Was Issac Newton a genius for making separate entrances for his cat and kitten? Some might argue that he was insane.
I am witness to this daily struggle against differently scaled objects. My four year old has to prop herself on a pile of cushions to reach our dining table. A big damper to her big child ego. Also a precarious situation of balancing whilst punching her teenage brother on the ear!
I have tried to help her the best I can. When placing switch boards in our new house I kept in mind that she cannot reach the standard five feet height. By placing them a foot lower than the usual I have empowered her to be independent and contribute to our energy saving ways.
And I bought her a small plastic stool that she can carry around the house to reach those out-of-reach areas. “Mommy. What are you cooking?” she asks standing tall beside me (on her handy stool), craning her neck to look into the pan. She can help me dust the shelves, put away her clothes and peep out of the windows.
These are all the adult places she can reach.
But which is her favourite place in the house?
She loves sitting under the table. That’s her home. She can put up bed sheet curtains and place her soft toys on cushions on the floor. The whole house scales down to the four legs of the table and is more her size. This is her comfort zone.
Her single bed is crammed with soft toys. When she sleeps she needs just 1’ x 3’ out of the 3’6” x 7’ bed. The rest becomes a vast emptiness that scares her at night. Her little friends help fill up that void and act like tiny security men watching over her.
Emperors and kings found scale and proportions a handy tool with which to lord over their subjects. Enormous statues exalted their might and made others look like mere mortals. Children feel the same way when faced with a huge front door or a large deep arm chair. The might of the Adults is evident and they are lost. A small side door is what they are looking for to escape to freedom.
So returning to Newton’s cats. The brilliant scientist cut out a hole in the door for his cat because it constant comings and goings were disrupting his optical experiments. His genius mind also realized that the big hole with its velvet flap would be too big and heavy for her tiny kittens so he made a smaller one for them. He knew the importance of scale and proportion especially for little ones.