Saturday, January 17, 2009

The incredibly mediocre pretender

J is growing up. I love it and hate it all at once. The boy who, a few short months ago, would always say "I were" is now not only saying "I was" but is actually correcting the poor grammar of random cartoon characters.

J: How come he says "I did saw a puddy tat" instead of "I did see ..."?

(My BAAAAAAABY!!!!! *sob*)

And N is getting bigger and bigger, too. Today, we packed up his old clothes. My last baby. This kind of thing makes me happy and sad all at once. I'm glad he's growing, but I miss my tiny baby. Is it good? Is it bad? It's a toss-up, really.


We took the kids to the ice festival. It was only slightly affected by the uncharacteristically warm weather. A chunk of one melty ice sculpture fell to the ground with a large clunk as we walked by. But J still got to go down the ice slides. And see the ice maze. And the dragon and dinosaur sculptures, and of course the big castle which they guarded, which was quite spectacular. So he had lots of fun. Hard to push a stroller through slush and crowds, but all told a good experience.

When we left, J decided that he was going to pretend to be the ice dragon. And H was to be the dinosaur.

H: And what's mommy? Is she the castle? Or the slide?
J: No. Mommy is the Ice Princess.
H: Oh!
J: And the dragon and the dinosaur will fight each other.
H: Really?
J: Yes. But the dragon will protect the Ice Princess.
H: Okay.
J: The dragon says "ROAR"! And the dinosaur says "ROAR"!
H: Okay. ROAR!
J: ROAR! And the dragon and the dinosaur fight.
H: And what does the Ice Princess do?
J: Nothing. She doesn't do anything. She just sits there in the chair.
H: She just sits there and does nothing while we try to kill each other?
J: Yes.
T: I was totally cut out for this job.


Clearly, J is really into imaginative play now. But he's not so good with improvisation. As a result, J's particular brand of imaginative play is a bit tough to take for any extended period. It goes something like this.

J: I'm going to be the Mommy Ghost. And you be the Baby Ghost.
T: Ok. I'm Baby Ghost.
J: Hi. I'm Mommy Ghost.
T: Hi Mommy.
J: No! Mommy Ghost!
T: Oh, sorry. Hi Mommy Ghost.
J: Hi Baby Ghost. (pause) Baby Ghost?
T: Yes, Mommy Ghost?
J: Can you say "Where's my Mommy Ghost"?
T: Where's my Mommy Ghost?
J: Now laugh at this!
T: Ha ha ha ha ha!!
J: Good Baby Ghost. Now you can go to preschool!

And it only gets worse from there.

J: Daddy. Can you pretend to be the wishing well with the big purple light?
H: Ok. I'm the wishing well with the big purple light.
J: No! Talk like the wishing well!
H: (in the standard very deep voice he uses for all things inanimate) I'm the wishing well with the big purple light.
J: Hi wishing well with the big purple light.
H: Hi J.
J: Wishing well with the big purple light?
H: Yes, J.
J: Why do you have a big purple light?
H: I don't know. I just do.
J: No! You say "Because I'm the wishing well"!
H: Oh. Ok. Because I'm the wishing well.
J: Oh! (pause) Wishing well with the big purple light?
H: J, can I please talk to Mommy for a minute?
J: No! Wishing well with the big purple light?

It is at this point that H and I generally consider searching for a wishing well with a big purple light so we can jump in and just really wish for it to kill us quickly. But clearer heads prevail and we continue to play. If under protest.


J likes things of the same basic shape and colour to be together. Especially if they are different sizes. He groups these things together all the time. And if you try to put anything away, he will flip out about it. His logic is quite rational, really.

J: No! This is the mommy yellow ball, and this is the baby yellow ball! They have to stay together!!


A kid who constantly looks for the loophole, you really have to be specific when giving J directions. It is not sufficient to just say, for example, "Don't wake up your brother" ... he will plead ignorance when he does so. He needs detail. Such as:

T: J, please don't wake your brother. Don't scream his name. Or anything else. Or raise your voice. Or smack him on the head. Or pat him on the head. In fact, smacking or patting him at all is generally not okay right now. Don't pinch his cheeks. Or his hand. Or any other part of him. Or pull on his clothes. Or his feet. Or his hands. Or his head. Or anything else somehow attached to him. And don't push his swing. Or stop his swing. Or hammer, or saw, or screw his swing. Or jump up and down in front of him and shake his swing. Or throw your toys at his swing. Or at him. Or in his general direction. Or down the stairs. Or into that tree. Or any other tree. Maybe just don't throw things in general, okay? Just. Please. Don't. Wake. Your. Brother.

But he still finds a way. Oh yes, he does.


And so it goes. This is our life. It's a good life. Really.

And I guess the good thing about them growing up is that their quality of imaginative play and interpretation is bound to improve as they age. Right?




Captain Dumbass said...

Is that the festival with the scary snowman? Or is that before Christmas? That snowman scared the crap outta me when I was a kid.

iMommy said...

Ha! We're at the same place with Boopie right now... I can't say whether it gets better, so I'll hope and pray with you!

steenky bee said...

A piece of me dies each time my son learns the proper way to pronounce something. I almost broke down in tears when he figured out the correct way to position his hands to mimic Spiderman casting his webs. Sigh.

anymommy said...

Oh me too. I am soooo cut out for that job. I feel exactly the same way, growing every day, so fast I can't keep up. It makes me so happy and proud and so painfully sad.

Momma Trish said...

Cap'n - Different festival. But I agree; that snowman is terrifying!

iMommy - Oh, please, let it get better!

Steenky Bee - J's not doing that one yet. But I lose it whenever he does new things.

Anymommy - Parenting is just a mixed bag of emotion, huh?