Contributing writer Ann Croft: Balancing the Blue Box

I met Ann years ago in a book club. I got too busy to keep up with the club but a few months ago Ann and I crossed paths again when we discovered (thanks, Facebook!) that I had hired the same midwives that Ann had used for her daughter Violet’s birth. Violet was just a few months old and I was a few weeks pregnant when Ann and I met up for coffee. Since then, we’ve met up regularly, and Ann was one of Del’s first visitors after his birth. For so many reasons, I’m a lucky woman to know Ann – not the least of which is that she is hilarious. I’m super excited she’s writing for Woah Baby!

Could *you* pull this off? I don't think so.

My 11-month old daughter is obsessed with wearing things on her head.  It all started with a blue gift box that someone left on the floor.  Violet discovered it and somehow managed to put it on her head. . . it was a perfect fit. She now puts everything on her head to test whether or not it will stay put.  She has discovered a black Fedora that used to be mine and pink baby sunglasses that she will only wear on her eyes for a few seconds before attempting to put them on her head.  These, along with the original blue box are her favorite accessories to wear while she plays.

Watching her figure out how to open the glasses and put them on her head or how to maintain the balance of the blue box while playing with her blocks fascinates me.  I could watch her do this for hours.  And it’s not just me.  My husband sits and stares at her playing for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

We realized the other day that our television is almost never on anymore.  There is no need for the mind-numbing drone of the boob tube.  I can instead watch Violet yell into her stacking toy and press the on-button of her Elephant popper over and over until the batteries slow the music to a creepy carnival crawl.  We sit like a sit-com audience, and watch as she flips through the board book “Peek a Who” upside down and backwards for the 10th time in a row cheering when she tosses it aside with a flourish to move on the next thing.

Its repetitive, unstructured play and it fascinates me.  My sister says she is mapping.  And I suppose that’s what she’s doing.  Mapping – learning – figuring out the world around her and how it works.  Then tossing aside the round block and moving on to the green ball – all the while rocking those pink sunglasses precariously perched on her head.

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