Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vocabulary II

Julian has already noticed that some of our most important pursuits involve objects with screens and buttons - computers, phones, ipods, calculators, etc. He loves to press buttons and see what effect his action has. This can be particularly exciting if he happens to have possession of a phone. No inadvertent 9-1-1 calls yet, thankfully, but we think it may be merely a matter of time before local authorities show up at the house in response to one of his calls. Can't wait.

Anyway, today's topic is...

Toys & Tech
pwess’-uh a but’-ton = "press the button" - that which absolutely must be done when a button is discovered, whether or not it is connected to a corresponding screen. As Julian has discovered, buttons pressed in one location often have a corresponding effect in another. Turning the TV on and off has proved to be endlessly entertaining.
tee'-fee' = "TV"
a-poot’-tah = "computer" - endlessly powerful devices, and apparently very important, as mom and dad spend a lot of time in front of them, whether at home or at the office.
guf’-fa = "camera" - Julian is quite familiar with the working end of the
camera, but now that he's discovered that there is a screen and several buttons on the other side, he is determined to figure out how it all works.
seh’-fun = "cell phone" - again, endlessly entertaining, especially when he manages to get it to talk to him in one of its many voices, some which sound suspiciously like some of the people he knows.
uh’-pod = "ipod" - only makes noise when the wires are plugged in, but a very colorful and playful interface nonetheless.
too’ a lon’ = "turn it on" - once the power button is located, hours of fun can be had when this is used repeatedly and in rapid succession with...
too’ a loff’ = "turn it off"

Interestingly, at one of Julian's recent physical therapy evaluations, his therapist and other evaluators were impressed with his cognitive development. They were specifically struck by two things:

First, they were impressed with the fact that objects such as puzzles held his attention for extended periods of time (he loves to figure things out). We're pretty sure this is a genetic predisposition, as all of the living male members of his bloodline have a compulsion to understand how "it" (whatever "it" is - a computer program, a machine, a car, a building, an economic system, etc.) works. When I was a kid, my dad gave me a book called The Way Things Work, which had schematic diagrams for everything from juke boxes to jet engines. I loved it! Julian already displays some similar curiosities, and we're only too happy to help him explore and understand his world.

Second, he knows all of his letters and numbers by sight. One of our favorite after-work activities is having him sit on my lap in front of the computer keyboard with a fresh Word document open. I'll set the font to 72pt bold, and he'll sit there and play on the keyboard, watching the letters pop up on the screen. I'll quiz him as we go along, asking which letters he's keying in, or asking him to find specific letters. Sometimes he just likes the way it looks when he holds a button down, and row after row of GGGGGGGGGGGGG streams across the screen. Who didn't like that when they were a kid?

All in all, we're happy that he's doing so well, and seems to be so pleasantly disposed. At my work, he's been dubbed "Little Mister Sunshine" or "Mister Happy." His third birthday is looming - just three more months (!) - and so far the 'terrible twos' haven't been so terrible. Even when he's cranky, he's still pretty darn sweet!