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This happened about three months back. It was a Saturday, I was trying to get ready for the rest of the week, grinding dosa batter, doing laundry, making chapathi dough, prepping and cutting my veggies…etc. Toddler was pestering me for attention. She wanted me to sit next to her and show her pictures of Bharathiyar, M.S, Gandhi thatha* from google images. I did it a couple of times, but I had to get back to my chores. So the next time she came and asked me for Bharathiyar’s pictures, I told her that Bharathiyar is sleeping and we can’t see him. Then she asked me for M.S, I said that M.S amma I sleeping and we can’t disturb her now. After a few minutes she came back and asked for Gandhi thatha. I said that Gandhi thatha is sleeping, and we will see him later. This routine went on for another hour and then she eventually gave up. I finished my chores and went to check on her. After a few minutes I asked her if she wants to do penguin, penguin for me(she keeps her hands next to her hips and does a cute dance singing “penguin, penguin what do you see?” ). She tells me, “Amma, penguin is sleeping. No dislulb**”.

I was going to post this is on my blog and categorize it under “Humor For The Day”. Then I stopped to think. I did tell my friends and hubby about this, but I never analyzed my toddler’s thought process at that particular moment. Was she trying to get back to me? ‘Amma, you were so busy that you couldn’t spend some time with me. Now I am giving you a flavor of your own medicine. Eat it woman’. Naahhh. A typical two year old is very fickle. They have very short memory. They are very trusting, especially towards parents. On top of all this their brain is not capable of forming the required correlation between (I want some thing) -> (mom gives me the run around) -> (Now she wants something) -> (I give her the run around) ->(Message sent: Mom don’t mess with me)

Then I realized that my toddler was learning. This is a typical example for how children learn. I could analyze the five W-s of learning from this example.

What, Where, When, Why, (From) Whom does a child learn?

What – They learn what they see.
Where – At a non threatening environment. Most of the children feel the most ‘at home’ at home. So they learn a lot at home. You can send them to the best school, still they learn A LOT at home.
When – All the time.
Why – Why not?? They learn because they can! They are good at it.
(From) Whom – At a tender age nearly every thing from parents. After they grow up, from the people who inspire them.

(Just for the heck of it I will throw a H in to the theory)
How do they learn? At this age, quite a bit from repetition.

At the end of this analysis I was happy that I got an article for my portfolio on child development, but it also scared me. It is tough being a role model and do the right things at all times. So a big cheer for all of us parents!

*thatha – grandfather
** dislulb – that toddler for “disturb”