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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Complementary abilities and word retrieval

I drive the boys home, a pal and my son, the very verbal and the not so much so.

A match made in heaven.

They are as different as chalk and cheese but they share the same label.

They have little in common yet they are a perfect foil for one another. Mine is a head taller yet a year younger, but I'm not really interested in chronology or inches. I watch them in the corner of the rear view mirror. My son examines the inside of his pal’s ear, the one closest to him, both pal and ear, that is to say.

“Your ear……” he fizzles out.
“What about my ear?” he asks looking straight ahead. My son sticks his finger tip in his friend’s ear, tentatively.
“Don’t do that, you’ll make me deaf and then I won’t be able to hear ever again,” he responds factually, without reproach.
“You know you should never put your fingers in your ears, it’s bad to put your fingers in your ears, even if it’s really noisy you should never put your fingers in your ears,” he explains with authority.
“You see these bits? These bits of your "ear" here?”
“Dey are be calllllled ‘lobes.’”
“Yeah, right. If you take your lobes and stuff em in your ear holes, that’s dangerous too. It could stop you from hearing forever. You shouldn’t do it o.k. or you’ll go deaf.”
“So don’t do it right? Don’t stick your fingers in your ears or you’ll bust the bit inside and then you’ll be deaf for ever and ever.”
“Dah inside is being dah ‘drum.’”
“Yeah, that’s right. So don’t bust it.”
“Do you know what else happens if you bust your ears?”
“You’ll fall over coz you’ll break the balance bit in your ear.”
“Yeah, you have this thing in your ear, like when you spin round and round and it kindof makes you dizzy, you’ll break that bit and then you’ll fall over all the time.”
“Dat is be dah cochlea, curly. It be looks like a snail.”
“Yeah, like that guy next door in 4th Grade, he’s got a cochlea implant.”

A car honks close by. Both boys cover their ears with their palms in the same instant and duck in unison.

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