Tuesday, August 26, 2008

To Be One

Jeremy is almost 18 months old and there are days I envy him. I'd like to live his life for just one day. You see at that age you are really cute and can get away with pretty much anything. At the beach last week he saw some other boy his size had beach toys and just wandered over, sat down and proceeded to play with them (never mind that he had his own pile of beach toys, these were 'new' beach toys. And no one cares, no one says anything. At most people smile and nod. "Isn't that cute?" they think to themselves. The other child doesn't really care, there's someone else his size nearby who has just left open a pile of sand toys that are new to him. Can you imagine if we did the same thing? You know, you're on the beach and you've got your standard beach chair, and as you look around you you notice a better beach chair, perhaps a lounger so your legs can lay out. Maybe next to it is the latest issue of People that you haven't read yet. The owner is down by the shore so you just decide to walk over, sit in her chair and start reading her magazine. There's no way anyone would be cool with that. No matter how much you want a better place to sit and something new to read, you'd be told to F-off.
But you see, Jeremy's beach mooching does not end just at the beach toys. Oh no, it gets better. Sometime after he's played with the other child's toys he decides to come back and see me. When he does, he has a Timbit in hand. We did not buy any Timbits that day. He noticed a box of them sitting in someone's wagon and decided to help himelf. When I went to go over to close the Timbit box and apologise, Jeremy reaches in for more. The owner of the Timbits laughs and says that's okay he can have one, there's lots. What if the roles were reversed and I was the one reaching in the Timbits box? Again, I'd be deemed crazy and a social outcast. And Jeremy proceeded to mooch food the rest of the afternoon. Aside from the Timbits he got an assortment of chips, some licorace, and a bag of crispy minis. He was also able to convince one woman to open her cooler for him so he could rummage through. (He found some ice to play with). For the record, yes, I did bring our own lunch and assortment of beach snacks. And yes, I did try to intervene and keep him eating only the food we brought, but everyone around us thought he was cute and kept telling me it was okay. After a while, they just started to offer him things.
Another part of being one I'd like to experience is the sheer delight they find with everything. Jeremy loves water. Puddles, bathtime, streams...it doesn't matter. Everytime he sees it he shouts, "Waa Waa!". Repeatedly, until you show some acknowledgement that it's exciting and interesting too. The last stream Jeremy found he stood in the middle of, picked up rocks and threw them in, screaming with delight at their splash. And the fun-ness of this activity doesn't seem to wear off. He would stand there all day if one of us didn't pick up him to go somewhere else. And he can find water where there seemingly isn't any. Last Wednesday I took them to a park. Jeremy sat happily playing with the gravel as I helped Elijah ride the zip line, or so I thought. No, he wasn't really playing with the gravel. He was really digging it up until he hit water (it had rained the previous day). In the short time it took me to help Elijah on the zip line and come back, he had managed to dig himself quite the puddle and start rolling in it shouting, "Waa, waa!", and then proceeded to have a huge scream as I picked up and tryed to remind him of how much he enjoyed the swings on the other side of the park.
Jonathan recently introduced me to the comic Dylan Moran (who is hilarious btw if you are looking for something interestingon YouTube, type in Dylan Moran Monster). Anyway he has a theory that looking after children is like looking after drunks. It's so true. They can't walk well. Jeremy will be walking on the perfectly flat floor and trip and fall and cry. He walks into all kinds of walls and tables and chairs and looks at you as if to say, how did that get there. The need for instant gratification is huge. This morning I set out to make toast, Jeremy saw the bread and started to shout, "toa, toa". And the shouts became more persistant over the 4 minutes or so that it takes to make the toast. He took his plate off the counter and waved it at me. He went over to the kid cutlery drawer and found a fork for me (he eats everything with a fork, don't ask me why) and when the toast couldn't be ready fast enough for him, he decides that I'm just being mean about it and starts to cry. No amount of explaining or reassuring will soothe. There is no reasoning at this age. It's all in the moment here and now. When the toast is ready, I strap him into the booster seat, set the toast in front of him. He smiles at me with the biggest smile and says, "Toa!". He points again and says, "Mama, toa", still smiling. Just in case I don't get it. This toast is now the most wonderful thing in the world. And I'm now wonderful too because I've given it to him. Oh they are funny.

1 comment:

Jilly said...

Yes, it is a funny age, isn't it? Aaron is a real people person and he inevitably finds some older girl to push him on the swings, take him down the slide and basically amuse him whenever we are at a new place. Its super cute, and they are always charmed.

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