Lev Vygotsky and my son, Brantley.

Good ol’ Lev Vygotsky.  He came up with this wonderful thing called the “Zone of Proximal Development”, which basically states that:

“”The zone of proximal development defines functions that have not matured yet, but are in a process of maturing, that will mature tomorrow, that are currently in an embryonic state; these functions could be called the buds of development, the flowers of development, rather than the fruits of development, that is, what is only just maturing”.

This helps explain why my 20-month old son, Brantley is able to walk up to the DVD player, hit the correct button to eject a DVD and then vocalize that he would like to watch Toy Story for the 5th time in one day.  All on his own.

It also explains, to some degree why he also thinks it’s appropriate to stuff cheerios in the DVD player as well.  Ah, the buds of development… Maybe the little round pieces of toasted oats confuse him a little.  Anyway, we are going to have to work on that.  As Lev said, it’s all a process, and we are all merely players.  Ok, I added that last part.

The day will come (and soon), when young Brantley will be able to handle the entire DVD process on his own without assistance from yours truly.  My daughter, Kathryn (age 6), picked up that skill very young.  When I was a kid, I had a Fisher Price TV set that played “Hey Diddle-Diddle” and likely contained lead-based paint.  Today, kids have a number of fun remote controls that work expensive electronic equipment, to navigate.  With each success, they seem to become more independent and a hell of a lot more curious as to what they can turn on next.

In conclusion, while getting cheerios out of a DVD player is a daunting task, I suppose for now I should be happy my son chooses to snack in a healthy manner.  More power to him–I think cheerios taste plastic and rubber; ironically the same things used to make DVD players.

(Maybe Buzz Lightyear and Woody can make a how-to-video for toddlers….hmmm.)



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