Dylan has been fascinated by Zoe's Tobii device for a while now. At home, we usually have her use it when she's eating, as it's easily accessible at the kitchen table. However, anything that's easy for her to access can also be easily accessible for unwanted toddlers. He needs such little encouragement to stand in between Zoe and the device and push buttons, both literal and figurative, until we get annoyed, and I push him away. He's been doing this for months, and we've seen an inverse relationship between her interest in using the device as his has increased. According to her teachers, she uses it regularly and effectively at school. It's possible she's too fatigued from her day to use the device at dinnertime, but it seems more likely to me that she's too exhausted to fight over it with her brother.
The other night, he was upstairs while Zoe was eating. I was trying to model a few phrases her teacher had emailed us about a lesson they'd done on the solar system, and he heard us. And he came running. As usual, he ingratiated himself right in front of the device and began pushing buttons until he got to the screen that had all the colors on it. And he started to pick each one, listen to the recorded voice, and repeat after it. I'd never heard him say the different color words before, and I probably would have been prouder of him under different circumstances. But it was showing off. For lack of a better term, it was a Dick Move. And I could have been proud of him for being able to say his colors at Age Two, but that would always be outweighed by my irritation at someone - anyone - messing with Zoe. It is unfair in a family of three kids, but it's the law. You can't expect me to take your side against Zoe. You're going to get a light kick in the butt and get sent on down the line, where you can sit by yourself and say your colors to your heart's content. I can be proud, but I'll do it quietly when my girl is around.