Searching Passively

, , , | Related | December 12, 2018

(When my daughter is about a year-and-a-bit old, she starts doing what every kid does sometimes: she starts to misplace her pacifiers often. For that reason, we have pacifiers designated for the cars, attached to the seats with straps, and at least one in the glove compartment. Every jacket I have has at least one in a pocket somewhere. At home, though, we have them all in the same place, so that whenever one is required, we at the very least know where to fetch one, even if it is sometimes very inconvenient to go there and get it. Our young one isn’t too keen on vocalising her desires, except when it comes to expressing severe displeasure. But she is d*** good at gestures and facial expressions. The normal procedure when she wants a pacifier is to bring one of us into her room and point at the storage box they are all stuffed in. On this occasion, we give her one, and she goes and sits on the sofa for a while, doing typical toddler things like trying the five hundred different ways one can sit on a sofa and finding none of them comfortable. Then she walks away and decides to do… God knows what. And she comes back a minute later… without the pacifier.)

Me: “Where is the pacifier?”

Daughter: *shrugs*

Me: “Where is the pacifier?”

Daughter: *surprised*

Me: “Did you lose the pacifier?”

Daughter: *confusion*

Me: “Fetch the pacifier.”

Daughter: *shakes head*

Me: “Show the pacifier.”

Daughter: *understanding*

(My wife and I both follow the young one into her room. She stands still, right at the centre of the floor.)

Me: “Where is the pacifier?”

(And with that she responded with a facial expression that I quickly decided meant, “Good lord almighty, what kind of stupid are the two of you, really? Don’t you know anything? Anything at all?” and pointed at the storage box. Her language perception wasn’t good enough for us to explain to her that, “Yes, that is the box with the pacifiers, but you had another, and we wanted to find that one,” so we settled for, “Yeah, you are absolutely right. You showed us where the pacifiers are. Good girl. Next time you need one, you can show grandma, too!” We never found that lost pacifier.)

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