I'm currently sitting downstairs in the TV room with Child 2 and I can hear coming from the kitchen the unmistakable sound of a chair being slowly dragged across the room. This only means one thing: there's something (probably cookies) on a high shelf that Child 1 wants and he is in there bringing the chair over to it so that he can climb up and grab it. The fact that he went in there by himself without saying anything means that he knows that whatever he's going for, he's not supposed to have.
Two things go through my mind in a time like this:
1. It's 5:15, he can't have cookies, we'll be having dinner soon. If he had asked me, I would have said no, which he knows, which is why he didn't ask me. He's being sneaky and devious, in addition to eating crap right before dinner. That's bad! I should go in there and catch him in the act.
2. There are many things involved in this kind of action. First, he had to spot the cookies on the shelf, which is a few feet above his head. That shows that he's paying attention to his environment. Second, he had to realize for himself that he wasn't allowed to have them and consciously choose to not ask me for them. He's thinking, he's weighing his pros and cons, he's (correctly) predicting the probability that bringing attention to his cookie plight will mean he won't get them. Third, he figured out, for himself, that dragging the chair over to the shelf and climbing up on it will enable him to pull down the box. He figured out the steps involved in getting the cookies down from the shelf, he worked out a plan and he's carrying it through, without any assistance. I remember, in ABA, working on these problem solving skills with him. Look, the cookies are on the shelf, what do you need to do in order to get them? First, get the chair, etc. We did that kind of thing again and again when he was 3, 4 and 5, I honestly never thought he would get it. And, yet, here he is, right now, dragging a chair across the room in the kitchen, all by himself, and getting the cookies down.
I'm pretty proud of him, actually. Good work, Child 1!!! Of course, I can't tell him that so, instead, I'm going to sit here and listen to the chair and let him get his cookies, even though it's 5:15 and we're having dinner soon.
UPDATE: It was a near perfect plan, but he neglected to return the chair to its proper place. I wonder how to tell him that without actually telling him that?