31, 2001 - Wednesday
This is Harry with Po, one of the Teletubbies and a Christmas gift from one of the assistants at Harry's daycare. Po is the smallest of the four Teletubbies and Harry was the smallest of the six kids at the daycare (a new baby is just now entering the daycare, so Harry's no longer the smallest or youngest). More importantly, Harry knows this is Po.
This morning, Harry's mother asked him to find Po. Harry wasted no time in heading for a pile of toys and extracting Po for his mother. When we clapped for him, he lowered his head and smiled in modest acknowledgment that he had "done good." His mother says he found Po last night, too, when Po was even more buried in the pile of Harry's things. I suppose Harry finding Po is not so amazing, but finding Po on request is and, to me, represents a major breakthrough. Harry understands a sentence: where's Po? He understands that it is a question, directed at him. He knows, without a doubt, that objects have words or names by which they are identified. He's interacting with us by responding to a question with action. And, he understands that he's done something well and that we're very proud of him. He's been working toward these skills for a while, but now they are certain.
Right after Harry retrieved Po for his mother and she confirmed it was no coincidence, I turned to Harry and asked "where's mama?" He took just a moment, but then excitedly point in her direction saying "dat," which we freely take to mean "there." He can't say it for some reason, but he definitely knows "Mama." Then, I asked "where's daddy?" and without hesitation he pointed at me with a confident "dad'n." It's a fun little game, but he's no trained monkey anymore. He knows.