Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sticks and stones....

When the boys were little, we could hardly wait for their first words.  We were lucky in that we did not have to wait very long for them - by thirteen months they could already say thirty words.  We were thrilled.  Life consisted of engineering opportunities for our marvelous children to show off their amazing skills.  We would introduce strange topics into the conversation in the hopes that the boys would overhear and demonstrate their unique abilities.  I once caught myself talking for almost ten minutes on end about the Crocodile Hunter, much to the bemusement of my guests (that was around the time the boys first started talking about crocodiles). One would have thought that we were the only parents ever to have witnessed their children uttering words.

Now, it seems, it is the getting them to stop talking that is the real key.  We have both been unpleasantly surprised to hear a loud voice echoing through the congregation at church: "Don't worry, I'll be back" - in true Rambo style as the boys left to go to their children's classes (to the amusement of the audience).

However, the latest occurred when, surrounded by my friends who were at my house for a play-date, one of my little firemen announced to me in a stage whisper: "I don't want to play with Sam anymore.  He is a miscreant." Where he would have learnt a word like that in the first place is still open to speculation, but to use it in such perfect context and with such assurance was what got to me.  When I tried to shush him with an Evil Eye stare, he merely thought I had not understood him and repeated himself with more emphasis and in louder tones.  Eventually, I had to hustle him out just to keep him quiet.

We all long for the days that those babbles turn into first words, but sometimes, the peace is something we look back on with fond remembrance.  The days of calmly walking through the supermarket not wondering when one of the boys will remark loudly on something they find unusual or interesting, like "I did a pardon-me that was louder than a monster truck" (referring to his breaking wind of which he seemed particularly proud), are long gone.  Well, it is not a smooth path, but it certainly is an interesting ride!

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