Keenie is standing on a bathmat in the dining room pretending the floor is lava. She is gesticulating wildly at… something… in the classroom and demanding that Wren bring it to her.
“Keenie, what do you want Wren to bring to you?” I ask.
“NO! I WANT WREN TO GET IT BY HERSELF!” she yells.
“Keenie. Wren is two years old. She is a baby. I don’t think she knows what you want her to get for you.”
“BUT I AM POINTING AT IT!” she says. jabbing her finger in the air in the direction of… The middle of the room somewhere.
Keenie will be six next Friday.
Wren just turned two.
“Keenie… Can you see what I am pointing at?” I ask. I focus really hard and point as best as I can to a chair. From where I am crouched it is a straight line from my eyes to my fingertip to the chair. From where Keenie is standing I appear to be pointing to a water bottle.
“When you point you have to use words to tell the person what you are pointing at.” I say.
She starts to describe yellow paper.
“Keenie. Does Wren know her colors yet?” I ask.
Wren, being a toddler, is dancing around grabbing everything she can see that looks like paper. She doesn’t seem at all bothered that her sister is becoming increasingly pissed off.
“Oh! Right! Wren thinks your robe is yellow! But it’s blue.” Keenie says, her tension melting a bit.
I move over to be behind her and I point at the chair again. Lining my finger tip up with her eye instead of mine.
“Is it the chair?” she asks.
“Yes!” I say. “See, I had to move to where you were and point that way. When you are pointing from where you are standing, I see something completely different. Just like you saw the water bottle before when I was pointing at the chair.
Keenie will be six. She hasn’t learned about all the different perspectives that we see things from yet. When she points her eyes and mind are fixated on the thing she sees, and it is OBVIOUS. So obvious that it is frustrating that everyone around her can’t see it as clearly as she can.
This is something adults struggle with, as well.