This week I have had the honor of welcoming a new baby into my program. She is the youngest baby we have welcomed in some time, joining us at just nine weeks old.

Sometimes at work I am able to take a few steps back and pretend to be a fly on the wall, observing the infants and toddlers in my care without them feeling my eyes on them. This is magic — to watch children at play, undisturbed. This is beauty. Today I was able to observe this little one, laying peacefully on her back on the floor, watching a cloth bee toy that was dangling near her.

She lifted her arm and brushed it, quite by mistake. She watched it swing.

baby on back

Then she lifted her arm again, quite deliberately, and brushed the toy again. She watched it swing. When she lifted her arm the third time, she couldn’t quite connect with the toy. She lowered her arm. Then she lifted it again, ever-so slowly, and connected with the toy. She watched it swing.

baby on back2

This went on for several minutes before she lowered her arm and lay at rest.

After a few moments, she turned her head to the left and again raised and lowered her arm, observing it. She pulled it closer to her face, then lowered it again. She was occupied in this way for more than five minutes, while I watched in silent awe. In awe of her amazing learning process and in awe at being able to observe it and learn from her.

What was this baby learning? She was learning about her body, her control over her body, her place in space, and she was exploring cause and effect. She was figuring out the very building blocks of math and science. She was focused. She was persistent. She was absolutely amazing. All this, just nine weeks out of the womb. Think of the potential!

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