It is so funny to hear my own words repeated out of a three-year old mouth like “God Almighty”. It would get so that every time I’d get irked with Michael I would say that not so nice phrase, but it was fairly benign compared to what I was saying inside my head. I didn’t really realize what had been coming out of my mouth until Mikey began to say it for me when he would hear me sigh in frustration—he would even tell me to “Say it, Mommy, say God Almighty.” I switched to “Good Criminy” which he now likes to fill in my aggravated blanks with that as well. Just days after I had documented this little story, I got exasperated with Michael and said “Good Lord!” He then says to me, “I remember when you used to say “God Almighty!”—Say it, Mommy.” Kid’s got a memory like a whole herd of elephants.
Unaware, I’ve found that I also finish sentences of agreement with “Indeed”, as in “Pierce is very hungry indeed.” (Usually in response to Michael’s statement –slash-question, “ Is Pierce very hungry?” ) I learned this from hearing the word coming out of my then three-year-old, such as “The sharp thing will bite you, it will indeed!”
He also loves drama, and it becomes apparent in his delivery for instance “The door might not be locked.” When he discovered that it wasn’t—the front door that we usually lock in order to keep him from leaving—he states emphatically “Oh my Gosh! It is not locked!”
On rare occasions, I cease to be “mommy”. Usually it’s for comedic effect or to get my attention, Mikey will refer to me as Jennifer. “Hey Jennifer, May I have some more fish?” he asked me at dinner one evening, or I’ve been struggling with a cold, and I am commanded “Hey Jennifer, blow your nose!” Well, I’ll tell you, I certainly jump when addressed with this tone
During a normal day in my ongoing frustration with the aging dog and her daily accidents, I prayed out loud to the heavens to please call “Puppy” home. A little while later while I was making lunch for the boys, Michael says to me in a little voice “Mom, I’m crying.”–which secretly makes me laugh and cry at his sensitivity. When I ask him why, he says, “Puppy is going to heaven.” I felt pretty badly about being so vocal about my feelings on “Methuselah” the geriatric pug. He has even learned from me to refer to Puppy as the “stupid dog”. I have even heard Mr. Smarty Pants say “There she is—old and crabby all the way!” Another one of my proud parenting moments… Again, the lesson here is not to say anything out loud that shouldn’t be repeated to my endless shame.
Something really beautiful about my dear Mikey, is that he is very gracious. We have worked hard at teaching the expression of gratitude. He thanks us repeatedly when he is given new toys. One day a boy from the neighborhood with exquisite manners, I might add, came to play, and when it was time for him to go home, Michael said “Thanks for playing with me.” It was so tender; it made me proud! Another time when a soccer coach at his school gave him a ball to keep he told me, “The nice man gave me a soccer ball—I thank god!”
The sense of humor our oldest has is frightfully mature and immature at the same time. I once told him to go find something he had misplaced; noticing he was staring into space with his hand down the back of his pants. His slow and glazed response was “I can’t, I am scratching my butt and smelling it.” I believe that was one of the few times in my life I was rendered speechless. When I finally recovered from the shock, I called one of my girl friends who gets a charge out of the ridiculous things this child does! In fact, one of the first stories I told this friend was when Michael was about 18 months old he was standing on a kitchen chair at grandmas. We told him to sit down before he fell, wherein he took it upon himself to respond by standing on one foot! I believe this story was the one that made everyone I told, weep for my future.
Pierce is coming up behind Mikey and learning more words every day. That combined with his tremendous ability to mimic, means I have years of more laughs and stories on the way.