Everett has become an eager helper at times. He recently started cleaning the floors with a small, battery powered vacuum, and when that isn’t available he will use a handheld broom and dustpan. He has always been interested in tools, especially when Chris is using them, and has taken quite an interest in fixing things. The other night Chris was reattaching a piece of loose wood trim in the living room and removing some old nails in the process.

Everett was very interested in helping so Chris let him take over, and the result is his first repair job:

A couple days later Chris and Melissa had to remove his handiwork to get ready for neighbors to come over during the Kavanaugh Crawl. Everett noticed right away and said “I thought I fixed that already!” The details that he notices about his environment are remarkable. This applies not only to things about us (such as Melissa’s new glasses) and details about the house (like minor changes in decoration) but he has also been remarking about the smells he notices. Sometimes he likes them (he is an expert at sniffing out cookies), sometimes he doesn’t (“You guys smell like salami!”) and in some cases they inspire fear. Chris was recently stripping some paint with a heat gun. When Everett smelled the vapors he was quite fearful, and repeatedly expressed how concerned he was about it. This also comes at a time when he is first becoming aware of mortality. Last summer a squirrel died in our neighbor’s backyard and the body has now decomposed to the point where we we can see the skeleton. Over time he has been asking more detailed questions about whether the squirrel is dead and what this means, as well as developing theories about how the squirrel died. His sense of mortality has also made its way into his dreams which he often describes to us in the mornings. This started a long time ago when his vocabulary was more limited (“I had a story in my head last night”). It now seems like his descriptions are limited by his ability to express abstract ideas and differentiate multiple meanings for words. A few nights ago he asked Melissa “What does wild mean?”. This was followed by providing examples like “I fed a wild seal” and “wild man”. The latter is one of Chris nicknames for him that is in use more often this time of year when, due to the fact that it gets dark around 4pm, more and more of his boundless energy has to be expended inside rather than outside the house.

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