The world is a complicated place, especially when you’ve only had three years to learn about it. But Jamie is making headway.
He knows, for example, that, just as you can form words from letters, so you can form numbers from digits. It’s one of the games he likes playing with the numbers puzzle my mother got him, the one with all the digits to be fitted into holes on a board – he’ll work his way through composing the two-digit numbers in order, putting down each pair of digits in turn and declaring what number they make. Thus, on one occasion, he picked up a 2 and an 0. "Now, when we just put this one down," he declared, putting down the 0, "it just says ‘twen’. But when we put this one down, it says ‘twenty’!"
Then, there are the mysteries of plural and singular forms of words. Reading through one of his many ‘My First Word’ books, Jamie arrived at the section on ‘Clothes’ and was puzzled by the picture of the dress (not something a child of mine gets to see a lot of). "What kind of…" He paused, considering correct grammatical construction. "What kind of clo is that?"
But he’s starting to learn more about different emotional states. Barry, trying to get Jamie’s computer to play one of his DVDs, explained the problem to me as he worked – there was some kind of problem with the DVD setup, and the computer wasn’t happy with it. "It’s sad!" Jamie deduced triumphantly, pleased with his newly-acquired comprehension of how such matters work.