Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dale Po's New Phone

Dale Po is the son of Lance and Emily Po of Cloverdale. He is a child of remarkable concentration and shows evidence of giftedness. Last week he sat through the entire showing of Shrek at the Grand Theater. The flickering images on the large screen kept his attention. His mother says he even laughed at the right places in the film. Mind you, she isn’t claiming he understood the words, but he seemed perceptive to his surroundings and mimicked the sounds coming from the people around him.

Yesterday Lance Po found a pink plastic toy cell phone while picking up milk and eggs at the local Piggly Wiggly on his way home from work. It was was in a bin of old Christmas toys still waiting for loving homes and kind children. The price was right and Lance thought that if his son had his own phone he wouldn’t keep reaching for his every time it rang.

Lance returned home to find Dale in his high chair and Emily feeding him his mashed carrots. "Look what Daddy's got for you!" he said as he pulled the pink toy from the brown paper grocery bag. Dale clapped his hands in anticipation and reached with both hands to take the phone from his father. Lance handed the phone to the boy. Dale examined it to see if it had all the right buttons. He stuck it in his mouth to get the feel of the plastic on his tongue. Taste was another issue. Dale wanted to determine if the toy's plastic was similar in taste to his father’s cell phone. He squirmed to get out of his high chair. Emily picked him up and sat him on the floor. Dale put his new toy down and layed next to it. He stared at his new toy intently.

Several minutes passed. The boy blinked by did not move. He didn’t take his eyes off the phone. He waited, patiently.

Lance and Emily Po were bewildered. Didn’t he like his new toy? Why wasn’t he playing with it? Had he lost interest that quickly?

Several more minutes passed. Dale still stared and waited.

“He’s waiting for it to ring,” Emily said after thinking about her son's thought processes. “He doesn’t see us playing with our phones. We leave them be until someone calls. That when we pick them up. He doing what he sees us doing.”

“Remarkable,” Lance exclaimed. “But what are we going to do. Take the phone away from him?”

“I have an idea,” Emily said as she reached for the cordless phone next to the sofa. She dialed her husband’s cell phone.
“What are you doing?” Lance asked.
“Shhh, don’t answer,” Emily replied with the smile of a bright idea.

Lance’s phone rang. Dale immediately picked up his pink toy phone and began speaking Gibberish - the International Toddler’s Language. Emily’s idea had worked.

Lance and Emily Po spent the next hour listening to Dale’s conversations. It made for a wonderful afternoon.