For years, my oldest couldn’t find anything you sent her to look for. If it was time to go out, and her sweatshirt was on the couch next to her, and you pointed directly at it and told her to put it on, she’d stand up and spin in circles, looking everywhere but directly at the sweatshirt, claiming she couldn’t find it. If she desperately needed her pink glittery shoes to complete her princess outfit, and I told her they were in the bin with all of her other shoes, she’d rummage around the bin, growing increasingly distressed, then come to me in near tears because she couldn’t find them. I’d go to help her and find the shoes, right on top of the pile.
Now, aside from this fleeting blindness, she was a remarkably bright child, able to undo childproof locks as a toddler, skilled in dressing and undressing herself from a young age, able to write her name before she was two years old. So why was she so incapable of finding anything? She knew how to open the fridge, remove the ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and raspberries, lining them up neatly on the counter before demanding dessert, but if you sent her back to the fridge for her milk or juice sippy cup, she’d stand before the open door, just staring blankly at the contents of the fridge, shaking her head. “Where?” she’d ask over and over, until I finally stepped up and handed it to her.
I was torn between thinking that she was so busy downloading new, more important information into her brain that she couldn’t be bothered with simple tasks like finding the toy she’d left right in the middle of the floor, and thinking it was all some passive-aggressive ploy for attention (after all, it started just after her sister was born). At any rate, now that she’s four, we seem to finally be past the “Where? I can’t find it!” phase. Knowing her left from her right has helped a lot with that, since I can now give her actual directions toward locating an object I can see. Having a baby sister also helps, as every search turns into a competitive treasure hunt, and big sister is not one to lose any competition.