I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
- Isaac Newton
Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
- Samuel Butler
Most of us never think about how one learns to play. The very idea is counterintuitive. One doesn't learn to play, right? One has always known how. Other things require effort, but play is innate.
Well, at least for those of us who grew up in happy homes. Many adoptive parents, however, have brought home children who don't know how to play. It does seem unnatural. And there are many factors involved, both sensory and emotional. It was hard to guess how long it would take our daughter to learn to play - it's a difficult thing to teach, when you have virtually no foundation. More difficult than one would think, or that was my experience. I wasn't sure where to start.
Lately, however, along with so many other advances, I have seen QQ learning to play. There doesn't seem to have been a trigger or turning point...all of a sudden she just enjoys things that she didn't before - blocks, balls, puppets, wooden animals.
I can see her world expanding on a daily basis. Of course, it helps that she's suddenly so much more mobile - I didn't think it was going to happen, but she's now officially a speed-crawler. I'll turn around and suddenly she's on the other side of the room. The other day, she appeared in the bathroom door while I was blowdrying my hair (she had never breached the hallway before).
At this point, she has to pull everything out and take a look at it. This is fine, as long as I keep a close eye. She's still pretty circumspect and doesn't tend to break, swallow, poke herself with, or tip things over. She needs to explore her world, and I love to see that she now has a vested interest in doing so.
This was the day she suddenly liked her wooden blocks. I bought them before we left for China, but she showed absolutely no interest in them until now.
That's her "half smile", by the way. It absolutely kills me. It's such an adult expression, that half smile. It cracks me up each and every time.
Look at that aspect of sheer delight...it's like she's surveying a brand new candy box, and has only to decide which confection to sample first.
All this.....for me??
Playing is thirsty work, especially in this arid climate, and QQ makes sure to stay hydrated.
Another thing I could not get her interested in until recently. Everyone said she would want to bang things. She didn't. Only now is she beginning to enjoy wielding a good spoon.
That's a caterpillar, by the way. No, not a real one. The choking hazard kind. Don't worry, I didn't leave her alone with it. Nor did she have any interest in putting it in her mouth. She still likes paper and only paper for chewing on (I know...formaldehyde! I need to start buying organic paper products).
Does the duck go on my head? Does it????