Flyingpops gave me pause the other afternoon by saying "This is what you were waiting for wasn't it? It's so good to see you two pottering around together"...and I was like "Eh?", but on reflection I actually think it's true, just lately Thomas' comprehension and ability to intelligently participate has absolutely *rocketed* (not that he wasn't extremely clever before) meaning we've been able to engage in increasingly complex ways...rather than just "What's this Thomas?", or "Can you see the (whatever)?" it's becoming conversation - "What do you fancy doing Thomas?" "DRAWINN!", "Okay, what shall we draw?", "Outside! Chalk!", "Oh, okay, you want to draw on the blackboard outside?", "Blackboard!" (once outside) "Okay, what are we drawing?", "House! Tree!", "Okay, here we go" (scribble, scrape)..."Daddy, Chalk Thomas!!", "Oh, okay, here's some chalk for you", what are you drawing?" "A CIIIIRCLE!!!" (and he draws a large, messy oval - Saying "Egg!" as if he meant to do that all along) etc. etc. ;)
Cooking is another fine example, when I'm in the kitchen rattling pots and pans, Thomas is usually to be found standing at the gate yelling "OPEN! OPEN! COOKIN' PEEEZE!!", if allowed, he runs in shouting "STEPS!! UP!! SEE!!" (and again, if allowed) he climbs up the steps and hangs on at the top, pointing out and naming everything he can see (and trying to eat anything tempting looking). When it comes to preparation he knows how to add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan, add a pinch of salt to heating water (he, in fact, reminded me the last time we boiled some potatoes) season meat with pinches of salt and pepper, can go to the garden on request and retrieve chives, rosemary and/or thyme (usually mixing them up, of course as they all look fairly similar, and admittedly gets lost trying to find mint, but that's a bit high up for him) and obviously also stands a better-than-average chance of being distracted by the odd ant/woodlouse...it's amazing how enthusiastic he is, and how generally *capable* he is becoming...he can even (when watched) carefully stir sauces on the hob (as long as you remind him they are hot each time he goes to put the spoon in his mouth)... ;)
Another of his tricks is to help crack the black pepper for the week using the pestle and mortar (although I have learned only to put a *few* pepper corns in there for him to bash away at or he just eats it by the handful, much to Mummy's displeasure and Daddy's stifled snigger)... ;)
The most impressive achievement so far? Asking him to tell me how we went about making pasta the other day (retrospectively) and him (thoughtfully) answering (including some fairly long finger sucking pauses) "Onion...chop...OIL! Frying! MEAT! Maaato! COOOKING!!!" - Okay, there were a few more things that went in there, but that's a basic bolognese recipe right there (quoted from his memory) if I have ever heard one, and he, not even two years old!
Well done, clever boy! :)