Thursday, November 13, 2008

Da-da-da-DAMN. And Mama.

I was hoping to have an update for you on Junior's toddler adventures. So far, the biggest thing that's come out of his new venture in cling-walking is our bemusement over how many things are actually at a level of about twenty-four inches off the ground.

Drawers, laser printers, tabletops and their contents--or, let's be accurate--former contents, having been swept onto the carpet by an experimental hand. But that's all good. Those tabletops needed a good clearing, so I'm taking it as a positive sign of his wanting to help with housework.

The big news on this front is he's saying Mama. And Daddy. Sort of. Well, okay. When I say, "Can you say MAMA? MAMA?" he grins at me and instantly says, "Mama-na. Mama-na." And when he wants breastmilk, he says, "Mama-na. Mama-na." Which is good enough for me. I don't mind being a blend of mom, milk, and breast. He's saying the word. He knows it's a word. It brings tears to my eyes.

Eager to share the wealth, I go on, "Can you say DADDY? DADDY?" He looks over at his dad and with astonishing consistency, says, "Da-da-da-DAMN! Da-DAMN."

A smart cookie, my boy. Too smart. I look over at the cringing da-DAMN in question. I think about the Thanksgiving dinner to come, about Junior showing off his new speaking skills and his prescient discovery of cursing in front of all those decent people, people who give a da-DAMN about good behavior, and I wonder whether he really is saying what I think he's saying...or if he's saying what I fear he's saying. And I realize I've got to clean up what has become, for me, a very dirty act, and soon, or Junior's going to start soaking up curses like a sponge. And as much as I'd like to blame his da-da-da-DAMN, just like the sweetest people make the most vile-tongued motorists, I've gotten into some bad habits staying out of the public eye for so long, and..well...

"Say MAMA," I implore. "Can you say MAMA?"


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