“Just How Much Does He Understand, Anyway?”


I’ve written much about Max’s verbal expression, but not as much about his verbal comprehension.

In a nutshell, he understands almost everything.

If you say, “Wave your arms!” he’ll wave his arms.  If I say, “Gimmie some bonk,” he’ll (gently) (usually) bang his forehead against mine.  When Amalia says, “What do the crows say?” he’ll do his crow impression.  When you say, “Max, explain the dark energy paradox,” he’ll coo gently and start scribbling out cosmological diagrams and equations with his big blue marker (although this isn’t as big of a deal as it sounds, as his grasp of quantum physics is still pretty rudimentary).

It’s startling how much he actually can comprehend.  I find that when I want to say something he won’t understand, I’ll resort to the benthic, sesquipedalian depths of my active vocabulary.  Instead of, “Is he eating anything yet?” I’ll ask, “Has he yet partook in any comestibles?”  It leaves some of our conversations around here sounding like they’re coming from a Victorian romance novel, and as far as I know, he can still understand everything we say, and the joke’s on us.


One other thing:  as he gets bigger and more active, he’s also building muscle.  He’s harder to control, and when he fights back, boy, he really means it.


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