I just spent some time watching my son engage in science.
It started when, in his explorations of the area next to the couch, he found a bowl I had been using and the spoon that went with it. By accident, he figured out that banging the spoon against the bowl made a delightful DING!
And when you’ve made a delightful DING!, you don’t just do it once.
DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!
Well, I was afraid he would wake his mother up (it’s quite early, still), so I took the spoon and the bowl away from him and put them on the seat of the couch, where I thought he wouldn’t be able to reach them.
But he is a determined reacher. He bellied up to the couch and leeeeaaaaaaaaned in as far he possibly could, and knocked the handle of the spoon until it fell out of the bowl. Then he leeeeaaaaaaaaaned in again and just barely hooked his fingertips over the edge of the bowl and dragged it toward him.
Now, of course, he had a bowl in his hands. The spoon was somewhere on the floor, so he thought to himself, “Well, why go after that? Maybe I don’t need it to make the delightful DING! Perhaps the DING! is inherent in the bowl itself, and the spoon is irrelevant.” And he began slapping the bowl with his hand.
Slap. Slap-slap. Slap-slap. Slap.
So then he set the bowl aside and went looking for the spoon. He found it, of course — he is an excellent finder — but now he and the spoon were down on the floor and the bowl was still up on the couch. And I’m sure you can guess what he thought next. “Well, perhaps the DING! is inherent in the spoon, then, and the bowl is irrelevant.” So he began to beat on a nearby soft toy with the spoon.
Foop foop foop. Foop. Foop foop.
This was also unsatisfying, and eventually he concluded that he needed the bowl and the spoon together, and he did in fact reunite them, DING! DING! DING!-ing away happily until he caught me looking at him and decided that he’d better go check out the other end of the room instead.