Two surprising facets of 3.9-year-old Stuart showed up today.

First, he’s becoming a capable partner playing nontrivial videogames, such as PixelJunk Shooter. After only a few hours, he understands the game, fully participates in its tactics, and is self-aware enough to snicker when he is occasionally caught hiding his game character in a safe place to avoid combat. If Juimiin does not put the kibosh on video game time, he may well match me in the silly game within weeks.

Second, he seems to be aware of meta levels of trickery. He had a minor foot mishap, after which he was exaggerating the peril and pain of the appendage. After I explained to him what hypochondria was, he laughed, but did not whittle his sympathy-syphoning manoeuvre. A few minutes later, I tried to trick him into using his “bad” foot. But he didn’t fall into the trap. He looked at me with a beaming grin. He was not fooled. And he knew that nor was I.