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Baby Stories

March 5, 2007

We have a new bedtime routine at our house when the 8-year-old is the only child. This happens a couple of nights per week and it’s hard on him, because he’s used to having the other kids there. I have no idea what goes through his head because I was an only child and always slept alone when I was a kid. He has issues, though. I guess he misses the sound of breathing in the bunk underneath him.

Bedtime with everyone (smooches and hugs, get up there, let’s go, say prayers, no talking, yes – ONE drink) is a cinch. Bedtime with one can be a drawn-out affair. I’ve discovered the most effective cure… baby stories. They seem to be soothing and leave him in a warm, snuggly place right before he drifts off to dreamland.

The most recent baby story wasn’t really a baby story. He was quick to remind me that baby stories only count if they happened before he was two. I think this was really a ploy to get one more baby story out of me before I left the room. So he wasn’t two, he was three. We were in the car on the way up to Longmont, which used to be a big chunk of our daily routine. I worked in Boulder and Grammy watched him during the day. We would chit-chat about whatever happened to matter at the time. He especially liked to watch the hot air balloons in the sky and we would pick out the highest balloon, the prettiest balloon, the balloon with the most colors. For some reason he wasn’t interested in balloons this particular morning. He had something else on his mind and he was quiet in the backseat. I like quiet, so I was rolling with it, not interrupting his little thought processes.

Finally, he pops up with a question. “Mommy, how long till I’m eighteen?”

Truly, I’m shocked by this question. I can’t even imagine him being eighteen at this point! “A long time, sweetie! Why are you worried about being eighteen? I’m really happy that you’re just three! Three is a great age to be, don’t you think?”

He thinks for a brief second, then says, “But I want to be able to make phone calls.”

I’m completely lost now. “Sweetie, you make phone calls all the time. You call Daddy, you call Grammy… I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

He’s shaking his head in the backseat now, the “I know exactly what I’m talking about” look on his face. “No, Mommy, it says on TV ‘must be eighteen or older to call.'”

I had to pull the car over to the side of the road. I’m thankful now that I had not had my usual 44 oz. Diet Dr. Pepper. I laughed until I cried. Poor kid sat in the backseat laughing with me, but I think he was laughing at me laughing, not because he understood why the situation was funny. When I finally got ahold of myself, I explained to him that this only applied when you wanted to call an 800 number to buy something, not to just calling anyone at anytime.

What a glimpse into the literal mind of a three-year-old I got that day. I’m still amazed at how much he picked up and the way he turned all of the pieces over in his brain until they fit together. I resolved to be more careful with my words around him. I also resolved to let him watch less Spongebob – I’m sure Nickelodeon is where he learned this particular phraseology. He’s such a little sponge, himself! Thinking back on it makes me smile even now. I can still see his little face, so serious, so sure. TV said it, it must be true!

He’s MUCH wiser now… five more years under his belt. And he’s concerned with much more grownup things – like basketball, earning allowance, and what he’s going to be for Halloween this year. But it’s fun for us both to think back. After all, it’s been eight years since he was just a little bundle of blue, since I counted his tiny fingers and toes and looked into his eyes wondering what kind of person he would grow up to be. He hasn’t disappointed me. He’s a great kid. But every now and then, I miss the smell of Baby Magic in his hair, the way he was content to just lay in my arms, the completely uninhibited giggles.

I miss the three-year-old stuff, too (even if it doesn’t count as a baby story). I miss the way he used to run for me when I picked him up and cover my face with kisses, little arms thrown around my neck. So we wander through babyland (or three-year-old land) together and it seems to make sleep sweeter for us both.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2007 1:53 am

    Very sweet and funny story. You are pretty good at this blogging stuff.

  2. Lynda permalink
    March 6, 2007 3:19 am

    I remember your mom telling me when this happened and it still tickles me. I love that little guy of yours!!

  3. Keith permalink
    March 6, 2007 4:58 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful how children sort out the world. It goes on all the time.

    Some people never quit sorting out what is happening around them. Others just give up and quit.

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