My mother in law is visiting and the extroverted feeler is ten. She is concerned.
"He's bored." She says.
I glance out the window.
"I don't think he's bored."
"He's pacing." says my mother in law. "He's pacing back and forth in the yard. He's been there for thirty minutes, in the same place."
"He's not bored." I say. "Go out and stand near him."
She looks exasperated, but she does it. She goes and stands in the yard near my son. He continues to pace back and forth, does not acknowledge her.
She stays for ten minutes and returns.
"You are right." she says, "He's not bored."
I knew exactly what she heard when she stood by him. A narration out loud, something like this:
"And the aliens bring their space lasers to bear on Bravo's ship. BZZZZFST! BZZZZFST! Bravo's ship is spiraling out of control! It misses the asteroid and is heading towards the planet! It's in the atmosphere! The aliens are following! Bravo's ship is starting to burn, it's on fire! RRRRRRRR! Bravo is getting hot! He pulls the icer handle and the ship fills with ice! Articuno flies up towards him from the planet!"
And so on. He would pace while he narrated what was happening around him. Every so often I would go stand by him and listen. Sometimes I would make space ship or alien or cowboy or whatever noises and then I would earn an intense look of irritation at the interruption. As soon as he could talk at all as a baby, he would talk to himself in his crib after he was put to bed, saying things that he'd heard and embroidering them. I would stand outside the door sometimes and listen.
My mother in law stops worrying about him being bored and agrees that really, it's pretty amazing that his teachers in grade school were ever able to penetrate that immense and fertile imaginary world.