Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tick Tock Clock

Ryan is truly the “strong, silent type” in that he doesn’t say much yet. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard “up” in the right context, and he does say “ba ba” when he waves goodbye. But other than that, the only “word” he says is “K”. Now, that might not seem like much, but when you hear it in context, over and over again, it becomes very obvious that “K” is his way of saying “clock”.

We have a wall clock in our living room that chimes on the quarter hour, and Ryan has always been fascinated by that clock. He likes to watch the pendulum swing back and forth, he likes to watch the second hand makes its sweep, and he LOVES to hear it play its song. In fact, if he’s in another room when it chimes, he’ll often stop what he’s doing and run over to look at it, often repeating, “K! K! K!” as he watches. If he happens to be in the basement playroom and he hears it chime, he’ll point up the stairs and excitedly announce to whoever is in the room with him: “K! K! K!” And anytime we go past it, whether we’re on our way upstairs for a nap or bedtime, or we’ve just come in the door from a shopping trip, or he’s simply marching around the living room, he casually remarks, “K,” as he passes by, just to let you know that the clock is still there.

But what really impresses me is the fact that not only does he know that specific clock is a clock, he also has a clear understanding of the general concept of “clock”, enough that he’ll point to a clock in a strange place and announce, “K!” He seems to understand that a clock is big and round, and hangs on a wall, and has markings around the edge, and has hands that move. Yesterday we were with my mom at the doctor’s office, where each cubicle has a large blood pressure monitor mounted on the wall. The monitor has a large round face, hash marks and numbers around its edges, and a hand that points to the numbers. Ryan solemnly marched from cubicle to cubicle, pointing at each one and informing everyone within earshot that it was a “K”. We’ve been in offices and restaurants and stores with all shapes and sizes of clocks, and he unfailingly points to every clock within sight and proclaims it a “K”. On several occasions he’s repeated, “K! K! K!” in a place where I was sure there were no clocks, but whenever I followed his pointing finger, darned if there wasn’t a clock tucked away somewhere.

He’s even able to apply the concept of a clock to a timepiece that doesn’t quite fit all the general criteria. The other day he pointed at Daddy’s wristwatch and announced, “K!”, so he obviously understands that being big and hanging on a wall are not crucial to making something a clock. Of course, he occasionally points to a picture hanging on a wall, especially if it has any kind of a circle motif, and pronounces it a “K”, so the concept isn’t perfect, but for a one-year-old brain, it’s some pretty impressive deductive reasoning.

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