Rebecca Wolf

This blog is a chronicle of my daughters' growth - born July 2003 and May 2007. Be sure to check out the Thriving Babies homepage, for videos and instructions on how to use every type of baby carrier. For literacy and homeschooling tips, visit my Rochester-based Learning Center blog at

Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's a matter of perspective

I am very intrigued by Arianna's pretend play. She has been role playing the stories we make up for her as well as stories from books. She'll say, "You are the pirate and I am the kitty." Or, "I am climbing up on the table and getting the turkey leg, like the kitty did!" as she climbs on the bedside table and grabs my lotion, pretending it's turkey and even feeding me some.

Theoretically, she's not supposed to be doing this now. The leading activity for toddlers is supposed to learning how to manipulate objects. Pretend play is the leading activity for preschoolers.

I think we read to her so much that she has become fascinated with characters and roles and stories. She definitely has an advanced ability to take the perspective of others.

When we were standing outside one night, I showed Arianna the stars in the sky. After she looked up, she immediately took Tony monkey and raised his head so he could "see" the stars too.

Being able to imagine someone else's perspective is a precursor for developing empathy. We already know she is a very caring child.

In fact, yesterday it seemed to take me forever to make dinner and Arianna was hungry so every 5 minutes she kept asking me for more snacks. I finally just started ranting and raving at the poor girl, who seemed nonplussed by my tirade.

Instead, she asked, "Mommy, are you mad about the juice?" She kept asking me questions because she wanted to know why I was yelling like a lunatic. I finally calmed down and said, "I know you are hungry Arianna. Mommy is trying to make you dinner but you keep on interrupting me and asking me for grapes and juice and bread. If you wait a few minutes, mommy will give you some pasta and then we can both eat dinner."

She replies, "Okay, Mommy." So I start getting her plate ready and then she says, "I'm sorry, Mommy."

Boy, did I feel like a jerk. I covered myself by telling her that mommy was grouchy because she was so hungry. Needless to say, we were both happy when we finally ate and she was even happier to see Daddy come home that night!

Isn't it great how much we can learn about ourselves from a child?


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