Betraying a look of puzzlement on his young face, local baby Austin Maris has reportedly been having a difficult time reconciling the phenomena of object permanence—the psychological principle describing an individual’s ability to know an object can exist even when they can’t see it— with the location of his father, who recently walked out on him and his mother. Maris, who sources report was just coming to terms with the idea that an object not seen could remain real, is still unsure what to make of the sustained absence of his father.
“He does seem to be a little confounded,” said Patricia Maris, the young infant’s mother. “He used to be so excited when I would play peek-a-boo with him, but now he just shuffles around in his high chair to try to spot his dad.”
Austin, who according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development is nearing the end of the sensorimotor stage, had for most of his life made his everyday decisions based off of whatever stimuli was available within his immediate sensory field. He had only recently shed his out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude when his father left the home.
“It’s admittedly pretty tough timing,” said child psychologist Mary Railton. “It’s a lot to process, what with beginning to grasp physical laws of constance in the world, and having to come to terms with the fact that his dad isn’t coming home.”
At press time, Austin was beginning to understand the Theory of Mind principle that other humans can have their own desires, but was unsure why his company was not one of his father’s.