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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Experiences and Outlook for the New Year

The end of the year is a time to look back. Project Bow has many supporters, some very vocal and others more hidden. We received cards and donations and good wishes and even reviews. I'm very grateful for all of that!

You probably are curious to know what Bow got for Christmas. From Lawrence, he got in one gift-wrapped package a pair of shoes about his size, a little toy tractor that makes sounds when you push the right buttons, a green hulk like little humanoid figurine with huge muscles that has arm action, and a green octopus like plastic mold. From me he got two new blankets, not for sleeping with, but to have during the day, as long as he is good. One is brown, and the other has an orange reddish brown pattern. (He calls the second blanket "the pretty one".) From his uncle, he got a fruit basket, full of apples, oranges and pears.

Bow enjoyed all his gifts, but sometimes being too happy makes him act up. So he got in trouble several times over the holiday. Sometimes he is very sarcastic when he answers my accusations. "Did you drip on purpose?" I ask.

"Yes."

"So this was your plan? You planned this?"

"Yes."

"It was your intention to get in trouble and ruin everything?"

"Yes."

Believe me, I'm not making him say "Yes." I would rather he said "no" and "I'm sorry", but he looks at me totally defiantly and intentionally spells "Yes." I guess I have another tween on my hands.

We hand him the computer, and he has sense enough and self control enough not to destroy it now. But if you ask him to say something, he spells "Why" and then promptly turns it off.

So what is my plan now? I have to find a way to motivate him to do something constructive. I'm also planning over the next few months to contact colleagues and try to arrange for them to share their grad students with me, so that I can have help with the project,  and Bow can have more friends, and my colleagues can have access to a chimpanzee who has language abilities. There are many ways that people can help each other achieve their common goals. One of the challenges that we face is finding creative ways to do so.

Happy New Year!

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