Julia likes to make messes. She loves to pull all the books off the shelf, pull all her toys out of her toy basket, take all the rings off of her stacking ring set, knock down her blocks etc. She makes a mess, then moves on to make another mess while I clean up the first mess.
Last week Julia did this:
(She put a tiny bean bag in the hole of one of her stacking rings)
And then she clapped.
And then she took the bean bag out, put it back in the hole, and clapped again.
It was like a light went on in her mind. I could almost see the gears working, "oh, these things fit together. They belong together. This must belong here."
The next day she started doing this:
She started putting things away in their place! Since she loves to take things out of containers, I keep a cup full of random things like old binkies in her toy basket to keep her entertained. This time she took everything out, and then started putting them back in. She also tried stacking her blocks and putting her stacking rings back on the pole (not with much success, but she clapped at herself anyways.) Now I see her "putting things away" all the time. Sometimes they really do belong there (putting all her bath toys in their container) and somethings she just very determinately and precisely places things in random places.
It's a simple milestone that all babies figure out eventually but it was so cool to see her make the connection and start figuring things out. I love being a mom, and I love that I can be at home and see her growing up.