Have you ever watched a baby learn about his or her world? It’s terribly fascinating. Duplo’s in a stage right now where he’s trying to figure out what things are and why we do certain “rituals” with them. He’ll hold telephone-like things to his ear, hit himself on the head with a brush over and over, make sniffly noises into tissues, wipe whatever surface he can find with anything that resembles a rag, and point at nothing in particular in books while babbling. He has no idea what these things are for, so he plays with them the way he sees us use them, and I’m guessing he’s either hoping to obtain insight in this way, or else he’s desperate to fit into our family by doing what we do in hopes of gaining our approval.

Everything he does is a little window into his mind, yet so much is a mystery and will remain so until he learns to speak well. Even then, those who are fluent in their language don’t understand one another very well most of the time.

Meanwhile, Lego is continuing to figure out how the world works, but obviously at a more sophisticated level. The other day he asked me whose tummy his babies would be in when he’s a daddy. I feel like I’m answering “how” and “why” questions much of the day, and each one teaches me a little bit about what Lego knows and how he thinks the world works. How exciting it must be to be trying to figure out the mystery that is the world, let alone the intricacies of human behavior and culture. To come into the world knowing nothing and watch these big people around you in order to gain clues as to how to become a person. No wonder Duplo wanders around the house nowadays with an impish grin on his face, smiling in awe and delight at nearly everything.

There’s nothing like a child to help you remember what awe and delight are.


  1. Delightful anecdotes indeed. It’s really interesting that Lego asked in particular about who would be pregnant with his kids, as opposed to other marriage things.

  2. “[He will] wipe whatever surface he can find with anything that resembles a rag”

    Be sure to latch the diaper hamper. Family lore has it that when I was in this stage I managed to mop (very thoroughly) the entire bathroom floor with a revoltingly filthy diaper before I was discovered.

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