This time it’s Henry. I think it funny how mothers can’t wait to teach little ones how to communicate and it ends up biting them in the butt. Why — because if they are like Henry — it’s constant.  He only knows about 10 words but he uses them all day, with “mommy” being used in between most everything. He calls me mommy and I don’t bother to correct him because I like it, but he also calls his father mommy.  

When Henry leaves my house, he says, “Bye-see ya!” He says it as if it’s one word and it gets followed by a blown kiss which lands somewhere in the vicinity of my heart. I leave it there until I see him again. 

For reasons we may never know, he can say his sister’s name but not his brother’s. I would think Celia would be harder than Sam but in truth, his “Celia” sounds very much like “seeya” and as long as he doesn’t preface it with “bye” we know he’s looking for her. He doesn’t call his brother anything. 

It’s the same with the dogs. He calls Rocco “geecko” but Bruce might as well be invisible. He calls the cats “meowwwws.”

Mostly he says “Whats dattt?” (a lot) and its followed by “gook, gook” as he points to something that interests him. Today he told me to “gook” and all I saw was my closed office door. I didn’t know if he was hallucinating or if I was. 

Henry talks all day long and you’d better be listening or he’ll do it louder. He‘s been known to make up words — today it was “pita” — and you could tell he liked the way it felt on his lips because he said it over and over until my face was wet — since I was changing his diaper and had no choice in the matter.

I’m sure Henry gets his chattering from his mother. She is my only child who has a blank in her baby book where it asks for “baby’s first sentence.” I have no recollection of it but I tell people it’s because she hasn’t finished it yet. She and Henry are going to be a hoot when he gets a good grasp on language. Daddy won’t be able to get a word in edgewise. 

The word I’m dreading Henry learning is “Why?” Because if he’s like every other child I’ve had the pleasure of raising, it will become like fingernails on a chalkboard. For every “because” there will be another “why” and they can play it for hours or until, if you are like me, you keep slamming your head in the refrigerator door until you pass out.

Now Henry has a new look. His mommy and I headed to the mall last weekend, and after two different people told us what a cute little girl he was, his mother pointed the stroller toward the nearest salon. Forty minutes later we had a little boy. 

Yes, 40 minutes. I never said Henry enjoyed the ordeal and he dodged the scissors as best he could. The hairdresser pulled out a box of toys which worked for a short time and when that wore off I handed him his bottle.

Henry couldn’t wait to leave but he remembered his manners. With a wave of his arm he told the hairdresser, “Bye-seeya.”

But if he was more articulate he would have finished with, “Don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the good Lord split ya.” 

debbiehough@hotmail.com

 

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