Saturday, 8 August 2015

Big mouth, smarty-pants: The three-nager emerges

I get to spend a good chunk of my time these days laughing my butt off.  Ethan is blooming into this little mouth on legs, full of interesting points of view, jokes and clever little quips.  Much of my laughing comes out of sheer surprise at the ways he's spontaneously decided to put words, phrases and concepts together in his own novel, unique way. 
I just have to share with you some of more hilarious things he comes out with:

1) New improved food names - Saying things right is tough, and made up words are more fun anyways, we think.  So his unintentional renaming of foods is totally brilliant.  Not cucumber, it's 'fewcumber'.  Not marshmallow, it's 'arse-mallow'.  There's also 'chino', short for cappuccino, which refers to any warm, milky, preferably chocolate-based beverage. And banana phone, which a a normal banana that we pretend to talk into, with a very serious looking face, before cracking open.

2) Onomatopoeia names - There are many hilarious times when he goes about naming things like an Australian.  The names don't sound right, but you have pretty good idea about what he's referring to because it just sounds like a sort of description of that thing.  The other day, squirt gun in hand, he says, 'Mama, I need to phew you....PHEW-phew! PHEW-PHEW!' He pretends to shoot me.  Or that the 'Tig-tig-ah' is the guitar.  He says it such a melodious way, it almost sound like strumming a tune.  Or when he asks me to 'cheese' him, which means, 'Take my photo.'
3) Daddy- related things - The relationship between daddy and boy is really a kind of playful power struggle wrapped in fascination with a big dose of admiration.  Ethan kind of wants to be him, kind of wants to get the better of him.  Ethan's words for daddy's things include: 'daddy's milk' (beer), 'daddy's rainbow' (the mouth guard Thom wears at night to stop grinding his teeth), ‘daddy's doggy’ (the paw print tattoo on Thomas wrist).  There are also the comparisons Ethan regularly makes about the similarities and differences between him and daddy.  The other morning he crept into the bedroom.  I spied him out of one half open eye at Thom's side of the bed, inspecting daddy intently before exclaiming at the top of his lungs, 'I have tiny fingers!'  And then there are willies, a club that I am seemingly excluded from, but is a topic of discussion for the fellas of the house.  I overhear him noting the criteria of their exclusive club with, 'You have a winky, dad? I have a winky, too!'

4) The 'shut up and stop being so clever' things - When he was my little bundle of baby fat, the hierarchy was clear cut.  We were the clever ones and he didn't know much.  Now, it is fairly obvious that the old guard is fading and clever clogs is asserting his smarty pants all over the place.  It sucks to be put in your place by a three year old, but that is apparently how it goes sometimes.  It goes like this:
Thom flicking through Instagram, 'Everyone thinks they're a model now! I could be a bloody model!' Ethan, ‘You not.' Thom looks at him open mouthed as Ethan chews a mouthful of cereal, then adds, 'I am!' 
Or when we were informed by his nursery that he was the ring leader in all the little boys covering themselves with coloured marker drawings.  As Thom was washing him off, he explained that we don't draw on ourselves, to which Ethan pointed at Thom's tattoos and astutely replied, 'But daddy do it.'

5) The world revolves around me things – It’s great that he is allowed this brief window of time where everything can seem to be about him.  As challenging as that can feel at times for the parent, it offers some hilarious times that leave me tears.  While strolling through the grocery store, an announcement booms over our heads calling for all checkout people.  Ethan, looking shocked, yells out, ‘Someone’s talking to me!’  Or when I took him to London, stopping of at my office briefly for some lunch and a potty break.  He’s meeting my colleagues and loving all the attention.  One woman I work with comes into the office and greets him with a smile, and he says, ‘You come to say hi to Ethan, too!’

He is scarily sprouting new words and phrases all the time.  Getting far too grown up for me to feel comfortable!  I ran into a friend from baby massage class in what seems like another universe now.  I remember us chatting away over our little, delicate lumps of baby.  It seems now that in those times, their little personalities were hidden, like their arms and legs under baby fat, waiting to emerge.  It struck me, as I chatted with my friend the other day, how different our little ones were now.  Still our babies, but mostly only because we knew that these chatty, opinionated little beings were physically the same as those little lumps of baby fat we massaged somewhere in the seemingly distant past.  I sometimes miss that little ball of cuddly baby, but he's so fun now, I really couldn't choose which stage is better.   It would be impossible to choose.