Fun on a bus

We took several different buses this weekend to do some Christmas shopping. Our son loves it. He asks questions about everything that is going on, comments what everyone is doing and of course, being so awfully cute and funny (no bias here), he makes everyone smile (or laugh) and total strangers often start talking to him.

On one bus, though, that goes through the very poor downtown core, a strange lady who sat next to us pushed this a little bit too far. She started touching our son (pinching his cheek and such) and making funny noises like you would do for a dog. Zak, who had him on his lap, moved him a bit further from the lady, who eventually got up and sat somewhere else. Strange or not, I don’t like people touching my son, just like I wouldn’t have like a total stranger touching my belly when I was pregnant (luckily, it never happened to me).

On another bus, our boy was sitting on me and commenting everything. A man got on the bus and went to sit at the back. A lady hopped on at the next stop and our boy said:
- She’s going to go sit by the man?
- Maybe, I said (what else could I say?).
But the lady didn’t. She preferred to sit across the isle from the man, on another empty seat. Our boy exclaimed:
- She didn’t sit next to him. Maybe he stinks?

Zak and I were trying not to laugh too loud. Thankfully, his pronunciation is far from perfect and people around us didn’t seem to understand what he said, but we certainly did! I tried to explain that you shouldn’t tell people that they stink, but it’s hard to explain that to a 2-year-old, especially since Zak and I tend to tell each other that we stink on bean nights… I guess we’re giving him a bad example!

Babbling and other cutenesses

Things are going great at home. We are in a period of ease with our son: he is sleeping decently, he’s not being too confrontational and he’s just so cute! When he goes to bed, after I have tucked him in, he asks for another hug and kiss from Papa. Then we sometimes hear him babble in bed, and I have to admit we spy on him by turning on the monitor. We then listen to him inventing conversations between his bears, or singing songs (real ones or made up ones).

He still wakes up too early (like, 5) several times a week and I have to go tuck him back in (he tends to end up on top of his covers). But then he sometimes sleep until 6:30 and when he calls me again, he asks me “Is it morning now?” He says more and more French words, even though his sentences are still only in English. When we go to toy stores to see what we could ask Santa to bring him for Christmas, he wants everything, but really he’s just happy to play with display toys and leaves the store empty-handed without a fight (after asking us for “just 2 more minutes” several times, but still).

Really, things are going well. I’m looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree on Sunday. This time he’ll really be able to participate, and I’m sure he’ll love it!

Bougou!

Now that our son can make complete sentences and tell stories that last for 10 minutes, you’d think we’d be able to understand him all the time. But no. He has recently decided that “real” words were overrated, and he frequently reverts to invented words to answer to our questions, “bougou” being his favorite. I don’t know if he makes up words when he doesn’t know the real ones, but I doubt it. It seems to be either when he’s frustrated (like when we ask him to do something he doesn’t want to do) or when he wants to be funny that he will answer our questions with intelligible blabber. In the first scenario, for instance if I say it’s time to change his diaper and he doesn’t agree, the blabber is usually accompanied with some “I hit you” gesture – he doesn’t actually hit us, but he pretends to hit us while shouting “bougou”. This behaviour tends to increase our own frustration, therefore provoking a “I’m serious, stop being silly” response that probably only reinforces the behaviour. Kids know how to push our buttons.

But why, oh why? We’re talking about a child who has been able to explain what he wants to us, using words, since he’s about 18 months. Sure, sometimes we’ll have to ask him to repeat several times or rephrase before we can understand his pronunciation, and sometimes he doesn’t know a word and he’ll just say “that” and point, but in general, his language skills are amazing for his age. We’re not used to not understanding him! But he finds it tremendously funny. So I guess we’ll bite our tongue and wait…

And bougou to you!

Normal curiosity

On the way to our favorite fruit and veggie store, there is a store that sells fetish wear for men, catering to the gay community we live right in the middle of. Their storefront usually shows male mannequins dressed in nothing but the most revealing underwear. And they are always well endowed. There are also a few sex shops on the other side of the street. So I knew that sooner or later, I will have to answer interesting questions from my son. But I didn’t expect them to come from a 2-year-old.

Yesterday, as we walked in front of the fetish wear store, my son stopped in his tracks and pointed at the storefront, struggling to find the right words:

- They… They… (Oh oh! What is he going to ask?) They have… Ears!
- Oh!, I said, laughing at myself for thinking he was old enough to ask questions about why these guys were in their underwear. They’re antlers. They made a Christmas display and put antlers on the mannequins as if they were reindeers.

Then on the way back, he stopped again in front of the window. This time, I was not even tense, knowing (I thought) what he would say:

- They have antlers!
- Yes, they do.
- Do they have shirts on (oh oh!)?
- They have sleeveless shirts, yes.
- What do they have on their legs (there we are)?
- Nothing, they’re only wearing underwear.
- They have penises!
- (Sigh!) Yes, they have penises because they are men.

Seriously, I’m not really embarrassed by these questions or any other he could ask. I’m pretty open, and when he asks the real questions, I’ll try to give him the real answers. And luckily, because I speak French with him, it makes it easier to deal with awkward situations because I know my chances are pretty good that noone will understand me. So I don’t have to deal with other people’s judgment on top of not knowing what to answer, for instance, when he asks me about people in wheelchairs or on crutches.

But I do find it funny that at only 2, he’s already noticing that men in their underwear is not the kind of things you usually see on the street…

Zoom, zoom, zoom…

Last week, God knows why, Zak mentioned space ships to our son. He then jumped on YouTube to show him a launch, and he was describing everything to him as he always does, even though I figured he couldn’t possibly comprehend all this stuff about the astronauts climbing in the shuttle from the overpass and the boosters coming off from the shuttle after the launch. Well, the next morning, our boy asked to see again the shuttle, describing with much gestures and sound effects how it would go up, up, up in the sky, and then the boosters would come off.

Since then, we showed him several more videos of space shuttles taking off and landing, the Moon landing, the astronauts driving the Rover on the Moon, etc. He seems fascinated, but the weird thing is, so are we! Talking about all that to our son brought back to mind how crazy it was that we were able to send people on the Moon back when there was no Internet and computers needed all the space in the room to be as powerful as your cell phone is today. We both started reading more about the Apollo missions, the space shuttles and the next planned space program. I read about the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia disasters, all tragic, although it seems unbelievable that the number of deaths linked to the space program is not longer when you consider the feats of engineering needed to achieve even one of those missions.

I guess that’s another perk of having children. By seeing the world through their eyes, you rediscover things that should never have ceased to amaze you. Now I am not saying that my son will become an astronaut (he has time to discover 1000 more passions in the next few years), but in the meantime, there could be worse things to watch on TV than a documentary about space…

Apologies

My son is banging on a Lego man with his finger and telling one of those long-winded stories he has become the master of:

- ... and they (not sure who, I missed that part) go bang! bang! bang!

- Poor Jackie Paper (that’s the name of the Lego man)... It must hurt, says I.

- Cooze me Jackie Paper!, says my son, proving that although he hasn’t quite mastered the concept of apologies yet, he knows that when you hurt some one, you’d better say you’re sorry.

Guilt inducer…

I am getting ready to go to work on a Tuesday morning:

- Maman, where you going?

- I’m going to work.

- Again?

It’s a good thing Zak is home with him. If I had been about to drop him at daycare, I would have felt guilty. As it is, I just find it funny…