Yesterday I got a little glimpse into what this blog is going to be like in a couple years. It was our monthly board meeting (venture backed startups have board meetings constantly) and my friend Marc got a phone call during it. Turns out his
"Hi. What are you doing?"
"I'm in a board meeting."
"Is it called that because everyone is bored?"
While Marc's kid seems to be adapting to new technology quite impressively, Kaden seems somewhat anti-tech. Sure he wants my mobile and my Tivo remote, but that's not because of the technology as much as it looks like an excellent chew toy with buttons.
For instance when I try to show him the benefits of streaming digital music, his interest only lasts so long. He seems to love the little experimental music sessions I've been having with him, but only a few minutes go by before he longs for the cold spinning plastic that is Compact Discs.
Like most parents I actively dislike the generally unlistenable category called "kids music." I am trying to show him the benefits of music that is not reminiscent of something a SWAT team would use to flush out hostage takers. He likes the stuff I've been playing, but seems drawn back to the tangible spinning discs. While I frantically try to flip to a new song ("Kaden, wait, we've got over 10,000 of them on the hard drive!") he rambles back into his room and gives the "want" sign up at the CD player.
If you're not familiar with the hand signal for "want" that's because Kaden made it up. Here we are trying to teach him "please" and "milk" and he invents an easier to demand things.
Admittedly it's cute, he points his hand in the direction of what he wants you to manipulate/bring to him/carry him to/use and then turns his hand kind of like he's screwing in a light bulb.
At first I thought, "how wonderful - he can communicate better what he needs and that should lead to less frustration." And it does lead to less frustration... for him.
For Megan and I, he is using his "want" symbol kind of like an old adventure video game. Kaden sometimes just aimlessly points his hand and signals "want" at inanimate objects just to see if they'll do something. It's like he thinks he is in King's Quest and suddenly some wooden board will flip over and reveal an apple core which will somehow, ridiculously, allow him to unlock the secrets of the CD player later on.
Despite the somewhat tiring work it can be to manipulate/bring to him/carry him to/use practically everything in sight, it is wonderful to have him communicating more. He's talking gibberish all the time, with a few basic words (mom, dad, apple, cheese, and thanks to his birthday, balloon). What's even more amazing his how many words he actually understands.
It is common now to come home and excitedly find that he now understands "belly button" and tries to lift up Megan's shirt to show you when asked. I'm predicting that particular trick will go over well with strangers. Let's hope he kicks that habit before kindergarten.
Kaden's new music this week (rated from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being when he is so excited he does something I've never seen him do before - like a triple lutz or something).
Brazilian Girls: ****
Stevie Wonder: ****
Kool & the Gang: ***
I'm thinking next week's music appreciation will include a little Manu Chao, Jackson Five, and Jack Johnson (he did do the Curious George soundtrack after all).