Monday, January 12, 2009

Small Things

With Noah on the move now, Joy and I have been reminded of a special talent babies have when they gain control of where they are in their world. This talent is a corollary to their ability to go directly for what you don't want them exploring, no matter the number of toys and distractions you put in their way. It is the talent to find the smallest (often most disgusting) speck of nothingness on the floor and examine it intently.

When we put Noah on the floor now, he scans the room and looks for the bit of fuzz, the corner of a sticker that Sam dropped, the morsel of Rice Chex that stuck to a shoe and migrated from the kitchen. Once his object is in sight, nothing can stop him from picking it up, licking it, or shoving it full bore into his mouth. What is most amazing about this talent is that he finds things we've overlooked, things we would have never seen.

This talent seems to continue on for a few years after it is first developed. Sam, for instance, still shows flashes of this ability. For his last birthday, Joy and I got him a new Thomas playset. All Thomas playsets come with a Thomas train figure, and since this was the second we'd given him, Sam now had two Thomases. We quickly discovered that he abandoned the first Thomas (the one that had been his boon companion for several months) in favor of the new one. We couldn't figure out this behavior until the week before Christmas. We were packing trains to take on our Christmas trip when I casually asked Sam why he preferred the new Thomas. He looked at me as though I were crazy or at least a bit slow, pointed to the old Thomas, and said:

"That Thomas has no eyebrows."

He was right. By some manufacturing fluke, his first Thomas was missing the tiny little lines over his eyes and he had spotted it.

If this talent keeps up I'm totally taking them to the beach and see if they can spot dropped money.


Andy Forbes said...

After reading this, I checked Will's Thomas toy, and it doesn't have eyebrows either! He got it for free in the mail, so my theory is that they ship out all the factory rejects to kids because they can't sell them in stores.

Andrew said...

Ok, that's hilarious. Either that or they used faulty paint on a big batch and the eyebrows wore off. Once you see the lack of eyebrows, you can never look at Thomas the same.