Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Banana, cheese

When I came home from work today, Donald was excited. "He said lots of words all day long!" he said. "I asked him if he wanted a banana, and he looked at them and said, 'Banana!' Then I offered him some cheese, and he said, 'Cheese!'"

He also insisted on using the cheese slicer, apparently. It's the type that's officially called a "cheese plane" -- pull backward against the cheese and a sliver comes up through the slit in the metal. Don held onto it and guided U's hand for a slice or two. He's very interactive. If you're doing something manual that he might find interesting, you'd better be prepared to (a) let him do it, too; (b) guide him through motions sufficient for him to have the impression that he's doing it -- or at least helping -- while you actually make it happen; (c) get the both of you through a round of screaming as best you can; or (d) don't let him see you doing it.

In case you wondered: no, a toy version is not just as good from his point of view. In fact, offering a toy version is liable to insult him. Toy knife? Toy kitchen? They're fine for playing with, but not for real work! -- which is what he wants to do. Offer that, and get ready for some revved-up volume. Exceptions: a really good toy that you can do real stuff with. The other day, he wanted Don's pliers when he saw Don using them. Oh, how he wanted them! Wahhhh! Don frantically rummaged through U's toys until he found the toy pliers from Auntie Sharon in Missouri (Christmas, Aught 5). Life-size, gunmetal-colored, they are real pliers, just lightweight plastic instead of drop-forged steel. I didn't think it would work. It did!

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