Recently, I stumbled upon a book that I knew Nathan would love. It is a encyclopedia on current technology with plenty of pictures covering all of the major technological developments in various fields with explanations on how each works or is built. He fell in love with it! However, Nathan has been locking horns with me on one subject in the book (and some others, which I’ll get to in a moment).
He keeps flipping through the book until he gets to the picture on the stealth planes. This one plane looks like a triangle with two antennae projecting from the rear of the plane. He’ll point to the antennae and say, “butterfly.” I try to correct him and tell him that the picture is of a stealth plane, not a butterfly. He keeps responding to my correction by yelling, “butterfly!” After awhile of this argument of sorts, he went and grabbed every book he has with airplanes and butterflies. He points to the plane, calling it the correct name. Then he points to the butterfly’s antennae and says butterfly. Finally, after hours of this spread over the last week, I realized what he was trying to say. He was trying to get me to agree to the similarity and teach him the specific word for it.
So, I went and grabbed his book with butterflies in it and set it up next to the picture of the stealth plane. I pointed to the antennae of each and said, “Antennae.” He repeated something like, “Ann-eye.” I told him that lots of things have antennae, including planes and butterflies. He gave me the biggest smile ever and was absolutely delighted at this new fact.
He has an octopus toy in his bathroom. Each appendage of the octopus is a different color of the rainbow. For the past several dozen baths, he has been pointing to the green appendage and calling it yellow. I kept correcting him while feeling baffled because the child knows his colors. I had no clue why he would keep deliberately saying the wrong color. Finally, one day I was singing the rainbow order song to him which we state the colors of the rainbow in order from red to purple. I decided to point out the colors on the octopus as we sang along. The I realized what he had been trying to say all along. The octopus toy does not have the colors in order! The toy has a green appendage where it should be yellow, so he was trying to tell me that it is not in order. Oops.
I keep forgetting to not underestimate this child. I wonder if other moms do the same thing?