About a month ago, something happened with Will that made it that much more difficult to manage him.
You see, babies are stupid. Well, not so much stupid as they just haven’t developed certain cognitive capabilities. Namely, if you put something in front of them they grab it and they chew it and they study it like it is the most exhilarating and fascinating thing they have ever seen. And when its time to take said object away, you’d think the baby would be upset right? Well, only for a second. Because once you put the object out of sight…POOF…they forget all about it. Because to an infant, something that is out of sight does not exist.
This is a great thing because kids only play with things they’re not supposed to be playing with. Remote controls, batteries, nuclear weapons of mass destruction. So when you take it away, they’re only upset for a few seconds as you hide it and they focus their attention on some other shiny object and forget it even existed. Basically, babies are like that guy from the movie Memento whose memories are wiped clean after just a few minutes.
But last month, everything changed.
Will had once again taken the TV remote and tried to eat it. Then he dropped it on the ground and the back of it exploded with the batteries spilling out. I put it all back together and simply put it under the blanket on the couch where he couldn’t see it. Then I went back to the kitchen to continue what I had been doing.
A couple of minutes later I heard Will chewing on something so I looked over. I stopped dead in my tracks because the little bugger had a hold of the remote control again. He had rummaged through the blanket and found it. So I took it away from him again, but this time I put it high up on a shelf well out of his reach. And that’s when it happened…
He screamed and cried and wailed away, all the while looking up in the area where I had stashed the remote. He couldn’t see it, but he knew damn well it was there. I tried to give him one of his toys but he wasn’t having it. It was the remote control or nothing at all.
Since that day I’ve been cursing Jean Piaget’s theory of object permanence and my son’s development. And yes, I know his normal development is a good thing, but tell that to my patience and sanity. Now he knows what he’s missing when we take it away from him. And when we leave the room, he often cries like crazy because he knows we exist even though we’re out of sight.
Unlike my wife who cries when I come IN the room!