Parents oen watch in wonder as their children achieve developmental milestones-rst steps, rst words, rst make-believe games. As scholars of child development, we (the editors) are particularly drawn to watching childrenreally watching them-as they struggle to understand and master the world. We are struck by how oen even we, supposed experts, are bewildered by even our own children’s interactions with the world:


During the summers, my (BLS) children and I frequent the Rhode Island beaches, one of which has a carousel that my children love to ride. Last summer my youngest, Alison (who was not quite four), became especially passionate about her carousel horses, giving each horse that she rode a dierent name. One evening, as we were driving home, we reminisced about our experiences that day, leading to the following conversation:

Me: What a great day! Alison, what was your favorite part?