Nathan’s Voice

“What happen without the engine?” – Asked while driving home. I’d just finished a discussion of batteries with him, in response to an earlier question, and had ended by talking about car batteries, which Nathan has some prior knowledge of (he’s been instrumental in draining both of our vehicles’ batteries, at different times). After a moment’s reflection, he asked what would happen should a car be without its engine. Questions like this are fairly new, and very exciting to me. They show him beginning to break down the world in a different way: instead of just accepting the car as a whole entity, he’s beginning to understand that there are parts to it, with their own functions. Along the same lines, he’s interested right now in the idea of bones inside his body.

“You should try quicker.” – Said after I missed a fly with the fly swatter and admitted to not being quick enough. What I love about these kinds of statements is that he isn’t trying to be sarcastic or rude; he’s just performing a careful analysis of the situation and coming up with a (he thinks) helpful suggestion.

“Ryan bottom-burped!” – Ok, admittedly this one is a couple months old. It came after a rather impressive display of baby flatulence at the dinner table. I love this description; it’s deliciously accurate, and it amuses me almost as much as the fact that Dave and I subsequently had a straight-faced discussion with our three-year-old wherein we explained the word “fart.” We haven’t made a big deal of farts in our home, so they haven’t yet become a source of intense amusement for Nathan. I expect that will change eventually.

“Last night today the dishwasher had a leak.” – Nathan’s concept of time is still very hazy. The incident he was referring to had occurred about a month and half before. He routinely strings together time references; recently I’ve heard him use “last night tomorrow,” “today when we went out last night,” and “we can do it yesterday tonight, right?” Some phrases he seems to have a vague understanding of; he often seems to understand that “last night” is in the past, for example. But something like “tonight,” which needs to be interpreted based on the time of day, is tougher for him. “Do you want to make cookies tonight?” I asked him last night after dinner, and his reply was “Oh yes, but I want to do it right now.” It made me realize that when we use “tonight” with him, it almost always denotes “not right now.” “Right now” is the one time concept that he has down perfectly.

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