My son has been experimenting with his milk for some time now. Sadly, each experiment ends the same way–with the cup-and-milk going up and cup-and-milk going down. It’s easy to think: he is just making a mess; and, if he is the 2-year-old range we like to cal it terrible-2’s.
However, I’ve decided to look at it another way: he is “testing.” He’s testing gravity, my patience, and his limits–all by throwing up a cup of milk. Before you go into major eye-rolling (and uncontrollable laughter commences), think about this. We tend to forget sometimes that the kid is just beginning on this new adventure we call life, and he needs to experience things (it’s often for the first time!).
Like all experiments, it can lead to some frustration and mess to clean up. And, yes, that frustration can run both ways. We clean the mess up. And, yes, sometimes, the child is just making a mess sometimes, but he is also conducting an experiment then as well, and it’s his way of testing limits.
When playing outside, my son carries on his testing on cars, dirt, and any other object that isn’t nailed down. He’s trying to get them all to fly. In our frustration, I think we forget that we all probably did a lot experimenting at that age. We also forget that, even now as adults, we are still doing testing–trying to figure out what works and doesn’t. Heck, isn’t that what being parent is at times: figuring out what does and doesn’t work when it comes to raising our kids.
So I ask you, what do all scientists do? They experiment; they test their hypotheses and sometimes it takes multiple tests to come to a conclusion. In my son’s case, he’s still working out what milk can and can’t do. He will learn “milk can’t fly”.