Toddlers are honey badgers

Yes, I previously wrote toddlers are cats. I may have changed my mind.

Videos of the tenacity of honey badgers fascinate me. The toddler makes me think maybe they are honey badgers.

  • Toddlers don’t care.
  • They have enough patience to wait for you to turn your back.
  • They will escape whatever you use to contain them.
  • They will get into whatever you hide from them or put out of their reach.

Arbitration

As kids, my brother and I would get into disagreements over our understanding of some facts. We would explain over and over trying to persuade the other we were correct.

Mom bought some World Book encyclopedias. (Later, she would add Encyclopedia Britannica complete entries that become obvious why later.) They became our arbitrator. What they said settled many a dispute over what something was.

Often we both had some correct elements in our understanding. So the encyclopedia entry connected the two sides. Or we both were wrong.

One or the other was right enough to encourage us to continue consulting it. To continue trusting in it. To be willing to pause when Mom ordered us to stop the loud talking until we could check.

I think my introspection and need to fact check myself mentioned in Savage Little Students comes from this.

Toddler linguistics

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Parents of toddlers master a patois spoken by a population of one. We come to understand the various mixtures of missing consonants or inappropriate vowels. Then repeat back to the one the correct pronunciation.

A section of the brain is devoted to tracking how they use the phonemes. Then mapping that to meaning. Basically it is like learning an almost foreign language. The usage is similar. The grammar is simpler though growing more complex over time.

Decoys

The preference for adult artifacts noted the television remote. Here is a more expansive yet non-comprehensive list:

  • an old DVR remote that doesn’t work
  • an empty deodorant
  • an empty face cream
  • an empty lotion bottle
  • a brush
  • a purse
  • a plastic cup
  • clothes
  • shoes

For each she uses it as it ought. She clearly has studied how we do and wants to do it herself.

This morning, I brushed my teeth in front of her. The idea being to tap into this mimic center. It worked pretty well. She was so busy studying me brushing my teeth she was not at all resistant to hers getting brushed. This might be the avenue to getting her doing it herself.

Pre-Theory of Mind

Fleur picked up something off the floor, popped it in her mouth, stood up, and met my gaze. She spun around and took off. She knew I was coming for it without me having to say it.

She is about a year from having developed the Theory of Mind. With it, she is able to know what I am thinking about the situation. In the classic situation, a researcher shows putting something in a box. Another moves it while the first is not present. Then the child asked where the first thinks it is located.

The taking off means she knows something of what I am thinking. She just would think I know what she knows.

Platonic uncles

My father had a single sister. My mother had brothers and sisters. I should ask, but I wonder if this lack of paternal family is why my father’s friends were my uncles. I cannot think of any friends my mother had who were platonic aunts or uncles.

I still honor these men with “Uncle” titles. Occasionally, if it becomes confusing, I will explain they’re a friend of Dad’s.

What led me down this thinking is I also have the single sibling. Maybe I should label my friends as uncles for Fleur? How does one go about this? Ask permission?