May 17, 2002 - Friday
Harry and I are driving to Jeremy's baby-sitter's house to pick him up. We've driven on this road before, although not as often as we have turned off onto another road to go toward home. But, for some reason Harry's imagination is stirring.
"We're going to a new place," he says even though we've just talked about going to pick up Jeremy. "We're going to the Trapezoid store."
This is a remarkable stroke of creative thinking and I have to smile. Trapezoid is no ordinary two-year old word and he's pronounced it very well. Of course, kids can learn anything so that alone is little more than cute. But, I know exactly where Harry got this word.
It was this past weekend on one of our walks in the woods. Harry picked up a small rock, maybe an inch and a half by three quarters of an inch, that was surprisingly symmetrical and very close to being a perfect rectangle. I excitedly described Harry's find: "Harry, you found a rectangle rock." But, in what was more of an aside to myself than a true tutoring of Harry, I went on to say, "well, actually, it's more a trapezoid because the sides aren't at right angles." I thought the comment had flown away with the wind and for the next two days we continued to discuss Harry's rectangle rock as the "rectangle rock."
We stopped the car at Jeremy's baby-sitter's house and I opened Harry's door.
"I take my trapezoid rock to show Mary [Jeremy's baby-sitter]."
"Sure, you can show Mary your rock," I say believing Harry is just parroting this large and odd-sounding word I once flashed in front of him without explanation. While I'm pulling his hand through the seat belt to get him out of the car I open Harry's hand enough to look at the rock he's holding. It is, in fact, a much more pronounced trapezoid than the near-rectangle rock he found near the cabin. I'm pretty sure he can't really know that, but I marvel openly to him that it is indeed a trapezoid.