Friday, January 16, 2009

Water Buffalo

This morning Ben and I were reading books together. First, we looked at some of the pictures in "Alexander and the Magic Mouse." (The text is still a little advanced for him, but I LOVE the illustrations, and Ben is gradually developing an interest as well.) One of the characters is a yak, but I was momentarily confused and referred to it as a water buffalo. At this point, Ben gave it a little thought, then seemed to lose interest, and he slid off my lap and went over to his bookshelf. I continued to admire the beautiful pictures, and wasn't paying much attention to him. After awhile I realized that he was calling out to me, so I looked over. He had gotten the Eric Carle book "Panda Bear Panda Bear, What do you see?" off the shelf and turned to ... the picture of the water buffalo!

He does this sort of thing a lot. He has an amazing memory, especially for passages from books. We'll make a fairly subtle passing reference to a book that we know he hasn't looked at in quite awhile, and after a moment's thought, he'll take us directly to that book and that page. I have a terrible memory, so he must have inherited his from Neil.

Anyway, he kept returning to the picture of the water buffalo. So this afternoon we looked at pictures of water buffalo (as well as other animals from the same book) on the web. We printed out a picture of a water buffalo. All evening he dragged this picture around, showing it to us, returning to it every few minutes for further contemplation. Several times he demanded that I find the same picture online again so he could look at it on the computer screen and compare it to the printout, and to the Eric Carle illustration. It has become a deep obsession.

In other news, Ben's receptive vocab is now well over 250, and we keep coming up with more words that we've forgotten to include on the list, so that's probably an undercount. And his expressive vocab is over 50. It's hard to decide what to put on that list, because there are a lot more words that he approximates very poorly but very consistently -- as if he's come up with his own version of the word, but he'll use it very deliberately. He has also developed a renewed interest in signing lately, now that he's gaining some greater manual dexterity and imitative capability. There are only a few signs that he uses spontaneously (more, bath, all gone, and cookie), but there are others that he'll use if we ask him to.

Oh, and he knows several colors, too -- orange (of course), purple, yellow, green, and blue. Meaning that he will point to an object of that color and say the color word. I would have thought that red would be an early and easy color, because it's so vivid, so it's interesting that he doesn't have that one yet, either receptively or expressively.

1 comment:

leahlefler said...

Wow! Way to go, Ben! He's a very perceptive little guy, with finding books containing pictures of similar animals, picking up on color labels, etc. And he's not even a year and a half old yet!