At three months, i’m able to have a conversation with my son: truthfully, not a very purposeful one, but certainly enjoyable. So far we have steered clear of Brexit and religion, focussing instead on the adventures of a small, but disproportionately kind, elephant, and a penguin who wishes she was an astronaut (spoiler alert: she makes it in the end).
Our relationship has reached new heights: he reliably recognises me as a human being, and is seemingly very content to squeak or squeal at me at key moments of the story. This has been a positive developmental stage: communication is now a thing, it runs two ways, and we both seem very happy about it. Writ large on his little face is a real joy in connections: indeed, he is so enamoured of them that he seeks them everywhere, smiling on demand at any other human, humanoid, or elephant, that smiles in his direction.
Interestingly, he has also worked out that he can use his proto-language to express things other than happiness: sometimes, instead of crying, he will try to articulate his misery with a ‘word’.
Ok, well if you insist, here is the story about the elephant.
One day, Elephant found his friend staring up at the sky, looking sad.
‘Why are you so sad?’, asked Elephant.
‘Because the sun has gone away’, said the Bear. ‘It’s dark and gloomy, and i cannot read my book’.
Elephant looked up at the sky: it was indeed dark. The sun had set, and the moon not yet risen.
‘How does it feel to be sad?’, asked Elephant.
‘It feels cold, and blue in my tummy’, said the Bear.
Elephant thought about his own tummy: it currently held several pieces of liquorice that he had found under the table, and a nice cup of tea. It felt warm and orange.
But Elephant suddenly realised that he felt sad too. Because his friend was sad.
‘I’ll tell you what’, said Elephant, ‘let me put my trunk around you, and we can sit here together until the moon comes up, then we can go and find find come cocoa together’.
So he sat, and put his trunk around Bear, and they both sat there together, staring up at the sky, until the moon came up. Then they went and drank cocoa.
‘Mmm’ said Bear. ‘I feel warm and orange in my tummy’. And Elephant felt warm and orange too.
I hope that those squeals you are making are happy ones.