learning curves & substitutions

11 08 2010

scene 1: early afternoon, the home office. from the open window come a light breeze, warm air & bright sunlight wafting & reflecting (in that order) off the house next door, & the sounds of cars rolling by, glass wind-chimes knocking together gently, & cicadas singing in waves. wolf_majas & i have been busily working all day at our respective desks on syllabi & assignment calendars (me) & dissertation chapters (him). i’m cranky, restless, & prone to random announcements when i’m like that.

“i want queso,” i declare into the quiet room.
queso?” he asks, like it’s the weirdest thing he’s heard all day, perhaps because it is. “queso. really. are you sure you’re not…”
“i’m positive,” i promise, so we start looking for recipes that use things we have on hand.
silly boy doesn’t know an unusual craving from a quite rudimentary one: i’m not pregnant. i’m texan.

scene 2 (i call this one “why having a 2-year-old is like having a puppy that talks”): wolf_majas is herding the small boy, one tiny, both-feet-in-succession, danging-from-the-railing-with-both-hands step at a time down the long, straight flight of front-door stairs, painted slick and shiny and industrial grey in a grey-blue hallway,and heading down out of the darkness into the bright green front yard to strap the latter into the crayola-red baby-swing hanging from the linden tree. part of why caleb is having trouble concentrating on the stairs is because he’s thinking, instead, about my face as i advised his father to hustle him out of the apartment so they could keep an air of positivity about the whole potty-training experience even in light of “accidents.”

“tyra’s not happy?” caleb says, inching a little foot maddening slowly toward the next step down.
“no,” daddy agrees, “tyra’s not very happy right now.”
we’ve agreed that, general positive spin or not, truth is always the best policy with a precocious, empathetic child, because if you lie about what he perceives, he’ll have to either learn, ridiculously early in life, to mistrust his people-reading or to mistrust his translators, and we don’t want to impart either of those lessons.
“why tyra’s not happy?”
“because you peed on her sweaters.”
“oh. [pause] can i go say sorry to tyra?”
here daddy pauses, to listen to the sound of stomping on the floor just left behind.
“…i think you’d better give her a few minutes.”




One response

11 08 2010

wow . . .i don’t even know what to say to that . . .

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