I have a wonderful story to share courtesy of my beautiful 4-year-old son, Brian, who happens to be half of an identical pair AND blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka Down syndrome), like his brother. In truth, this is really a “who says my kid ain’t smart” kind of brag [spoken with a Rocky Balboa accent given I’m from New Yawk]… but I just have to share it.
My old soul has been indoctrinating the boys into the world of dinosaurs via the 13-film “Land Before Time” (http://www.landbeforetime.com/) movie series. My old soul LOVES LOVES LOVES dinosaurs and hopes some day to become a paleontologist in the Indiana Jones vein. She’s already managed to make complete addicts of the boys to that adventure series (http://www.indianajones.com/site/index2.html) and has recently started working on embedding Little Foot as a hero on par with their beloved Indie. Honestly, it wasn’t taking hold until she inadvertently captured their attention with the swimming sharp tooth in the “Mysterious Island” adventure. This probably piqued their interest because they recently did a week-long “Under The Sea” study at school which culminated in watching, among other shared treats, Mommy and Daddy scuba diving with the sharks in the Bahamas. Completely intrigued — with the sharks, not Mommy or Daddy — they were quickly glued to the television screen as Little Foot and his friends desperately tried to escape the chomping jaws of the “KARK”. THAT did it! You could hear the proverbial hook set!
So, the other day while he was watching another of Little Foot’s dino adventures –graced with a sharp-toothed “alli”[gator] to keep him engaged — Brian noticed and inquired about Petri, a flyer. A pterodactyl, to be exact. As I do with any new-to-him word or concept, I break it down and give him as many synonyms as possible so that if/when he wants to talk about Petri again, he has more ways, more words, and even signs, to do so. I explained that Petri flies. I explained that Petri is a “dino bird”…. To which Brian replied emphatically, “NO MAMA! Bird not DINO. Bird is BIRD!”