Bits and pieces from the astoundingly normal life of Paul Carlisle Kletchka

Yesterday, I really didn’t want to get out of bed. It had been a rough week, and I’m still having trouble going to bed at a decent hour. So, I’d been up for a while with Monkey, we’d had breakfast, Lovey was awake, and I was grumpily making the coffee. That was when I heard it — a sweet little voice singing, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star…” It drifted in from the living room as though it were a cloud, and suddenly all my grumpiness disappeared. The words were plain as day, and Monkey was carrying the tune amazingly well (she did just turn 2, after all). I was all at once surprised, impressed, and in awe of my daughter. I stood there and listened as Lovey joined in and they finished the song together, then Monkey followed up with the obligatory clapping and “Yea!” for her job well done.

Feeling much happier, and of course a mug full of coffee later, I was ready to face the day. But I just kept thinking about Monkey and the song. Aside from being a happy thing to think about, it made me wonder about memory. Monkey has entered that time of her life when she’s fascinated by pretty much everything, and you can see that she’s just a little sponge soaking up every last drop of information she can. And while I know that this is not atypical (I did, after all, study cognitive development for my degree), I am still amazed to watch her, and it makes me wonder what sets it all off. What is the source of one’s desire for learning? Specifically, what made Monkey want to learn that particular song so much that she managed to memorize the words and tune with enough precision that she was actually able to reproduce them without being prompted? Prior to this, I’d heard her join in and sing along with other songs, but never had I heard her break out into song entirely on her own. What purpose (for a 2-year-old) is there in singing solo? Does there even have to be a purpose?

I suppose that in the end, I should simply be happy that Monkey is so content in her learning process. She’s already trying to write, and has even watched us closely enough that she knows there is a special way in which one should hold a pen for writing. Her level of observance has, at times, been both a blessing and a curse. I’m thankful for her desire for knowledge because I’ve also seen children who are not so driven to learn. I think I’d rather have to keep on my toes and mind what I’m doing in front of our little parrot than worry about delayed development. And I feel truly fortunate that I’m able to speak from that position of privilege. But I also know that I may forever wonder what motivates our kiddo, and I think that wonder will lead me on an incredible journey with her.

3 thoughts on “Happy Monkey Songs and Wonder

  1. Anonymous says:

    Such a sweet, sweet sound!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Colm is four and for the past several months he has been singing songs in the car. Sometimes the songs are made up and other times they are variations on songs sung in preschool. It is a new side to Colm that I have never seen before. I can appreciate your interest in how and what they choose to learn.Sean

  3. honeydo says:

    Shall I admit the songs my poor children have learned all the words to over the years and been completely obsessed with? Nothing like your 2 year old singing to the world \”we\’ll put a boot in your ass its the American Way\”. You go Toby Keith! Children are such miracles.

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