He don’t knows how to do it

‘This one’s not too bright,’ the professor remarked a couple of nights ago while sitting with our youngest; attempting to teach him the way of the Tolo toy. I chuckled at the memory of a similar conversation two years ago, when we considered the intellectual capabilities of our second boy-child. Compared to his three and a half years older brother, he just didn’t seem capable of a whole lot besides clumsy destruction and fraternity-style antics.

‘Tis the downside of being the younger sibling, I suppose. Your parents tend to think you should be able to do more than you can.

‘I don’t think most sixteen month old children would know how to play with that toy,’ I defended young Percy to his father. Or do most sixteen month olds know their colors slash shapes?

The Hen seems better versed in the abilities of his baby brother. If we imply young Percy should be doing something – going downstairs unaided, figuring out the Tolo toy, or coloring with markers on paper rather than furniture – he’ll frequently come to the baby’s defense by yelling ‘he don’t knows how to do it.’

The little man seems to think if you add an ‘s’ to the verb every time, you’ll get correct subject-verb agreement. Regardless. I may regret my laissez-faire attitude when he’s six and still speaking this way, but for now I like his precision; the method to his madness.

He knows. He don’t knows. It makes sense.

I sat in the living room with my two youngest spawn yesterday, where they were playing with the Tolo. The Hen, with varying degrees of patience, did his best to instruct his brother, who tries to put every shape in the same hole. He started off well, putting the yellow circle in the yellow hole. Genius, I thought. And then he tried to cram the flower and the triangle and the pentagon…..all in the same hole.

The lesson concluded with much weeping and gnashing of teeth as both parties fought for control of the toy.

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