Sunday, November 11, 2007

"I want to eat it"

Finally, today Ulysses used a complete sentence of some sophistication.

The following sentences are all grammatically complete: "Go!" ; "Come back." ; "It hurts." ; "No." ; "Thank you" ; "No, thank you." ; "But, why?" They even express abstract concepts. They've been in his repertoire for a good while now. All except "But, why?" I heard him use that that for the first time yesterday, and plenty of times! Leave it to Ulysses to skip "Why?" and move right on to the more direct challenge posed by "But, why?"

When he expresses more complex propositions, some of the customary words are left out, viz. "What doing?" -- which more recently became, "What you doing?" And which, by the way, yesterday became supplemented with, "Why you do that?" -- presumably part of the same impulse leading to "But, why?"

Today. Ulysses came to me asking for an apple. "Apple, apple!" he said. I fetched one from the refrigerator that Donald had cored per a previous request (then stored when U decided he didn't want one after all). Before I cut it in half, I grabbed the corer and started scraping out the brownness, so that it would be lovely and crispy. Also, I didn't want U to see the brown -- once he saw it, he might be turned off to eating apple for the rest of the day. He definitely wouldn't want to eat that apple. "Apple, apple," U said while I operated, jumping with anticipation.

Then I picked up a paring knife to trim off the wilty collar of peel at each opening. Seeing this, U's body language collapsed into exasperation. This was just too much fussing around.

"I want to eat it!" he declared, pointedly.

"Okay," I said. "It's nearly ready."

"I want to eat it," he repeated. Every word in place. Perfect syntax. A real, full sentence. The kind that speaks volumes, to boot.

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