Pride and No Punishments

I am watching RPGBaby, 14-months old, try to climb the stairs while holding a basket of toys in one hand. While she can climb stairs like a champ, the basket is proving too much of a hinderance. It is surprising how much pride I am taking watching her struggle with it.

I am pretty proud of my own accomplishments (okay, obnoxiously so), but they all seem like a natural progression. I was not especially conscious of the struggles that lead from one to the next. With RPGBaby, however, I have seen her unable to do much, to the point where she could finally carry things, to the point where she can try to take them upstairs with her.

The basket tips over, spilling plastic Easter eggs, blocks, small dolls and more. RPGBaby says, “Oh!” and stops to refill the basket.

She picks up each toy and puts it back in. I feel even more proud when she picks up two toys with one hand – two small blocks, or two halves of an Easter egg. This sort of manual dexterity is a leap from the time just months ago when picking up one thing was an accomplishment.

She tries to climb the stairs again, and toys again begin spilling out. She stops, sitting on the chair, and analyzes the situation. Usually if she wants to take a toy up or down stairs with her, she hands it to me. Not this time. I am standing nearby, but this is her task, and she is determined to complete it. Again and again she tries, until she comes to the decision of which I am most proud – it is perfectly acceptable to play with the toys right where she is.

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