Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mind: Blown

Sam and I were watching the closing credits of Thomas: Calling All Enginges again tonight, a story following the rivalry, and consequent reconciliation, of steam engines and diesel engines on the Island of Sodor, when I noticed that he was trying to say the words the chorus of British children were singing. When that failed he reverted to the way I always sing the [usually instrumental] theme music, which gets stuck in my head for days, and sometimes reappears unbid. If you have kids, you know the theme. If not.. well, you find it. It's a damn sight better than freakin' Barney if you ask me.

We came upstairs for bedtime songs (it was too late to do both songs and stories), and we started with his new favorite, "The Wheels on the Bus".

The wheels on the bus
Go round and round
Round and round,
Round and round.
The wheels on the bus
Go Round and round
All through the town.

Although he is becoming more verbal, Sam isn't that interested in talking, Melissa and I have noticed. It's not that he doesn't understand, or can't talk: it's more that he communicates so well with his eyes, body language, and other tools at his diposal that he has little use for verbalization.

"You know, if you'd like to sing too, that's ok with me," I said. And so he started singing along with me from behind his binky.

When I began Freight Train, an Elizabeth Cotton song he likes, he joined in again, uninvited, and I'll be damned if the kid didn't know all the words to the chorus!

And then we did In the Pines, his other favorite. Except for one verse, he knew all the words. Not perfectly, but he was right on it. He sang with me all the way through, even with the sharp jump in the second "pines", where the G blends into a G7, the blue note. He's not even two-and-a-half yet, and the kid's memorizing entire songs.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised: I've been singing him In the Pines since he was born, and Freight Train almost as long. It's just mindblowing that one moment the kid communicates like he's out of a Charlie Chaplin film, little more than exagerated gestures and marginal dialogue, and the next he's drawing from this deep reservoir of words that has apparently been sitting untapped for God knows how long.

He's just a little guy, how can he have all that stored up there? And what else is up there that I have no way of knowing about?

When I put him to bed, I told him how proud I was of him. I am bursting at the seams as I type this.

I gotta get to sleep!


Blogger Phillybits said...

In The Pines? Really! Wow, that's good for a kid as young as Sam.

Don't be worried if Sam doesn't seem like he's a talker right now. Little boys are notorious for taking longer to speak than girls, but furthermore, as you said, he communciates in different ways.

Give him time. Eventually, he won't shut up and you'll be thinking fondly of these times that he was so quiet, yet said so much non-verbally.

9:25 PM  

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