My family is in town this week for spring break. My mom made the suggestion, while we were chatting online, that we could go to the Zoo tomorrow. I typed up Sam’s responses to that idea as he talked and I thought I’d share them here. I didn’t edit for grammar or anything, I just tried to type as fast as he was talking and catch as much as I could. I interjected a few times with things like “what other animals would you want to see at the zoo”, but I don’t know where those go. For the most part this was just Sam’s stream of consciousness. You should know before you start reading that the only zoo we’ve ever been to is a petting zoo outside the gas station in Scipio, UT, which might explain some of the animal he chose. Also, Sam is not an animal lover, at all. He tends to get pretty jumpy around cats and dogs, even the ones he knows. Anyways, enjoy :)
“I don’t like the zoo. I don’t want to see a lion. They are mad at the zoo. I want to see an elephant, but it has to stay in the gate. We can’t come in, it has to stay in its home. I want to see llama. And chickens. And hens, and the bock bocks! I think I still want to see…. one more thing. I want to see one more thing. I want to see…. Oh! No more lions! NO LIONS! I want to see no cows! Those can really eat you! I got eaten by a cow! I don’t want to see lions, those are bad. That’s all of the animals I want to see. Maybe no lions, just the animals I want to see. Maybe those monkeys are going to swing in the tree. I don’t want to see an alligator, those are bad. I don’t want to see those. I have to see one of the animals that I love. Those ones that I picked. No lions. I don’t want to go to the zoo. Oh! maybe i could eat apples!”
That was pretty much the end of his thoughts on the zoo. I don’t think he wants to see lions, what about you? I also don’t think he understands the direction of the food chain when it comes to people and cows…
Sam will occasionally get very fixated on families. Who’s in our family, how they’re related to Sam, and how they’re related to each other. Earlier this week he was talking about different things and then started listing people, “Mommy, and Daddy, and Sam, and Daniel, and Tay-Tay, and Ry-Ry, and Skylar” (Taylor, Ryan and Skylar are my sister and her husband and son), then he said “That’s it! That’s our whole family!” Now if you know us very well you know that is by no means the end of our extended family. Eric is the youngest of 9 kids and I’m the oldest of 5. So I started asking Sam, “What about Grannie, is she in our family?” and he responded with an enthusiastic “Yeah!”, so I continued, “And Grandpa?”, which elicited another enthusiastic “Yeah!” I continued to list both sets of grandparents, all of his aunts, uncles and cousins and followed up by listing some of *my* grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins before we tired of this exercise.
There were two things that really impressed me. With nearly 40 cousins and 22 aunts and uncles there are of course a few duplicate names. As I went through the list whenever I got to a name that I’d already mentioned he caught it and would say “There are TWO Emilys?” or “There are TWO Aunt Ashleys?” I hadn’t even realized that he was keeping such close track of all the names that we’d said, let alone to remember them and notice the duplicates! Then as we were going through my dad’s siblings’ families I decided to throw him a curveball. Without asking the question any differently, changing tone, or skipping a beat I asked him if Tango (my uncle’s dog) was part of our family. This was well through the recitation of names and I figured he was just saying “Yeah!” to whatever names I gave him. He paused and said, “No, Tango isn’t in our family. Tango’s in a dog family!” While my Uncle Paul might not agree with Sam’s assessment that Tango isn’t part of the family, I was impressed that Sam could pick out that one name and identify it as not a person.
I’m amazed every day with how bright this kid is and the capacity that he has for knowledge. He really is just like a sponge!