It's time for a game:
- "When I'm taller, you'll be little."
- "My hair looks, like, amazing."
- "Come sing Jingle Bells on my pirate ship."
- "When your hair turns gray, then you and grandpa will have gray hair."
- "I'll put the little baby on my back."
- "I just want to look at daddy." Given as a reason for repeatedly getting out of bed and coming into the front room after bedtime. Not even mommy says this.
- "I can't wait for my birthday so I can be born."
- "Is she a dinosaur?" Referring to the lady sharing a grocery store aisle with my son.
- "I just want to sing to the blinds."
1) My son. 2) My son. 3) My son 4) My son. 5) My son. 6) My son. 7) My son. 8) My son. 9) Me in college. And my 3-year-old son, many years later. No paternity test needed.
These are all things a drunk person is perfectly capable of saying, but that's not where I heard them.
For a long time I've considered myself an on-the-fence fiction writer. I'd love to give it a try at some point, and just never have. Even in my best moments of inspiration however, I don't think I could pen these kinds of lines.
They're beautiful in their innocence. They're perfect in their delivery. They're given with a charming toddler smile that makes him look like he's practicing to get out of traffic tickets when he's old enough to drive.
They're delivered when he's goofing around lightheartedly, and when he's about to find himself in trouble. I've found myself laughing uncontrollably and then saying: "Don't do that" way too many times. Trust me, it's not an effective parenting technique.
Let's face it, infants aren't very communicative. They poop. They cry. They're hungry. They cry. They are hot or cold - you guessed it, they cry. That's instinct. But that cute infant smile, and the ability to charm - that part is learned.
When kids learn to talk, the dynamic for parents shifts away from pure life sustainment. But that ability to talk doesn't mean they'll immediately be able to discuss the merits of Donald versus Hillary, or pass a logic class.
Sometimes their communications experiments manifest in tantrums. Other times what comes out doesn't make a lick of sense in the adult world, but it is imaginative and golden.
I'd rather sing to the blinds, or sing Jingle Bells on a pirate ship than have an adult conversation about this presidential election. They brazenly point out that they'll likely grow taller than you some day and they have amazing hair -- the complete package.
There's a method to the madness, and the wheels are clearly turning -- even when you can't predict where they're headed. A 3-year-old is full of a logic that is drunken yet sobering.
If you don't believe me, try repeating any of those nine quotes with zero alcohol or context. The best case scenario someone looks at you like you have three heads. As a society we grant more leeway to the young and the drunk.