Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Words and wishes

There are days when my child makes one of my wishes come true to such a degree that I almost wonder what I was doing wishing for that in the first place. Case in point: I could hardly wait for his first words, for him to talk and be able to communicate with me. And now? He. talks. constantly. Yes, the child who Would Not Speak before 19 months now rivals his grandmothers, his garrulous Aunt Katie and his very own mother in the constant chatter competition.

I have said before, I think, that having breakfast with this child is often like attending an auction, what with the endless stream of babble:

I want dates.
Dates! ((because, you know, we must not've heard him, or they would have materialized instantly, right?))
Cut in half.
More cereal, daddy.
More sugar.
Don't mix it.
More sugar.
Need a bib.
No, don't like it.
No bib.
No milk.
Milk onna cereal.
I want milk onna cereal. ((pause)) pleeeease?

And that's just to get his food in front of him. Of course most actual eating ceases after the first two minutes, but we feel we must at least try to get the child to ingest something other than the fine rime of brown sugar that sits atop his oatmeal. But my formerly good eater just won't do it. No vegetables. No meat, fake or carnivore-approved. Not even pizza or noodles or, in rare moments, even Daviscoffee. I have heard rumours of the Toddler Starvation Diet, but had not seen this particular beast face to face yet. So far? Not impressed.

And why is it that the kid can remember that, for instance, back in September after the loss of our Eldest Cat, one of the felines had an accident in his room (every night he says "GUN-GUN PEE-PEE ON THE CARPET. BAAAAD GUN-GUN". And the cats always look at him like "Hello, broken record. Plus? You totally dropped a brown trout of your own on the carpet once and we have YET to bring that up, dude. Thanks"). And yet this same child with the steel-trap memory cannot recall that EVERY TIME we check out in the grocery store, the cashier is going to need to scan whatever bag of celery/hawaiian-themed rubber duck/pack of hotdogs/plastic plate he has suddenly glommed on to and, more importantly, that he/she WILL GIVE IT RIGHT BACK. Toute suite, in fact. My friend is convinced that "if you want your children to remember something, do it once. If you want them to forget you did something, do it all the time," and I wonder if this might not be the key to the mystery here. Either way, this catchy phrase has become my new mantra for whenever I catch myself using more, ah, quote-unquote colorful linguistic terms in front of The One Who Notices.

And yet, the impossible cuteness continues unabated, strategically placed, I'm sure, in between moments of great duress, such as unwelcomed diaper changes, transition of food items to/from highchair tray and any time one of the cats approaches a Cherished Possession such as a bowl of goldfish crackers, a favorite fleece blanket, or Mom.

Which he now calls me, by the way. When I get home, instead of our old ritual of exchanging a hug-and-kiss combo that would embarrass those who grace the covers of cheesy romance novels, I now get a decidedly platonic but joyful "Hi, mom" and a wave. A wave! Oh, sure, if I ask for it, I can get a hug or kiss, but it's clear these are concessions he makes because One Of Us hasn't figured out he's a big boy now. I just know the days where we greet each other with wedgies or by burping "what's up, dude?" can't be too far in the future. *sigh*

I have some incredibly cute video I am going to post when I can get it edited, but for now, I leave you with D's rendition of our nightly routine:

Have a bath.
Brusha teeth. Need toothpaste. Turn it on ((it's an electric toothbrush)). Oooh, new batteries.
What's THIS? La-la on the penis. ((riotous laughter))
Diaper on. Need lotion. Put some onna hand. Put some onna tummy.
Fire engine jammie shoes. Car jammie shoes. Motorcycle jammie shoes.
THAT binky.
See Daddy.
Night-night, daddy. KISS!
Read book.
Read it again.
Read it again.
Lights off.
((and then? To drown out the sound of my heart breaking in half?))
No sing, mommy.