W's Interest in Magazines

Part of the reason I like hanging out with W is because his perspective is so different than my own. For all of us, our perspectives are informed by everything we've experienced in our past, and our knowledge of things in general. W, being two, doesn't have a whole lot of life experience into which to place things in context. He interprets everything as it relates to him in his life to-date.

For example, he loves to "read" back issues of Mother Earth magazine (or whatever its called, Mother Jones? Mother something.). Why? Not for the informative articles about the pros and cons of various styles of chicken coops, or how to built your own yurt, but for the ads for tractors and tractor attachments. I thought he might like the pictures of animals, but no, he just wanted to locate every picture of a tractor in the magazine. He said he wanted me to "read" the magazine to him, but what he really wanted was to point to pictures and tell me all about them. He's quite knowledgeable about tractors, as it turns out. He accurately labeled many attachments, and when there was something he was unfamiliar with, that was when he demanded that I explain to him what it was used for. I did my best. Fortunately "it goes in the dirt" is specific enough for him.

He spent a few minutes politely looking at the photos in my fashion magazine while waiting for the opportunity to foist the tractors on me. Take a moment to click this link to examine one of the photos I discussed with him. I asked him if he thought the dress was pretty. He remained silent. I asked him if he liked the color. He was scowling at the photo. I asked him what he thought of the picture, and he pointed to the model and said, "She has bad behavior! She should not be standing up there!" I agreed wholeheartedly that it was terribly dangerous to stand atop a fireplace mantel, and pointed out that she was not only behaving dangerously, but her bad behavior also included knocking a candelabra lamp off the mantel to make room to stand there. W came to her defense at this point, noting that there was still one lamp that was still in place and working fine. He couldn't seem to see the relevance of what she was wearing when her behavior was obviously the point of the photo.

Do I miss adult conversation? Eh, sometimes. But in this instance, I would have gotten an, "ooh, I like that dress, too" or "meh, I preferred the blue gown on the other page" had I shown the photo to a girlfriend. I was far more charmed by being exposed to the utterly different perspective brought to light by my little boy.