It’s Not All Mary Poppins


Mother and son sit on my front hall floor, engrossed in the business of putting on his shoes, curly blond head nestled against graying blond head. It’s a cute tableau, and I smile even as I look down on inch-long gray roots. Time for a touch-up, mom.

“Push little foot!” Mommy’s voice is sing-song and cheerful. My smile becomes a teeny bit fixed. I am not a huge fan of babytalk, but they’ll be gone soon. I can gag in private in a few minutes.

The child grunts a bit, but makes no discernable pushing motion of his foot into his shoe. Mom’s being had here. This child can put his own shoes on. Takes him two minutes, tops. Oddly, I know mom knows this. Some days she has him do it. But today is a gooey day.

“Push! Push little foot!”
More push-less grunting.
“No? Can’t? Okay, I will help little boy. Oh, look! Little shoe!” She’s so happy.
Mommy slides the shoe on.
“There! All done! Shoe on little foot!”

He hops off her lap, and, happy child that he is, hops around the front hall. Bounce, bounce, bounce.
The mother smiles. “Oh, happy boi-oy!”

He laughs. He is a happy boy. He is also three years old. It has been close to a year and a half since he’s spoken the way his mother has been speaking to him for the past five minutes. Interestingly, this normally chatterbox boy hasn’t yet spoken a word in response. Perhaps he doesn’t understand Baby?

“Okay, now. Say ‘bye-bye’ to Wee-wee.”


“Wee-wee?” It’s been close to two years since he’s used that annoying diminuitive of my name. It lasted about three weeks. I mean, does anyone really want their nick-name to be a bodily fluid? I haven’t heard it in two years (less three weeks). I had no idea it was ongoing at home. It’s a bit of a start to hear it at all, much less from the lips of someone pretty nearly my age. Isn’t forty-mrhph old enough to know better?

Thank goodness this verbal retrogression is only an occasional thing. On a daily basis, it would leave my fingers itching for a muzzle. Or the ever-handy duct tape. The return to ooey-gooey babytalk always has me scratching my head. Once you’ve left it behind, why go back? What need of her is it filling? What mood does it express? Or is she just privately assured that there too little Inane in the world?

“Wee-wee.” Yeesh.

July 21, 2008 Posted by | parents, quirks and quirkiness, the dark side | | 10 Comments