“I will keep YOU safe, Grandma!” as he runs across the lawn and jumps in my outstretched arms.
“I will keep YOU safe, Theo-saurus!” “We’ll be safe together, how does that sound?”
And we laugh at our little joke, over and over again pretending to be afraid of the remote control dinosaur, a gift from Grandpa for his third birthday.
“I like it when T-Rex dances, but I SORTA don’t like it when he roars!”
“Are you afraid of him, Theo?”
“Not really, Grandma. He’s not scary to me. Well, at first, I was a little bit afraid, but not anymore.”
“Me neither, T.” I said, to affirm his bravery and courage in overcoming his fear of a twenty-four-inch tall walking, roaring, dancing Tyrannosaurus Rex.
I’ve delayed for almost a week writing my observations of the arraignment last week of the suspects arrested in the murder of a local woman.
In my dreams, I can still see the faces of those two monsters charged with stabbing her more than fifty times in the face and head.
As a diversion, I’d rather focus on something beautiful and positive, just a brief respite from the reality of dark and disturbed people who made a decision that seems so senseless; so cruel.
Back to Planet Theo…
The world really does revolve around him, and like most toddlers, this is an important developmental milestone.
The normal human brain is designed by evolution to generate the egocentric illusion: the illusion that the owner of a particular brain is the center of the universe.
Egocentrism refers to the child’s inability to see a situation from another person’s point of view.
Reading about this reminds me of the time I spent post-BA when I was in the teacher training program at university and we studied this fascinating subject.
According to Jean Piaget, the Swiss biologist and psychologist, the egocentric child assumes that other people see, hear, and feel exactly the same as the child does
SENSORIMOTOR STAGE (BIRTH TO 2 YEARS OLD)
The infant builds an understanding of himself or herself and reality (and how things work) through interactions with the environment. It is able to differentiate between itself and other objects. Learning takes place via assimilation (the organization of information and absorbing it into existing schema) and accommodation (when an object cannot be assimilated and the schemata have to be modified to include the object.
PREOPERATIONAL STAGE (AGES 2 TO 4)
The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations. Objects are classified in simple ways, especially by important features.
CONCRETE OPERATIONS (AGES 7 TO 11)
As physical experience accumulates, accommodation is increased. The child begins to think abstractly and conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences.
FORMAL OPERATIONS (BEGINNING AT AGES 11 TO 15)
Cognition reaches its final form. By this stage, the person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgements. He or she is capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning. His or her ability for abstract thinking is very similar to an adult. (https://www.learning-theories.com/piagets-stage-theory-of-cognitive-development.html)
As we grow from children to adults, we first separate and then individuate from our family of origin. Separation entails moving away, starting a career, and setting up a home. Individuation is the process by which we grow into our own authentic self. Individuation is detached observation of the behaviors and beliefs we learned as children.(https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24867/the-single-most-destructive-factor-in-your-search-for-real-love.html
Most of us move through these stages as we get older; our brains grow, we individuate, we see ourselves as part of the whole, each piece synergistically interacting with others; we learn empathy. Some do not. Those with personality and/or character disorders become stuck somewhere in the early stages of development and never truly individuate.
Genetics and environment both seem to play a part in preventing certain children from growing or developing properly, hindering and sometimes even completely inhibiting the ability to maintain healthy adult relationship connections.
That’s why it’s vitally important to educate ourselves about how the brain works, how emotions develop, how play and make believe are critical building blocks to lay a sturdy foundation of trust, love, and safe boundaries.
OK, off my soapbox for now. Happy 3rd birthday to the one and only Theo-saurus and happy birthday to Daddy too, Here’s the post about his birth, thirty-eight years ago. I am so proud of the man he’s become. And soon to be daddy to #2, the princess of all princesses. I’m already drooling over frilly pink dresses and pink blankets.
We went camping in the Anza Borrego desert to see the full moon. That’s the Sawtooth Mountains.
I don’t have many pics ‘cos I was too busy trying to keep up with Planet Theo. We saw California Quail, bunnies, and heard coyotes. Life is GOOD.
Just a daddy and his