Since we were all in Pittsburgh already, it was a quick drive over and we spent the day watching booboo smile and laugh at the animals and run through the mist-ers until he was soaked.
It had been a little under a year since our last trip there and the difference in booboo's awareness was awesome to see. He could walk/run to the different exhibits and make most of the animal sounds.
|hahha, dadda lost hair and booboo grew some in 11 months!|
It was super hot, hot, hot that day and a Sunday, so that made for a little bit of crowd, but Booboo loved every minute of it. Since was more grown this time, he didn't only notice the animals that were fast moving (although he still loves the meerkats and Aunt Kitty claims he is getting on for Christmas...hi aunt kitty, can I remind you of someone: Bullet.) But he also enjoyed the lounging animals as well, like the resting deer (that he got to pet to Brandon's joy), and the basking tigers. Last year we walked right by them because Grey was too young to even realize the non-movers weren't just part of the scenery. This time we stopped at every animal because Grey was ready to point 'em out to us with big wide eyes and a surprised grin.
A moment to talk about cognitive development and its awesomeness. Although, we (grown-ups) take advantage of having but when you start to see through a child's eyes, it actually pretty amazing when they gain this skill. Object recognition is the ability to see an object - take into consideration it's shape, texture, what its doing, etc and make a guess as to from your past experience as to what it might be. Adults have the ability look at thousands of things a day, and sometimes we just give it a quick glance and we can process what the object is...so my brain works like this all day (at the speed of about 1.2 seconds)
he's chasing bullet and laughing
he's probably trying to hit him with something
something long and brown, rounded head
it's a wooden spoon
move to get it off of him
It's been pretty fascinating watching Grey make his way into having full object recognition. The reason that I even pay attention to this has to do with the fact that I was a teacher and that I notice Grey is still struggling with certain objects. (so don't feel bad if you've never thought about this until right this second. Now you'll be thinking of it constantly, so you're welcome - hah!) We left the phase that anything that is remotely round is a ball (think cantaloupes and apples) around 11-12 months, but have now moved into any fruit that hangs from a tree are "apples". Anything that flies in the sky (helicopters) are "airmanes" (airplanes). Part of it is still lack of vocabulary and the other part is truly unclear object recognition; he thinks that apples can be both pear-shaped and apple-shaped - but its exciting to see him make connections and make a guess. We got a laugh the other night when Grey saw a store cardboard box (that you would wrap clothing in for a gift" and said "pizza?" thinking it was a pizza box. (does that mean we need to cool it on the delivery pizza? hah) In case you're wondering; children are still mastering object recognition up until they are nearing double digits, so don't expect your kid to know the difference between gourds and small pumpkins (um, do I?)
The below images might all look obvious to us as elephants, but if you think about looking at it from a child's perspective - they look a lot different. They are different colors, facing different directions, different sizes, and in truth, most children have very little first hand experience with elephants (outside of television). So now that Grey can see any or all of these images and give me his signal for elephant (which is currently lifting his arm and say "Brrrr"), it makes a momma realize how hard his little neuro-connections are working.
Well, we aren't yet at full object recognition...because Grey isn't going to do the elephant sound when he sees something abstract like this...so, we need to start visiting some museums I think:)