Monday, January 30, 2006

Eli 4.5

Eli's big into dinosaurs. It's a bit jarring to hear his fluency when explaining the current theories about the plates on the back of a stegosaurus , then find his mermaid in the laundry. He loves them both, and that must be one of the singularly remarkable things about childhood: love need not be consistent or exclusive. He'll watch an episode of Dinosaur Planet on Discovery HD, commenting seriously on the sections where the paleontologist discusses dinosaur behavior, then ask to watch an episode of the cartoon 64 Zoo Lane because he has a crush on Tina the Giraffe.

It is a very good time to be a father.

On Saturday, I found a red crayon mark on the toilet. "There will be no coloring of the toilet with crayons," I said. "Do I make myself clear?"

"I don't think I was actually coloring," Eli 4.5 said. He specializes in the legalese defense. If you don't ask the right question, with exactly the proper wording, he'll deny everything.

"Well, it was a mark. Did you make a mark?"

"Hmm," he said. "Maybe I did."

He says things that are so bright they just astound me. Sometimes, though, things aren't quite what they appear. This Saturday, we were driving back from breakfast and it was raining--pouring, actually. We were talking about rain and how it rained more in different parts of the country. "I know where it rains more than here," he said. "South America."

Well, that just blew me away. Then he explained why.

"Central means rain, and America just means 'America,' so South means more rain because it's South instead of North," he said proudly.

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