Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An interesting conversation with Jack

Jack, the exceedingly busy two year old, will often visit me in my home office.

One of his favorite things to do is grab the remote control for my mp3 player. He'll press the buttons; he'll stick it to the wall (It's magnetic, a great idea for remotes!); he'll mess up what I'm listening to. In general, a fun toy.

And so he visited me about ten minutes ago,* doing his usual thing. A little while after he left, I wanted to pause the music so I could concentrate. No remote. Not hanging on the wall, not back on my desk, not under the stereo. Gone. With Jack. Uh oh.

I walked down the hallway, "Jack, where are you?"
"He's in his room on his bed," replied lego-man Henry.

Now this is reason enough to pause and write- Jack is incredibly needy are rarely does things on his own- but there he was, in his room, on his bed, looking at a book, happy as a clam. I hated to disturb him.

Jack's verbal skills are late in developing. I mean outgoing verbal, he has maybe 10-15 words, and uses one phrase "Is dat!" to cover all bases. "Is dat!" as far as I can tell means any and many of the following:

  • "what is that?" as he points to an item and repeats until you tell him what it is.

  • "I want that!" as he points to an item and repeats until you get it for him

  • "Hi!" as he points to you

  • "I don't know" as he responds to questions like "did you spill all the milk?" Although, to be fair, he also has his phrase "no know," accompanied by shrugged shoulders, to cover these cases.

  • "it is what it is, man" as he responds to questions like "what's that?"

  • "Hello, anybody not listening to me yet?" which occurs when he repeats "Is dat" louder and louder until someone responds.

  • "Yes, I'd like some of that" in, "Jack, would you like some Hershey's Kisses?"
Inbound verbally, he's ahead of the curve. If you say something like "Jack, can you go the toolbox in my bathroom and get the green tape measure?" he'll give his affirmative "is dat" and be back in a jiffy, with the green tape measure. So imagine my surprise when I asked Jack, sitting on his bed, where the remote control was and he responded simply "wall."

Dad: "wall?"
Jack: "Is dat."
Dad: "Jack, where's my remote control?"
Jack: "Wall!"
Dad: "It's on the wall? I don't see it."
Jack: "Is dat."
Dad, plucking Jack off the bed and placing him on his two feet: "Show me."
Jack: "Is dat," and off he went, down the hall to Luke's room, raising his voice and his arm to point "daaaaaaaaad!" (me, one of his words). He ended up pointing at Luke's dresser: "wall."
Dad: "No, Jack, I need my remote for my music. This is Luke's room and that's not a wall. "
Jack, walking up to the dresser and pointing at the drawer, matter of factly, and quite calmly, explained: "wall."
Dad: *sigh* "Okay, let's look." Sure enough, there in the drawer was my remote control. "Thanks, Jack. You can go back to your room now."

And the little bugger skipped off to his room, climbed on the bed, and went back to his book. This bigger bugger went to the office and wrote it up. And that, as they say, "is dat!" Dennis

*previously posted on another, private blog.

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