Many may think having a two-year-old boy is just asking for a hoarse voice, ceaseless headache, and thinned patience from dawn until dusk. I, however, think it is a priceless gift of endless laughter. Case in point: Jeffrey. Dale, my husband, and I had the pleasure of spending time with Jeffrey and his parents in Denver this past weekend. With his youthful innocence and eagerness to become one with our adult world, Jeffrey provided us with a laundry list of good stories to talk and laugh about after returning home.
Parrot is appropriately Nickname No. 1 for him right now because Jeffrey likes to repeat what those around him say. This habit can be absolutely hilarious at times, like when I was talking to Parrot about a storm we were experiencing. Rather than being frightened by storms, he finds them to be a great opportunity to use his newly learned vocabulary (i.e., thunder and lightning). The conversation went something like this:
Heather: “There’s lightening,” I announced boisterously.
Parrot: “Lightening,” he replied.
Heather: “It’s so exciting!” I said with a hushed tone.
Parrot: “Exciting,” he repeated with a similarly hushed tone.
Okay, so maybe that doesn’t come across real funny within the limits of writing, but his dad and I got a good chuckle out of Parrot’s ability to take things to the next level on his own initiative – parroting words and intonation. This kid’s got talent!
A not-so-fun parroting experience for his unsuspecting parents occurred before our visit when they were driving through an area with waterfalls. Apparently obsessed with the way the word rolled off of his tiny tongue, Little Man (Nickname No. 2) yelled “waterfall” incessantly for hours, unable to satisfy his need to share the word with the world. During our stay with him the word changed to “tunnel,” and his obsession shifted to wanting to continually see and/or go through tunnels. Although Little Man’s mother patiently explained to him that she was not capable of creating tunnels on command, he would not be convinced, so “tunnel” echoed throughout the car during our oh so long drive back from camping. Well, at least the decibel level varied periodically.
Another form of his youth was apparent during an eight or so mile hike we went on in the Roosevelt National Forest. J.C. (Nickname No. 3), being the lucky two-year-old that he is, was strapped to Dale’s back for the duration of the hike. (Yes, poor Dale, but he was sufficiently rewarded for his selfless service with beer, dinner, and even a back and shoulder rub with massage oil, no less.) The uneven terrain made for a bumpy ride, but J.C. was not dissuaded from sleeping. Oh no, not this toddler. Falling asleep effortlessly, his precious blond head bounced thump, thump, thump like a wet noodle with every step Dale took.
So if you’re in need of some good laughs this Wednesday to pull you through the week, have a fresh eye and attitude when spending time with your kids – rather than letting their quirkish, exhausting, and, at times, annoying, behaviors drive you to the insane asylum, look for ways to appreciate their youth while it lasts. If you don’t have kids, call up a friend who does and ask him or her to share some funny stories with you, or, better yet, arrange to spend time with the friend’s kid(s). Thanks to Jeffrey (a.k.a. Parrot, Little Man, J.C.), Dale and I have enough healthy giggles to last us for many days.