For the past several weeks and months, we have been trying to teach Harold about things that are hot, essentially warning him not to touch, say, the oven, or put hot food in his mouth. We point at the hot object and say "hotsss". He has been repeating that but it wasn't really clear if the meaning was sinking in.
We were in the garden yesterday, doing a bit of pruning and general clean up. This year we have lots of pumpkins due to an army of volunteer plants that came from our compost pile.
There was one small pumpkin that was still attached to its host plant which had already died off. The pumpkin is in good shape, so I snipped off the plant, preserving the orange fruit for next month's holiday use. The small bit of stem still attached to the pumpkin had a thorny quality to it, requiring careful handling.
Harold was not aware of the spikey nature of the stem, and as he attempted to grasp the stem to lift the fruit, his little fingers did not get a chance to get much of a grip before letting go. Upon letting go of the stem stub, he looked at me and said, "Hotsss!". I smiled, nodded vigorously and told him, Yes, it is hotsss!
We're thinking this was our first Harold-initiated conversation.