Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Fill Up

Critter is on the cusp of speaking. For a long while now, he has told elaborate stories, his big blue eyes sparkling and his little hands dancing around for added effect. I could watch him all day, painting his tales in the air with fat and sticky little jelly tainted fingers. And I do, my eyes bouncing back and forth between those hypnotizing eyes and the deliberate motion of his fat little arms like a mother's pendulum. All day long he shares his stories with me, and all day long I try to keep a straight face and carry on my end of the conversation. Our conversations are indeed two sided, but only one side of them is in English. The other one is in a much practiced language that consists of eternally long vowel conjugations, jiggly cheeks, and painting fingers.

He does say a few words, even if at this point they are approximations. Whenever his Daddy walks into the house, his feet take on a running cadence and his shouts loudly exclaim, "Dah!" as he runs to hug a couple kneecaps. If he's looking for his brother, he will knock on his bedroom door(this is almost sad to watch if Smoochie is in school), and lean in to press his little lips to the painted wood and proclaim, "Gaa!"

One of my favorites to watch is what sounds like little death threats in every parking lot we traverse, as each car passes us by, Critter waving one hand in an exuberant farewell while declaring his own verbal farewell, "Die Die". Every time I hear his approximation of Bye Bye, my mind automatically conjures up an image of SideShow Bob explaining, "No, it doesn't say Die Bart, Die, it says THE Bart, THE."

One of HIS favorite words is quite pleasing to hear. He uses it a million times a day, both as he is giving his Mama an offering of something torn, ripped, spilled, or broken (or simply sharing but at 20 months this is quite rare) and as he is given something he has asked for. He will focus on your eyes with his little blue sparklers and convey his thanks with a, "coo goo" (thank you). A million times a day I am blessed with an approximation of thanks.

Yesterday I started wondering why none of his approximations included my name. Ever. There's no ma, mama, mum, mom, or anything that even might remotely resemble any of the above forms for what I am called. And you know, I'm the one he's with 98% of his time. Bathings and feedings, diaper changes and kissed boo-boos, vastly performed by me. Heck, I'd be happy to hear an approximation of "Chas", as long as I could watch him joyfully paint the air with his fingers while he said it. But alas, there is nothing.

About the time I was thinking these things, he came and gave me a microscopic scrap of paper he had found in his spelunking adventures in his home, and engaged me in his conversation. Handing it to me like a new found treasure, he smiled, shrugged his shoulders, and stated, "Coo goo."

It was then that I realized I'd much rather hear my boy say thank you than Mama. A million times a day 'thank you' is much more pleasant to listen to than a million times a day 'Mama'. Maybe I should be thankful for what I have rather than longing for what I haven't got. I've got a high spirited, independent, engaging little boy who is healthy and cute as a button. Who cares if I ever hear the word, "Mom" from him? Thank you is enough. Thank you reminds me to be grateful.

Of course, it was as if he could read my thoughts in that moment. A short time later after a diaper change (and before the obligatory after diaper change tickle) his lips contorted into an unfamiliar shaping and uttered the sound, "Mmmmmmmmmmmum-mum."

(And of course) He was lifted up, squeezed to the point of popping, and peppered with kisses while he cried out in protest, "Aaaaaaaargh!" But it was too late, my heart was already overfull with thanks.


Jafael said...

That is the sweetest story!

Mom said...

That was a awesome story! And your right thank you is easier to hear, because once they start using Mom you want to change your name because you hear it way to much. LOL

for a different kind of girl said...

So sweet, indeed! I loved this stage in my boys' lives, and carrying on fun one-sided conversations with them. Of course, when they get the hand of saying Mom down, you'll be hearing it a ton. I still think hearing the thank you's is fantastic...even if sometimes I have to remind them to say it!

cindy said...

way to go mum - patience can seem endless but the end result is always the same - job well done Emmett you just made your mum's day, month and year - love you all now work on Aunt Cindy or nt ninny will do - xxxxxoooooo