I’m sitting at the kitchen table watching you dig in your green beans and corn, your chicken nuggets scarfed down and your watery juice already gone, too. You pick through your green beans, getting at the bits of bacon hiding between. I know you’re about to pick up your plate and throw it on the floor because the Pookie dog won’t eat any more dropped corn. She’s gotten finicky since you’ve been un-sneakily giving her food.
Just when did you get choosy about food? You used to eat anything, everything. I thought you loved corn and green beans. Have you learned pickiness from Pookie? You surely didn’t get it from your Daddy or me.
You’re squealing now. No, it’s more like whiny grunting. When did you decide that was acceptable behavior? Please use your words. I know you can say many of them. If you are done eating, say “all done.” Then I will take your plate and put it in the sink. If you want to get out of your booster seat, then say “up” and I will unbuckle you and lift you up and out. I know you can; you’ve said them many times before. You know a lot more than you let on. We have you mostly figured out. For now.
Actually, there are a few things I’d like to know. For instance, what do you mean when you whine “ohwhannee?” Do you mean “I want it” or “oh, honey”?
“I want it” is obvious. The long, high-pitched, debilitating noise coming from your mouth gave it away. You wouldn’t be whining if I knew what you wanted. But, what do you want exactly? I’m not a mind-reader, although I do try my best. And for goodness’ sake, stop whining if I have puzzled out your request. There’s no need to make that God-awful sound if I succeeded in solving your riddle.
Sometimes Mommy says “oh, honey” when she gets exasperated with your stupidity. I don’t mean YOU are dumb; you are anything but dumb. You just do ignorant things sometimes, but you’re supposed to. You’re only twenty months old. Mommy is still learning patience.
It’s ok if you are calling me honey. I’d rather you refer to me as “honey” than “Stacie.” Call me old-fashioned, but I’d like some semblance of nicety, respect. Anyone else, though, better choose another non-patronizing term of endearment. But, if you are saying “oh, honey” for the same reason I do, we’re going to have some issues.
Hey! You can address me as “Mommy!” I don’t mean only when you desperately want something or when you are hurt; it’d be nice to hear a “Mommy” merely for the sake of getting my attention. But I know I should be thankful that you say anything at all.
We’re in the living room now. One of these days, you will learn that just because you are free to roam about the cabin doesn’t mean you should. For the thousandth time, it is unacceptable to stand on tables. I appreciate your climbing ability. I’m impressed by your physical prowess, your inquisitiveness, your determination. But, after the first five Get-Down-Don’t-Climb-On-That’s, I start to lose the patience I fought so hard to attain.
Well, looky there. You took a hint after just four times! Now we’re getting somewhere.
You wander over to your book box, sit cross-legged next to it, dump all thirty-something out on top of you, and start perusing. You don’t know how much it thrills me when you choose reading books over climbing on furniture.
It’s obvious we will need a library in our new home. By “library,” of course I mean a couple of bookshelves shoved against the wall wherever they’ll fit. Between you and me, kid, we go through some books!
You make me so proud. It’s true. I’m constantly finding new reasons to brag about you. When you get older, you’ll think all I do is nag you and complain about you. If I forget to tell you, this is simply not the case. You really are a great boy, even though I may lose sight of this from time to time.
Please forgive me. I’m learning as you grow.