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One trait that makes us uniquely human is the ability to correlate any two events at will. Most of the time this ability helps us make sense of the world more quickly than classic conditioning methods. Stoves are hot, snow is cold, etc. But a second trait that makes us similar to most other animals is the amount of time it takes to extinguish incorrect correlations once they become established, even if they originated from only a single occurrence. This explains why Everett believes that:

-Fireplaces contain birds: a bird once fell down the chimney into our fireplace, which he noticed right away. Since then he walks up to most fireplaces and says “birdie?”.
-Lizards live in clocks: here I am referring to the Clock Lizard at the pool in the Cayman Islands. Since we returned home he has been looking for lizards behind clocks.
-He can talk to people through shirt pockets: Everett knows that phones are used to make calls, and that my cell phone is usually in the breast pocket of my dress shirt. He put these together and started saying “Hello!” into the pocket.

There are other correlations that are actually correct, but we sometimes wish he would forget, such as the discovery that grocery stores have free cookies for children. As soon as he learned this he suddenly developed the ability to identify any grocery store.

Some correlations clearly come from mimicry. Shoes come in three varieties: Everett’s, Mommy’s and Daddy’s:

And tripods are used to take pictures, although something seems to be missing here:

Lastly, there are some correlations that we hope he never forgets: a few days ago he saw his reflection and said “Everett handsome”. And a few weeks ago he was sitting in his car seat and said “Everett good”.

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