People into Montessori call children's activities/play their "work", and it's really a good description. Little R is terribly busy all day long (at least whenever she is awake) practicing her latest skills.
Right now she is trying to crawl, and learning how to stand up and balance. She spends hours working on these skills. For standing, she will pull herself up (apparently with great difficulty) and then stand there swaying, obviously having to exert all her strength not to fall over. Soon she loses her balance and topples, and then it's right back up again. It looks exhausting. Sometimes she gets frustrated with her lack of success, but for the most part she just keeps right at it. I certainly don't have that kind of perseverance or work ethic! When she was learning to sit up, it was the same: constant practice for days in a row until she'd mastered that skill.
I find it incredible how such a little baby can be so strongly driven towards learning and growth. As people get older, they seem to get lazy and complacent. For many, developing new skills becomes unpleasant and they become unwilling to do anything which takes them out of their comfort zone. Learning isn't an enjoyable process but something to be avoided.
Little R's drive to learn, to explore, and to develop her skills is so inspirational to me. It must be an inborn human tendency to enjoy these things, and then it disappears (crushed by life's disappointments perhaps? I don't know). I want to try to work as hard as she does at improving myself and becoming a better, stronger and more developed person.