Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Equal time for our firstborn

At school, Elliot has a group of friends with whom he plays chase at recess. During this game, Elliot is a monkey--as in, he channels the powers of a monkey to help defeat his opponents. What are these special gifts? A monkey is "smart, well-skilled, and a free spirit," so says he. How do these apply to the real E? Yes, yes, and sort of. I would say he is less of a free spirit and more of a worrier. But we all agree he is a monkey.


In fact, there is another monkey that comes to mind when considering Elliot's unique gifts.


Elliot is curious. Let me illustrate.

Elliot spent his two weeks abroad this summer exploring an all-too-often overlooked aspect of the beautiful Spanish landscape: trash. He spent his days with eyes on the ground, looking for treasures to collect in his overflowing pockets. At the end of any given day, I would empty said pockets and discover treasures, indeed: broken luggage wheels, rocks, rocks, and more rocks, broken glass, spent subway tickets, business cards, sticks. He also enjoyed exploring the textures of Spain. He wanted to touch everything, running his hand along the length of every rail, acquiring smudges on his hands and shirt at every step along the way.

Elliot is also intellectually curious. His latest matter of inquiry is Harry Potter and he peppers us with questions. What is a goblet of fire? Who put the sorcerer's stone in that dungeon? How did Voldemort get into that teacher's body? Actually, I can't do his questions justice. They are much more advanced than that and leave me stumped most of the time.

He also relishes science and knows better than to ask me. To Steve: Let's talk about physical and chemical changes. Why does fire need to have air? What is the atomic theory? What is that called again when the sun's atoms go together to create gases? Can we watch Nova tonight?

Elliot is also like Curious George in that he can get into unusual predicaments. Like the time he cut right above his eye at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night. Or the time he had to get stitches in a hospital clinic in the Canary Islands after chasing the missionaries down the stairs. Or the time he ended up in the emergency room after swallowing a penny.

Come to think of it, the only times he ever gets into any kind of trouble are from instances of being ungraceful. Hmm. Not very much like a monkey, after all....

11 comments:

Steve said...

Just want to say that it is truly one of the great pleasures and satisfactinos of my life to make a bowl of popcorn and watch NOVA or Nature with Elliot and his brothers. Be they monkeys or not, God saw fit to bless me with boys who like to watch PBS documentaries. God be praised.

n said...

i really like "satisfactinos." is frankenelliot more of a shields or brooks guy?

Emily said...

Well, I'm not sure I understand the reference or the nickname, but let me attempt an answer:

He does not take anti-depressants or Ritalin, so that would make him a cruise guy. And he does jump on couches. Wait, I thought you were saying a cruise or a shields guy? So, yeah, I completely don't know what you mean.

amye said...

Another great story, Emily. I'm printing them out to submit to a publisher. Think I'm kidding? Yes, Elliot is a very tactile fellow. In Spain and the Canaries, he was my charge at times, and we waited for him to touch quite literally, every thing he passed--rails, benches, brick walls. There were even moments when he was licking those things. This is a fellow who is mighty curious about the world. I can't wait to see where that takes him!

Suzie Petunia said...

I wish MY kids liked to watch PBS with me. If I have to sit through The Incredibles DVD ONE MORE TIME...

I bet getting stitches in a foreign country is quite an adventure! Somehow we've managed to avoid such a situation (stitches AND foreign countries :) but HAVE found it necessary to get an after-hours doctor to remove a candy wrapper from Waverly's nose. Good times...

Suzie Petunia said...

And when I say "PBS", I don't mean "Cyber Chase" and "Zoom". We all watch those regularly in this house.

n said...

franken.. : see the last pic on yr post.
brooks y shields: see newshour.

Emily said...

Right, Newshour.
Well, the Frankenmeister goes pretty strong on PBS through Where's Buster, Arthur, Cyberchase, and Zoom, then there's a bit of a lull in the tv watching until 8 on a Tuesday, when NOVA comes on.
Don't give up on me. Some day I'll get your cultural references.

Carly said...

I'm glad you have him studying the important things, namely trash and Harry Potter. Oh, yeah. And science, etc.

Elinor said...

Hey, Emily, your writing is so fun. I hope you print them off for your kids' baby books or whatever the terms are these days--Scrapbooking Memories. Wish someone would have invented this kind of stuff when I was young. I go back far enough that I remember snooping in my mother's cedar chest on Saturday afternoons when I stayed home from town - yes Blackfoot - to tend Paul and Dennis since they weren't fun to take for the entire afternoon, and anyway, somebody needed to listen to the FPQ--the radio broadcast of the First Piano Quartet, where I eventually learned to love classical music after hearing it explained. Nothing else on the radio, and of course long before TV. Anyway, in my snooping and I'll deny this in court -- I discovered a little journal my mother kept before I was born. Remember, I'm child No. 4, and Gover was No. 3, and he cried all the time since food didn't agree with him. Anyway, after his death, the few sketchy entries ended. It's a devastating feeling not to be in your mother's diary. Even as a very young teen I think I understood, but it was a left out feeling I never really recovered from until I was old(er). My time with my mother was when she was old and I treasure it. Made up for a lot of left out years of not belonging properly. Wow. Where did all this come from? Yes, I've written it all in my history, but seldom speak so openly of this. Kids are precious.

Angela said...

I remember swollowing a penny once, but I never got taken to the emergency room. Should I have?
And you might be interested to know that Austin did a lot of the same things when we were in the Canary Islands. Well, not exactly the same things. Mostly he was interested in the lizards.