Our little ones are indeed little when they figure out how to get their point across. Renée from Cutie Booty Cakes shared an experience with her little one that got me thinking.
He wanted to pour his own milk and Renée (bless her heart) was willing to let him do this, but wanted to stay by him. He proceeds to swat her away (like a fly) and then he tells her to sit down! and then he commands her to Run!
I love the creativity and problem solving we see here. He is doing and saying everything he can to make the experience go the way he wants. I started thinking back with Sammi and looking at Elli to see what how they've communicated with me their exact intentions.
I remember once when my mom was over and sat with Sammi while I was in another room trying to get something done. Sammi didn't want my mom. She didn't want anyone but mommy. I think she was about 10 months old. So my mom tried singing Sammi's favorite song to her. We sound alike (my mom and I) so Sammi accepted her offering but only on one condition: Sammi reached her hand up and covered her eyes so she didn't have to look at Grandma! She sat like that the entire length of the song. She got what she wanted and she got it on her terms!
So when do these intentional actions emerge? Sammi was right on track. From about 8 months onward little ones become deliberate in their actions. Their play shifts from random toys and movements to play with an objective in mind. They've already started to associate outcomes with behaviors and now they are purposefully acting to make those outcomes happen.
The cognitive development here is that little ones are able to orchestrate two actions simultaneously in order to achieve a goal. That's a lot to think about t one time! Renée's little one worked on pouring milk and commanding Mommy. Sammi was listening and blocking her vision. Another example I found is of 8 month old Jacqueline. As she grabbed her toy so did her mother. While holding on firmly to her toy, she used her other hand to push her mother's hand away.
Little ones quest for independence begins young with intentional actions and only increases once they are able to add words. Run!