Monday, October 3rd, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I was holding Jack as I was getting myself some water from the fridge. The second I moved the glass from my mouth, I heard “Ahhh!”. Immediately I tried to figure out if I made the sound myself or simply thought it in my head.
“Ahhh!” We both looked at Jack. He didn’t have a sneaky look on his face; he wasn’t trying to be funny. But when Jill took another drink of water and Jack made the noise again, it was plain to see: Jack feels it’s his duty to make the “Ahhh!” sound anytime he sees a person appearing to take a sip of a refreshing drink.
Though this might be the exact goofy kind of thing I would try to teach Jack, I knew it had nothing to do with me. And I knew that my wife and I didn’t go around regularly making sound effects after taking a drink. So where did he learn this?
A few days later I asked around at KinderCare, where Jack stays while we are at work. His main instructor, Ty, knew right away what I was talking about and laughed as she explained Jack’s new trick to me. In an effort to teach one of the other little boys to drink from his sippy cup, she made the “Ahhh!” sound each time the boy took a sip from it.
Jack was taking it all in, observing that it must be normal in our culture to make sound effects for other people when they drink something.
Needless to say, Jack has not missed one opportunity to go “Ahhh!” I can take three sips of water and Jack will make the sound three times. Again, he’s not doing it to be funny or entertaining; he simply feels it’s his duty. He does it with a straight face.
It really is a cool trick. So it makes me think- if he can learn to do that just from innocent observation, what else can he learn when I’m not even trying to teach him?