Wednesday, December 16, 2009

rare form

Martin had an interesting day in the language department. Let me give you a few examples:

1) When I helped him change into his pajamas tonight, he referred to his bottom as "the tropical zone."

2) Earlier this evening, he told me he was tired. I asked him if he felt this way because he swam hard at the pool. "No," he said. "I swam softly at the pool."

3) Martin's skin gets very dry in winter. I have to put lotion on him every morning before he gets dressed. He hates the process. He wriggles and yelps. I tell him - every morning - that he needs lotion because his skin is so dry. "No," he cries. "My skin is wet."

The latter two examples make a little sense. Martin has learned certain pairs of opposites: hard and soft, dry and wet. I'm using those words in ways that don't fit how he understands them. The first example is harder to explain. My husband thinks that Martin has extrapolated his understanding of the tropical zone from a video called "Weather for Children." In it, a narrator explains that there is a tropical zone around the equator, at the earth's middle or center. I guess Martin applied this phrase to the middle or center of his own body, his butt. Or that's the best we can make sense of it.

Martin's language use can be awfully funny. For instance, he likes to refer to all sorts of pairings as Mr. and Mrs. When we sat down at a restaurant this evening, he picked up Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper. It's so darn cute. But it's also a little sad. Sad because there is so much he still doesn't understand about the world. And sad because there is still so much we don't understand about him.

My great hopes for him include a life in which he has the energy and freedom to make all the funny connections his brain comes up with. That's where art comes from. And humor and scientific breakthroughs (Malcolm Gladwell notwithstanding). But I also hope that Martin has a life full of people who understand him, people he can trust to love him and do their best to get what's going on inside him.

For all the language goofiness today, Martin also displayed some real social skills. He offered several "pleases" and "thank yous" to the pizza waitress. When asked if he wanted a gummy bear, he politely answered that he'd rather have a gummy worm. I'm just glad the waitress didn't ask him about his tropical zone.

1 comment:

  1. Martin comes from a long line of humorous people. I am thinking that he will make the funny connections...even when the rest of the world doesn't! :-) -Jeanine