Who's on First?
Talking to Thomas can be a dizzifying experience. We have stopped at a downtown corner to investigate the raised relief map on the concrete pedestal. You know the sort - it shows brass models of historically and touristically significant structures in the few blocks around you. I hold the boys up so they can touch the figures on the map, and try to relate these representations to the real landmarks around them. One of these is the War Memorial (aka "the statue"), only a few blocks up the street. We decide we will walk up to see it. Thomas: Where we going? Me: To see the statue. Thomas: We're going to see the statue? Me: Yes. Thomas: Where is it? Me: We can't see it quite yet... Wait a bit. You'll see it soon. (Repeat the above ten to twelve times as we walk two blocks at toddler pace.) Me: There it is! See it? George: Yes! I see it! Thomas: Where is the statue? Me: Right ahead of us. See it? Thomas: No, I can't. (Now, the War Memorial is a large-to-huge structure, dominating the confluence of three streets, right at the top of a hill, and we are by now right across the street from it...) Thomas: I can't see a statue!! Me: stopping, squatting beside him, and aligning his head so that the memorial must entirely fill his field of vision: "There! Right in front of you." Thomas: Where? I can't see a statue! (He's upset now, knowing he's missing out on what everyone else is enjoying. I have a sudden insight.) Me: Thomas, do you know what a statue is? Thomas: No.