Like an Elephant

I’ve previously mentioned Tevye’s memory, and how remarkable it is, especially when applied to recalling exact locations of previous popcorn-acquisition. You can tell the boy something, not mention it for over a year, and he will start talking about it completely out of the blue. It’s generally one of those moments when Mama and I are left standing there, scratching our heads, wondering what the heck he’s yakking about now. Usually after a few minutes, it will all come flooding back, at which point I wonder aloud how on earth he managed to remember that.

I suppose his ability to put puzzles together with such speed and precision is a result of his elephant-like memory(do elephants actually have such incredible memories? Hold on, let me find out…many minutes pass… Alright, it turns out that yes, elephants do have incredible memories. There was a study done in Kenya, which was published in the Journal of Science, and it proved that elephants are able to remember up to 200 other elephants. The matriarchal elephants have the most impressive memories of all the herd, being able to determine whether or not a particular elephant is friend or foe. They also have a sense of self-recognition, which was proved when a mirror was held up for the elephant to look at. Neat, eh? Here at “Musings” it’s more than just fun and games, you might learn something new.)

Tevye ended up with a toy dinosaur a while back, and while I had absolutely no idea what it was called, I made something up. I decided it should be called a Hornidon. Obviously that’s not it’s name, but that’s what I went with. Tevye thought this was pretty funny, but I went and looked up what it was actually called. Turns out it’s known as a Parasaurolophus. Once I discovered this fact, I informed him of the creature’s actual name. I suppose technically it’s the name that we’ve given him. Perhaps he would rather be known as “Francois Dillinger” but we’ve come along and given him this ridiculous name.

It took Tevye a few tries to get the name correct, as it would anyone, I suppose. Once he had it down though, do you think I could get him to call it a Hornidon again? Nope! Even if it’s not brought up for ages, and I should ask about his Hornidon, he will immediately correct me.

“Ugh, Tatte! It’s not called a Hornidon. It’s a Parasaurolophus.”

Once again, my wit is no match for my four-year-old son.

12 Responses to “Like an Elephant”
  1. sillyliss says:

    What an awesome story! Parasaurolophus. I don’t think I could say that if I tried. I won’t dare it call it Hornidon, though. I will call it, that one dinosaur that Teyve can say the name of.

    Question for you. Have you taught your children to play Go Fish yet? I am considering teaching Emilia, but I’m not 100% sold on the idea. I dislike a game that ends in frustration. And that Chutes and Ladders just goes on forevvvver.

    • Nicole says:

      Tevye loves playing Go Fish! We hadn’t played it for awhile, when out of the blue (ties in with this post actually) he asks for the Fish Game. It’s great for teaching number recognition, and taking turns.

  2. christine says:

    Oh, Parasaurolophus. A friend of ours indeed. I’m sure Tevye knows that he can whistle through his crest, right? It is a darned cool dinosaur. Probably my favorite… but Alice prefers carnivores. Which is funny, given her guilt over her own meat consumption… which reminds me that I should get around to writing a certain post I’ve been saving for a while… Thanks, Moishe!

    • He was aware, yes. They’re pretty cool dinosaurs. I used to do Parasaurolophus impressions, but suffice it to say, they weren’t exactly a hit with the kids, or neighbours, for that matter. What do they know?

      Oh, and no problem. I’m here to help!
      *stands, hands on hips, dramatically looking towards the sky, cape flapping in the breeze.

      • christine says:

        By the way, do you suddenly find yourself interested in random dinosaur facts that you were never before even remotely interested in? Alice is obsessed, so I have to learn new things so she has new information. Sigh. Hard work.

      • Actually, I’ve always enjoyed learning about dinosaurs. Having a son just gives me a good excuse to devote time to learning about them, and watching Dinosaur Train on PBS.

  3. Betsy says:

    That’s awesome. Kids remember the stuff that’s important to them. Interesting about the elephants! Thanks for that! 🙂

  4. I can’t get over how much your Tevye sounds like my Joshua. We are constantly amazed by his ability to recall the most insignificant seeming events that happened 1-2 years prior. Joshua is also very good at puzzles and has been since he first set eyes on one. It is amazing how smart kids can be especially when they have a knack for turning around and doing some very silly things hehehehe

    • Children are certainly amazing creatures. I used to spend time with a family who’s four-year-old was one smart cookie. He was bilingual, and was working on a third language. When I would help him get dressed, he would insist that he be held upside down to put his pants on. Wacky kid.

  5. Lynne Ayers says:

    You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award – see details at

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