Sunday, June 25, 2006

tricycles and learning how to learn again

Saturday, June 24, 2006

tricycles and learning how to learn again
Current mood: mischievous

On Thursday (mine and Billy's birthday- yes, it's the same day- and thank you all for the nice birthday greetings!) Littleman learned how to pedal his tricycle. Up to then he had enjoyed riding it while we pushed, but wasn't overly enthused about the whole idea. It's so funny when learning moments just click into place like that- the lightbulb over the head cliche, the Aha! moment. One minute he just doesn't get it, the next minute he is off and away.

I think a lot of a toddler's learning must be that way- the mind is absorbing, absorbing all this flood of incoming information, and filing it away as fast as possible. There's a little librarian in there fitting puzzle pieces of information together. He matches this shape with that, notes that these patterns are the same, until he says "OH!" and the whole picture starts to become clear.

Click click click, information falls into place- how Daddy rides his bike, how Mommy and Daddy showed him where to put his feet and where to push, how pedalling a bike is sort of like walking, how steering is like pushing a cart and making it turn where you want to go. . .who knows what pieces made the picture clear? And all of a sudden he is zooming through the garage, pedalling forward or backward, gleefully steering the trike to ram right into our legs where we stand. Pretty impressive, really.

Anyway, we're proud, he's delighted and now any time he sees the trike it's hard to get him away from it. It's a lot of fun.

Adults seem not to learn this way as much- I wonder if it is because the information our brains are collecting is mostly old, familiar stuff by now, so we don't have such a backlog of data waiting to be puzzled out? Or is it perhaps that we only THINK the information is familiar, therefore not paying it the fresh, open-minded attention that a toddler would? I wonder if we are missing out.

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