me by vocalizing one of these "rules" the other day.

Andy and I have been together for a while, and over time we have developed this tendency to call each other "piggy" anytime one of us burps without excusing ourselves. It's one of those cutesy things that couples do that you swear you'll never do, but somehow end up doing anyway. My Diet Coke habit and poor manners contribute to me being the lead piggy in the house, and also ensure that Michael gets lots of exposure to it.

The other night, while we were doing Michael's bedtime routine, Andy tooted* and did not excuse himself. My immediate response was to say, "Daddy's a piggy."

Michael quickly corrected me. "Daddy tooted, he didn't burp."

Well, excuse me Mr. Precise. I'm sorry that I broke the "piggy" rule. In the future, I will reserve "piggy" only for burping situations and will use "eww, your gross" for tooting situations.

Andy and I got a good laugh out of it, but I must say I'm impressed that Michael not only picked up on our teasing one another, but that he managed to establish the rules behind it as well. Kids are pretty smart.

It makes me wonder how many other crazy things he's figured out about us. Oh my.

*Which do you think is more embarassing? The fact that I'm talking about Andy's bodily functions, or the fact that I'm saying he tooted rather than farted?


Karla said...

LOL, ehhh, its all pretty common around here too. And we say tooted instead of farted also, well most of the time.

Mel said...

Analese just discovered the term "tooting" and she laughs so hard anytime she hears it. I mean this is seriously the funniest word in the world to her right now. TOOT TOOT! (She does not know the expression "farting"yet).

London said...