Sunday, March 26, 2006

Autonomy

I suppose that one of the overarching goals of parenting is to instill independence in the child, so that he can grow up to look after himself and then nurture other people and projects. But a young baby needs to grapple with independence slowly, in a safe and comfortable environment. Where is the line?

The line changes. A few months ago, I gave the Monkey a sippy cup to see if he could satisfy his own thirst. He picked the cup up OK, then flailed it around and bonked himself on the head. Then he cried. Freedom has a terrible, terrible price indeed.

Now he can maneuver the sippy cup pretty well, raise to his lips, and drink from it for a while. (He also likes chewing on the bottom, hence the need for the sippy cup.) But he is learning to crawl, to stand, to climb up on furniture, and to explore parts of the house under his own steam. He is totally not ready to do that unassisted or unsupervised. It's amazing to think that someday he will be.

When he's 25, probably. I think that's how long it took me.

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