I worry that I’m too negative when I write about Babyboy. Lately, I’ve focused too much on disability, and not enough on ability.
Honestly, we often marvel at his creations. He’s a whiz with mechanical contraptions in general. Last week, he built a pulley system in our backyard using a rake, a jumprope, a beach bucket and his playground equipment. Hubby and I had been engrossed in hedge trimming, when I noticed Babyboy’s machine. I tapped Hubby on the shoulder and we watched as different objects were placed in the bucket, lifted, the rope secured, more things added, until the bucket dropped…
Is he experimenting with weights? I whispered.
I don’t know, but that’s pretty cool, answered Hubby.
But the coolest things, I think, are the books. Several days a week, Babyboy will sit down with a pad of paper and intensely, purposefully, feverishly create a narrative. He usually draws, but often includes collage, like, ads he’s cut out of the sunday circular. Then, if the paper is loose, he organizes and orients it all and asks us to staple it together as a book. He’s made many “books” this way.
The stories don’t always make sense, but they’re adorable. He has frequent flyer characters that appear in several books; favorites are the Goonies and the Nonnies. I think Babygirl started this one, pointing at Babyboy and saying, “You’re a Goonie!” and he said, “I am not! I’m a boy! You’re a Goonie!” and this was elaborated upon, until the Goonies had certain things they said or did. Then the Nonnies showed up.
He’s got a loose pile of drawings from this week that he says he wants to put into a book, but it’s not finished yet. Below is an example, and when I asked him what it was, he explained: “It’s the Goonies and the Nonnies playing music and the people are happy. Those are musical notes in the air.” I was impressed by his artistic rendition of the notes, and his grasping that the notes floating in the air represented music being played.
I mean, we know this is not child prodigy stuff, but it makes us very hopeful that he’ll do well. He’s using his imagination; he’s grasping concepts in different domains; he’s creating in multiple media; and he’s able to explain his creations.
Some friends told us we should take really good care of the books, because we’ll want to save them forever. “Those are precious!” they said. I was embarrassed that hadn’t occurred to me, and now I’m trying to keep track of them all. He and Babygirl both keep them in regular bedtime routine rotation. What’s really funny is that he “reads” them, and his recital of what the pages say is ironclad consistent from reading to reading. Meaning, it’s just a child’s drawing, but to him, it says something very specific. If he asks me to read one, and I try to remember what it is, but get it wrong, he jumps up, grabs the book, and corrects me.
I say: “Otis the tractor comes knocking on the door and says he wants to play…”
He objects: “No Mommy! It’s, Otis the tractor knocks on the door. Knock, Knock! You have to say it, Mommy. Knock, Knock. He wants to play.”
And so, the paper pages are getting wrinkled and worn…
I’m sure we’ll manage to save a few, though, because, they are precious!