Friday, September 07, 2007

The existential physicist

Dan finds an orderly stack of any object quite offensive. Jim and I play with him, building towers with his soft blocks. As soon as we get one block on top of another, he smites the contemptible mound. Sometimes I can construct an entire tower before he strikes. The weird thing is that he's nearly expressionless when he strikes. It's a vacant, matter of fact glance, as if this is just another chore for him. Is he an anarchist? Does he not like order? Will his room always be messy? Will he one day operate a wrecking ball? Or does he just somehow know at the tender age of nine months that chaos is inevitable?

Jim's answer: Dan subscribes to the chaos theory of the universe. Everything is constantly deteriorating, he believes. He's trying to alert us to the futility of creating order in the universe.

That explains why books can't stay on shelves, CDs can't remain on the rack, pots and pans must be strewn about the floor and newspapers can't be stacked. Our son is a budding existential physicist.

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