October 2, 2003 - Thursday
Mary got Jeremy his own James (a Thomas the Tank engine toy). She had happened to talk about Harry set and the double magnets and, with Jeremy's current love of trains, or "din-dings," she thought he needed a train. (She hadn't realized that Harry had James and a good many of the others.) The interesting part of this came when Harry and I were at Mary's to pick up Jeremy in the afternoon. Harry saw James and picked him up and Mary casually said she had gotten James for Jeremy. Harry, rather matter-of-factly but perhaps with a small hint of excitement for his brother, asked "did he poop in the potty?"
It is Harry's frame of reference, of course, for being given these trains and James in particular (he was one of the first ones Harry picked). One gets James when one poops in the potty. As much is that was how it was with Harry, somehow I wouldn't have thought that it would have remained that much a part of James' legacy for him. I mean, we've been reading the Thomas stories to him for more than a year. Harry's played with these trains for months, recreated stories, and made up new ones. And, he's gotten many other "Thomas" trains since that potty training time. I might have thought they would have shed that other baggage. After all, who remembers much about potty training? Who wants to? Of course, Harry's frequently proven that he can remember much further back than the eight months since that time.
Harry's question was also so oddly straightforward. I guess kids have a way of making that happen with often otherwise statements and questions, but one could easily see how remembering and citing such a sensitive experience might yield some hesitation, embarrassment, or anxiety. There was none. For Harry, it was just the way he understood things working.