Monday, April 04, 2005

fisher-price my first typing

i don't blog much about my young nephew ian, perhaps because, although we live in the same house, i'm not very involved with his rearing and only see him for an hour or so on a typical day (the rest of the time i'm up here in the attic and he is downstairs somewhere).

ian is currently about 31 months old. he does like to have the tv on (how much he actually "watches" is debatable), however he is generally only allowed to watch educational programming (pbs kids and various videos geared for early childhood). he loves his letters, & knows how to count to 10 in english and spanish, as well as knowing various vocab words and phrases. the significance of letters hasn't quite sunk in yet: he doesn't realize that letters actually form written words. but man, does he love those letters: ABC videos, refrigerator magnets... anything involving the alphabet he likes.

occasionally if the door to the attic is left open, he will sneak off and climb up here. i don't mind, so long as i or someone is here to make sure he doesn't hurt himself or mess up my stuff too much. sometimes he'll see my computer and start playing with the keyboard. when he does, i try to set up a blank notepad document for him, but on past occasions he never really did much other than press ctrl or alt, or the windows keys. this afternoon he came upstairs and, i believe for the first time, really started exploring my keyboard. this is what he typed, completely unedited by me (except that he pressed the spacebar a bunch of times, and i have replaced those spaces with html space characters, and added some hard returns for formatting purposes):

aaaaaaaa  a

as he found each letter, he would say its name out loud. he hasn't quite gotten the hang of key-repeat, but i'd say this was a great start: he started by finding A and made it all the way to Q before his mommy came to take him back downstairs. and when you stop to think that the qwerty layout was specifically designed to be confusing and hard to work with, i'd say that's pretty impressive for someone who cannot read, per se.

granted, there are other computers in the house. and he even has a qwerty keyboard in his room (that his father gave him as a learning tool). but that keyboard isn't hooked up to anything. anyway, since this just might be his first coherent, intentionally typed phrase, i thought it deserved to be recorded for posterity.