Thursday, October 2, 2008


This week’s theme on the home front is Communication. We have one child who has decided never to talk ever. Why use words when you can SCREAM? Luca is exhibiting either early genius or mild retardation; it could go either way. On one hand, he has bypassed the superfluity of language for a more direct cause-effect paradigm. One awful sound will get him anything he wants: attention, a drink, some food, a toy to play with, a door opened. On the other hand, maybe his skull is full of mud, and that sharp, piercing squeal is the best he can do. It really is the worst sound in the world. In all seriousness, it makes your blood run backwards. The way he chuckles post-scream while we peel ourselves off the ceiling makes me lean toward the “he’s doing this on purpose” explanation. Babies: they’re so hard to get a read on.

On the other end of the communication spectrum is our articulate Paolo, who talks so much he could do pull-ups with his tongue. Paolo is exploring written language, which is thrilling because it shuts him up occasionally. For several weeks now, Paolo has been writing and illustrating books. So far he has authored novellas featuring Sinbad, Superman, Transformers, and various other heroes and villains, and the theme is always the struggle between good and evil. He can’t actually read and write, but he thinks he can. He sounds out words and spells them the way they sound to him, usually without vowels. Hence, “bad guys are making evil plans” could become BAD GI R MK EVL PLS. Once he completes around 5-6 pages, he staples them together. If you think it’s hard to keep up with your kid’s artwork, imagine having to curate a library. It’s hard enough eliminating some finger-paintings. How do you throw out your kid’s books? That he MADE? Well, as the stacks on the table and the nightstand and the dresser prove, you can’t.

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