Tiffiney asked me to post a bit about my favorite topic- MY KIDS! Most of the time people just have to smile and nod politely when I get going about my kiddos. So imagine my delight when I’m not only allowed, but invited in a public forum to brag about, wax nostalgic, and basically carry on about my own little beloveds? Happy mother’s day to me! One of my favorite things about children is their voices. The quality and sweet timbre of a little one just gets me every time. From the early coos of infancy that include every foreign sound on the face of the planet to the just slightly more refined babbling of a chubby babe trying to figure out where the sound even came from. Even the pterodactyl type screech that makes every stray dog in the neighborhood come running to my front yard is a noise that only a tot can produce. There is just something about a child’s voice that conjures up images of care-free days, giggling barefooted children frolicking in amber waves of grain, and overall, just a picture of sweet sweet innocence. Fast forward to toddler-hood when the juxtapositions of their sounds, words, and thoughts become the stuff that parent comedies are made of. A teacher by trade and coming from a family with assorted educational and developmental professionals, I understand that the errors that make my life so funny will soon pass. And so I cherish the sweet, silly, and sometimes nonsensical stuff that the kids in my family come up with.
Take Marshall and his failure to grasp pronouns. Upon seeing a friend in Chick-Fil-A he describes the scene as, “She with she mommy.” Who really needs possessive pronouns? Marshall also really likes to build “forks.” You know- when you take all the cushions, pillows and blankets from the couch and create a hide-away for your imaginary play? That’s a “fork,” folks. Helping verbs have got him stumped too at the moment. What he means is “I am.” What he says is “I are.” For example- “Are I gonna be 4? I are sweet. I are a great big brother.” I don’t think you officially learn to conjugate helping verbs til first grade or something, so no worries. Poor Uncle Tom has “die-da-bee-tees,” but please don’t tell Tom cuz that sounds way worse than just plain old diabetes. And when he’s drawing a picture of an “ol-vuh-cano” (volcano) it’s OK if he makes a mistake because he can always re-rase it with the re-raser on the end of the pencil. Every once in a while he’ll ask to go to our favorite coffee- stop “Spargucks.” Gotta love a kid who can appreciate that mama needs a boost of caffeine every now and then. And then there’s my favorite- “LuLu,” the affectionate and darling nickname he gave his baby sister Lily!
Speaking of Lily, some days I am brave enough to face the truth, and I admit to myself that she has pitter- pattered her way out of babyhood and is learning how to be a toddler. However, most days denial is a lovely place to be, so I choose to believe she’s staying permanently in infancy. While I’m desperate to find a cure for my kids growing up, I am enjoying her first words with the charming and unadulterated cadence and timbre of that baby voice. Haaaaaaah (hi) accompanied by a whole body wave to any and every one in her vicinity. Dada, bubba, and mama are often screeched at the decibel level of a fighter jet, but with that crinkled up nose, towheaded piggy tails and unexpected blue eyes, my delicate flower of a daughter can get away with it.
Truthfully, I won’t be sad when the all- encompassing MMMMM that indicates Lily wants something no one has yet thought to offer her is replaced with more meaningful vocabulary. But, I know the day will come when I will miss the “mistakes.” Like the day my nephew realized he has a belly button and not a “belly tuppon,” and therefore banished that sweet substitution from his vocabulary. I cherish the sweet and oh-too fleeting sounds and words of my little ones.
So for now, if you see me out and about with Marshall and Lulu just smile and say, “she with she babies,” and know that “I are blessed.”