The Continued Evolution of Scarlett’s Mind

I’ve mentioned before that I find Scarlett’s mental development utterly fascinating. As someone who’s always been fascinated with the science of cognition (You Are Not So Smart is my new favorite podcast) and psychology, it’s amazing to see her capabilities grow and change as long with her physical growth. Her most recent new ability is understanding cause and effect. If you ask her a “why” question, she gives a “Because” answer. Now, this can border on the surreal absurd as when she recently painted her face with finger paint. The exchange went like this:

Danielle: Why did you paint your face?

Scarlett: Because mommy [was on the potty]

But it’s getting better. This week when she was re-enacting The Little Mermaid with some new toys she got, she said “Mermaid sad because Daddy mad.” So it’s been interesting to see her start to understand that some actions beget other actions. It’s also interesting when her attempts to find cause come up blank. When I ask her “why” and get “Because…..” and if she were a Windows computer you’d see the little hourglass flipping endlessly as she wracks her brain for an answer that makes sense.

But my fascination with her her mind works extends to trying to figure out how or why she does certain things. I recently had this Google Plus status because every doll that comes into the house ends up disrobed. Scarlett becomes incensed when one of her dolls cannot have its clothing removed. Other times she demands we help her dress the doll and then almost immediately demands we undress the doll. The closest I can think of is that she is not yet able to dress and undress herself so she is trying to take out her frustrations on the dolls. But it seems like a reach.

Other times it’s interesting to see the associations she makes. She likes to make her dolls dance and the other day I told her I would put on some music so they could dance. I went to my computer and set my Disney dynamic playlist. She had a blast and I was able to get some chores done. The next day she asked my wife to play music so the dolls could dance and pointed at my computer. Danielle is always playing music for Scarlett in different ways and with different devices, but Scarlett ended up with the association that dance music for dolls comes from daddy’s computer.

Finally, it’s nice and innocent to see that she makes all her toys kiss each other. Doesn’t matter if they’re different species or both girls. She just wants them to show love for each other. And that’s nice and comforting to see before the world shatters this with prejudices and -isms.

3 responses to “The Continued Evolution of Scarlett’s Mind”

  1. I enjoyed reading your adventure in parenthood. It’s so familiar and still all uniquely your own. I look forward to the next entries!