Monday, August 15, 2011

What's That Fing, Mommy?

As those of you who know our kids and/or read my blog often know, Cal is a very figurative thinker who is astute at voicing similes. He called bowtie pasta “like a ceiling fan” the other day. I have a necklace with a round pendant on it that he says is, “like a tire swing.” Clouds are blankies, half-eaten crackers are stars, bears, Gammy's Kitchen Aid mixer’s front knob is its nose, etc. Lately both boys are not only soaking up anything new by asking, “What’s that, Mommy? What’s that fing? (thing) when they see unfamiliar objects, they also test me constantly. They pick up something familiar, like say a crumb from their toast, and say, “What’s that, Mommy? What’s that?” in their most inquisitive voices. Hopefully I pass the test by naming the toast crumb and they smile with a reassuring smile and say, “Yes!” I’m waiting for the day they hand me a gold star sticker or a free homework pass.

So Cal likes to ask what something is and then add his simile in there as if he is guiding me to see things the way he seems them I love it. Only occasionally does something happen like he grabs my or a girl friend or aunt’s or grandma’s chest and ask, “What’s that, Mommy?” Awk. Ward.

Constantly listening to, “What’s that fing?” over and over does get old after awhile, but seeing the world through their eyes is still exciting. As we were walking past a restaurant the other day Cal asked, “What’s that fing? What’s that restaurant?” Nice. I told him it was Macaroni Grill. He immediately responded, “Eat it?”
navigating the metro system

Clark likes to ask what things are and then respond with, “like on TV!” with great enthusiasm. Since they see all kinds of things on their favorite movies to watch ever, the Signing Time series, (which I HIGHLY recommend) they see, for instance, stalks of corn growing in a field at the farm we’ve been to a few times and say, “like on TV!” That is when I grimace inside and try to come to terms with the fact that it’s okay that my kids aren’t growing up in gardens and barns and forests like I did, where novel things on TV were cities and buses and professional sports. Which is more practical to know, how to plant potatoes and grow beans on poles, or how to navigate a bus system? It’s hard to say. But I’m pretty sure there are more buses than bean poles in the world and so I hereby proclaim that it is okay to raise kids here. And then they point at the baby chicks at the farm and scream, “like on TV!” and I grimace again, but not as much because I remember the unpleasant chicken coops I had to clean when I was little. 

Then I go home and wash all our hands well and order takeout from one of the twenty restaurants across the street from our house. After dinner we sit on our balcony with wine and watch the airplanes come and go in the twilight. The stars aren’t as bright here as in rural Idaho, but I do overall feel a bit cleaner and less chicken-y. That’s worth something…right?

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