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A Manner of Speaking

by Bonnie Neugebauer
January/February 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of--speaking/5020304/

He grunted, his face tightening with the effort. Jonah clasped the rock with his fingers, hoisted it to his chest, and staggered across the grass. As he dumped the rock in its new location, he declared, "Heavy!" This activity continued through the morning and across mornings. Some of the rocks he chose were pocket rocks, transported easily from one place to another, sometimes one in each hand. Some of the rocks were rather heavy, some quite heavy, and some extremely heavy. Some were too heavy. Jonah tried them all. It was hard work for a 20-month-old. There was no obvious (to me) project awaiting the rocks, just a new location and the journey.

What was it that intrigued Jonah? Why did he take on this challenge? Why was he motivated to work so hard?

There was great pride and accomplishment on Jonah's face the heavier the rock, the greater the effort, the bigger the smile.

Of course, children do this all the time; some we call developmental milestones. The great "I did it!" when Jonah climbed from one side of a bench, over the top, to the other. The look on Caroline's face with her first steps. Learning ...

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