We have a saying in our house, “The monkey got the banana!” We use it when someone has solved a tricky problem. The saying came from a supposed psychology experiment that went like this:
A monkey is in a room. Suspended from the ceiling is a bunch of bananas, beyond the monkey’s reach. However, in the room there are also a chair and a stick. The ceiling is just the right height so that a monkey standing on a chair could knock the bananas down with the stick. The monkey knows how to move around, carry other things around, reach for the bananas, and wave a stick in the air. What is the best sequence of actions for the monkey?- source Wikipedia, Monkey and Banana Problem
As it goes the monkey figured out how to use the stick in order to reach the beloved bananas.
It’s a tremendous developmental milestone to problem solve and use tools to manipulate one’s environment to get a desired item. I’m proud to say that my four year old got her “banana” today. It was a candy cane from the very top of the Christmas tree. I was busy putting away some laundry upstairs when I suddenly heard, “I did it, Mama!” reverberating joyfully from the family room.
Little One used the ottoman, a couch pillow, and her light saber to obtain the out of reach treat. When I asked her how she came up with the idea, she replied, “it just took me awhile to think about it.” The impish grin on her face was priceless. She makes her mama proud.
When things get tough or what you want seems out of reach, remember the story of how the monkey gets the banana. Sometimes you just have to think a little while before the solution becomes crystal clear. A light saber may or may not be necessary.