Welcome To The Frat House

One might think that after telling The Internet that my son Alex had fallen in love with a cupcake shirt and wore a butterfly costume for Halloween this year, that he might be a little, well, girly.

Not so, Pranksters.

Alex’s second word was “penis.” Alex is also a frat boy.

I’ve mentioned that my son is being potty-trained, which means he’s been sitting around in his Cars-Themed Tighty Whities most of the day, here in the Sausage Factory, while I frantically insist he go to the bathroom every 4.8 seconds so as to not further ruin the horrifying once-white (WHITE!!) carpeting in my house. Potty-training! Ain’t it grand!

While I was upstairs, putting my daughter to bed last week, Ben (who is, for those not keeping score at home, nine) and Alex, aged three, decided that it would be best if they BOTH stripped down to their underwear to hang out.

My sons popped out from behind the couch to show me that they were both in their undies and because I am so used to seeing the house torn from it’s hinges after my brief “I’m putting the baby to bed” absence, I was a bit relieved. No one had knocked the ceiling fan off…yet.

“Okay,” I said to them, laughing. “But DON’T PEE ON ANYTHING.”

Still chuckling, I returned to my computer to scour the internet for some singing cat songs or dancing cacti videos. Those wily cactus videos get me going EVERY time!

Not two minutes later, my eldest tore through the living room, chasing my youngest son, both laughing so hard they was crying. I tore myself away from the cactus and looked up.

I saw a pair of naked butt cheeks as they disappeared around the bend.

What the hell?

And then again, the laughter and my youngest son, holding something up over his head as my eldest chased him, both giggling so hard they could barely stand it.

This time, as they came into my line of sight, I looked more closely. What the hell was going on?

I saw it: Alex was holding a pair of underwear over his head as Ben chased him.

They were…they were BEN’S underwear.

Oh sweet Lord.

The next time they rounded the bend, still chortling, I stopped Ben and asked him what was going on.

“Alex took my underwear off and now he,” *giggle, giggle* “now he” *giggle giggle* “now he won’t give it back!”

Alex was rolling on the floor, clutching his gut, laughing so hard that he was crying.

And then I said the words I’d never expected to say: “Alex, give your brother back his underwear. And you two, KEEP YOUR UNDERWEAR ON. PENISES BELONG IN THE BEDROOM OR THE BATHROOM. THEY ARE PRIVATE.”

And then, I died.

The Frat House

And Then We Were Three

Dear Alexander Joseph,

Today at the very gentlemanly hour of 5:18, you will turn three years old. I can very much appreciate that all of you were born between the hours of 2:50 and 5:18 PM which means that all of you were very, very thoughtful babies who cared enough about me not to make me stay up all night to push you from my girly bits into the world. What wonderful, lovely babies I have!

I think I must have used up all of my good karma with that particular bit of good fortune, because you, my sweet-yellered faced second son were born…and then never slept again. In fact, for an entire year, you would let no one near you but, well, your mother.

Your love for me was actually kinda charming, short one.

For 12 long months, I got up every 1-3 hours and nursed you to sleep while I hallucinated that the room was rocking (not, you know, the rocking chair that I was on), I lost the ability to feel the left side of my body, and I began to feel like I was sort of a Prisoner of War Breastfeeding. But you, YOU, you to me, you were the only one.

I was over the moon to be a mother for the second time.

It’s hard to explain how it difficult it was for me emotionally to raise an autistic child as my first child. Having not been chosen as His Person made it excruciating to me as I was rejected time and again by him–the person that I’d rearranged my life for. I cannot possibly explain the void that left inside me.

When I got pregnant with you, my only wish for you was that you’d like me best. And I got my wish in spades. You not only liked me best, you rejected all others before me. You worshiped at the alter of your mother and it redeemed me and healed me in ways I didn’t know I was hurt.

My own mother often wondered how I didn’t murder you–not, if you can actually believe it, unkindly–and the only way I could explain it was that I loved you. Simply loved you. And you loved me back. It was the first time in my entire life that anything like that had ever happened to me. You are mine. It was simple and uncomplicated.

Now that you’re not a baby any longer, now that you do accept other people (although, I add -with a touch of pride in my voice- none quite equal your mother) it all makes so much more sense to me. It’s my heart that beats in your chest, my blood that flows through your veins. Your sister may have inherited my fiery streak, but you, my son, you’re all me.

It’s so odd to see myself in someone else, but there you are, laughing happily and dancing as you watching the seconds click down on the microwave, or throwing yourself down on the floor to make other people laugh. Your mother’s son. My Pumpkin King. Numbers are “sooooooo cute,” candy is “tasty,” the Andromeda Galaxy is “awesome” and you’re out of your skin anxious to get to the orchid greenhouse.

I was terrified to bring your sister home from the hospital because I had no idea how you’d react to seeing another baby with Your Mother, but shockingly, you’re pretty fond of her. In fact, I’d be more afraid that she’d stab you.

This year, Alex, you reminded me what a beautiful, wonderful, crazy, mixed-up place the world is and you made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. You gave me hope when I had none and your spindly arms gave me more comfort than anything else.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Alex.

Love,

Mommy

P.S. If you don’t stop calling me “Becky” I am going to beat you. WHAT? Stop laughing! I mean it! I will BEAT YOU, BOY!

1.21 Gigawatts!

I’m always amazed when my kids do something clever. It’s not that I don’t think they’re smart…okay maybe it is. But I don’t really think any kids are smart. Shit, I wasn’t smart as a kid. Unless you call eating an entire tub of frosting with my tongue smart, which you cannot unless you’re a lying liar who lies.

People who are all “my kid is a fucking GENIUS!” make me sort of itchy because it’s very clear that they’re annoying.

Kids aren’t SUPPOSED to be smart because they’re kids. They’re supposed to do dumbass things like jump off the back of the couch onto their heads because it seemed like a good idea and they’re supposed to eat toothpaste because it’s tasty and they’re supposed to annoy the hell out of you by asking you over and over things like “WHERE’S MY HAND?” even though it is VERY CLEARLY attached to their arm.

They’re kids.

So when mine do things that are reasonably smart, I’m all “who the hell ARE you short people?”

But my middle son, the one that I’ve pegged to be a mini-Chris Farley at the ripe age of 2, because he routinely runs into walls on purpose so that he can fall down, only to spring back up and yell “I’M OKAY!!” he appears to have developed some odd habits.

I may have to stop lovingly calling him “Buckethead” and start calling him “The Professor.”

In the past month or so, he’s developed an obsession with two things. Two weird, maybe related, but nonetheless, strange things. Perhaps all of the jumping off the couch onto his head has jangled something loose. Because he now is infatuated with:

1) numbers (specifically the number 0)

B) The Andromeda Galaxy

This is the second of my children to take a more than passing interest in the planets (my first son could, by Alex’s age, name all 63 of Jupiter’s moons), and before you think that I’m somehow indoctrinating them with my own adoration of cosmology, let me assure you that I am not THAT kind of scientist. I’m a virus kinda girl, myself.

Ben has since grown out of his love of the planets and Alex has fallen headfirst in love all on his own. It’s beyond weird.

So watch out, Carl Sagan. Alex Harks is coming for you.

Just as soon as he gets his diaper changed.

Carl Sagan, JR

The Sex Talk

Last night, as I was blearily trying to tuck in some dinner, talking to The Daver and waiting for the Vicodin to kick in to stop my eyeballs from trying to pop out of my head with a loud SLOP! sound and slither down my face onto my chicken sandwich, our eldest son came in to read aloud.

He’d been reading, I knew, from a book that The Daver and I had bought him when we’d found out that we were pregnant with his brother (Benny was 5), called It’s Not The Stork. Why he had the renewed interest in baby-making, I didn’t know, but he loved the book, and that was good enough for me, so for reading time, which he has every night, he was opting for that.

Last night, though, he came in with that book and a horrified look on his face.

“LISTEN TO THIS,” he said to us.

I couldn’t see what page he was turned to, but already I knew I wasn’t prepared. We’d been over most of the book together, and the only stuff we’d sort of skipped was how the sperm made it INTO the vagina in the first place.

(Oh yeah, in my house? We have sperm and vaginas and penises and ovaries and fallopian tubes and uterus’s (it’s not uter-YOU! Becky, it’s uter-US!) because those are the names of the organs. And I don’t believe I could call his penis a “tinky-wink” without then thinking that the next time I got into the sack with The Daver. *shudders*)

Autistic kids have memories like traps, so anything we’d talked about before was stuck firmly in there, so I knew whatever was coming had to be about those pages we’d sort of ignored.

And I was right.

“LISTEN TO THIS,” our son crowed. “THE MAN PUTS HIS PENIS IN THE WOMAN’S VAGINA IN A SPECIAL SORT OF SLEEPING CALLED MAKING LOVE, OR HAVING SEX.”

He said it so loudly that I’m pretty sure the entire neighborhood heard.

The tone though, that sent me over the edge and I snickered into my hand. I didn’t WANT to. I mean, I’d been preparing for this chat for YEARS. And yet, here I was, laughing. It was just the way he said it.

And the look on his face afterward. Sort of a mixture of awe and disgust. Kind of the way I felt when I first found out about The Sex.

All I remember is thinking to myself when I got The Sex talk, “when I grow up, I never want to stop having it.” He certainly looked more horrified than that, which means he’s probably going to be a more upstanding citizen than I.

So, dutifully, Daver and I dragged our sorry assess out to the living room, after I scooped up the last of our “results of making special sleeping” named Amelia and asked if he had any questions.

We informed him that this wouldn’t happen until he was much older AND PREFERABLY MARRIED (o! the questions this will no doubt create) and we talked a little about puberty as we both quietly died a little bit inside as we both remembered that this gangly 8 year old was not the tiny 2 year old any more.

He seemed to accept it all remarkably well, considering, and seemed most concerned about his voice changing more than anything else. Promising to order him the book about puberty and continue the conversation tonight as he read more, he went off to bed, as at least 204 more grey hairs sprouted forth atop my head.

And now, I’m just waiting for the frantically irate phone calls from the parents of kids that Ben teaches ALL about this. Luckily, I guess, he’ll have the anatomy down PAT.

——————-

What was your sex talk like? Did you get one? Did I just ruin my son for life?

The Halloweenier Strikes Back

As I type this post to you, I hate to tell you this, but I may or may not be dying. I know, your Google Reader* probably thanks you. It’s through a haze of Delsym that these words are arranging themselves into sentences that may or may not make more or less sense than normal, but onward! Onward and upward we will forage, Internet!

Because that is what we do!

Halloween. Yes, Halloween. This is the obligatory after Halloween post where no one will read these words anyway, because, oh! look! funny looking cute kids! A blue car! A frog reading Aristotle! HA!

On Friday, I was all Mr. Burns cackling that I was gonna pay Alex back for sleepless nights and being an overall difficult baby by making him dress up in ridiculous costumes before he made me buy him costumes like dragon warrior stealth slasher or (the bane of my existence) Star Wars Characters.

Exhibit A:

The Halloweiner:

The Halloweenier

I mean seriously, how much worse can you get? The kid was a HOT DOG! HA.

(also, I was in the wild throes of sleep deprivation).

Exhibit 2:

The Hedgehog (which everyone thought was a rat. Which, hi, NO)

Alex as a Hedgie

Okay, so this costume was funking adorable and he was thirty quadrillion times cuter than my own! live! hedgehog Tate, who was an ASSHOLE. Also, I bribed Alex to pose for this picture by giving him candy because I win at life and motherhood.

Revenge, this year was a dish best served, well, you’ll see…

Alex NOT as a chicken

This is what Alex went dressed as for Halloween this year. A Skelly-ton. A Skelling-ton.

When posed with the question, “do you want to put on your costume?” Alex said, “NO!” and then threw his wee body with the head the size of a globe on the floor and began to flail about.

Somehow, it seemed unfair to force it upon him, although I considered it for a millisecond. In fact, he’s squawking indignantly, if you can imagine, at me taking this picture, because the flash is bothering his wee eyes. Delicate flower, that one.

Speaking of delicate flowers, here is his sister:

Mimi as a Skely-ton

Also as a Skelling-ton, pre-Halloween (this was on Facebook, so I’m sorry for those of you squawking at the outrage of a repeat), a much calmer child in the eyes of the paparazzi.

Flower Grrl

My very own Flower Grrrrl, who was a freaking trouper and a half.

I should have some additional pictures up on Facebook later in the week, so as not to slow the load time of my blog any further. Because I am not only a Queen among Men, but a considerate soul.

And lastly, but certainly but not least, the person certain to win biggest brother of the freaking century. The person who made sure to ask at every house for candy for his brother, even when his brother was too afraid to go up to the house himself, my first son…

First the Wayback Machine:

Ben, NASA

And this year:

Ninja Benner

A ninja. Which proves that I am not a little boy because a ninja? REALLY? I don’t get it AT ALL.

Aside from being on my Death Bed now, Halloween was a rousing success (SHOCKING) and I’m pretty sure that no one tried to poison the kids.

How was your Halloween?

This post was totally powered by Delsym and a wicked fever.

*your Google Reader can also send me diamonds and other precious stones to thank me for NOT signing up for NaBloWhatever, that daily posting thing that runs through the month of November. Because, obviously.

*punches self in face*

Amelia, it was clear by our lack of preparation, was our third child. I think it wasn’t until week 34 or 35 that we set up anything that we could have brought a child home to, having barely put them away for Child Number 2. Mostly because we didn’t have anywhere to put her and partially because we are lazy.

Let me back up (Ima let you finish) and give you a brief rundown of the layout of the land.

We technically have a 4 bedroom house.

Upstairs are three bedrooms:

1) Master Bedroom: currently occupied by 1 Aunt Becky and 1 The Daver which is stupidly big. Not us, but the room, you know. It’s a poor design, and should have been 2 rooms, but will probably be bedroom PLUS office or bedroom PLUS porn den or something.

Had originally thought to be converted into boys room until it was determined that the space would never be used by the boys as play space.

2) Ben’s Room: it’s a medium sized bedroom full of the weird stuff my son cannot manage to part with. This is only noted because this is the same child who FREQUENTLY comes through the house saying “when I grow up, MY house is gonna be SUPER organized.”

Judging by the back issues of catalogs and his inability to throw away anything up to and including: tags to clothing and/or Target bags, he may want to rethink his berating of others within earshot.

3) The Nursery: It’s a fart (armpit) of a room, previously painted French Impressionistic pink (one of the only colors of pink that offends even me, lover of all things pink) where Alex spent most of his babyhood hating, well, everything.

(Bedroom 4 is in the basement and would probably be best for a teenage lair, not for a child, especially not one who might get up overnight.)

Mimi has been sleeping in a pack-n-play (o! bless thee God of pack-n-plays) in the living room since she was born because she seems to hate the crib that we’d set up in the master bedroom. Oh, sure, she’ll NAP there, but when it comes to SLEEPING at night, oh, HELL no.

This weekend, we made the switch. The dreaded switch of sleeping quarters. The only one looking forward to this was Ben, who had been promised, in time, bunkbeds.

Alex moved in with Ben, and Amelia got her own room. I was terrified and Dave was so annoyingly optimistic that I sort of wanted to pee on him, which is the same way Dave and I go into pretty much everything. Blind optimism and The Voice of Reason. It’s not that I want things to go WRONG, it’s just that sometimes, I think that Dave should remember that they could.

Like this, for example:

Alex, who previously has slept like a champion in his fortress of a crib has now learned to crawl out of his crib. I’m not sure why it took moving in with his brother to take place but somehow that’s when it happened: yesterday at naptime, Alex took the opportunity to hoist his wee body from his crib to the room to lock the door. FROM THE INSIDE.

Can you hear my hair greying as I peck out those words?

We have a toddler bed, yes, and obviously I am somehow going to dismantle that lock today (chainsaw?)(icepick?)(playing Britney Spears music at it?).

Mimi is adjusting swimmingly to not sleeping among the chaos, and Ben, poor abused Ben, was kept up last night by his brother, who, overjoyed by having company, not realizing bedtime could be a team sport, wanted nothing more than to TALK to him. All night long. Poor, poor Ben.

In time, we’ll adjust, and in time mean time, I’ll pry my anxiety ridden fingers from my own neck where I am trying to strangle myself for having such a lovely idea and remember that this had to happen eventually.

Amelia couldn’t live in the living room forever. Right? RIGHT?

——————–

So, loves, come gather round Your Aunt Becky and tell her a story. She’s not feeling too well today and could use some distractions. Advice, stories, gossip, just, anything.

As Thick As Blood

When I was a kid, on the list of things I would have happily gnawed off my own limbs for was a sibling. A whole MESS of siblings. Didn’t matter which brand–Japanese mushroom or cheeseburger–I just wanted more.

I had a pack of neighborhood kids that I chummed around with from sun-up until sun-down during the summer and after school most days (I don’t remember having as much homework as my kid gets) and that was all well and good, and I even was always pretty well liked in school. But I wanted a pack of siblings. A HUGE family.

My tiny nuclear family, well, most of them ignored me and I was a really lonely kid. I did have an older brother whose attention I vied for like an overzealous puppy, always shocked when he kicked me away, but eager to try again. Even at age 8, I was nothing if not persistent and shockingly transparent in my desire to be liked.

Luckily, while I didn’t outgrow my persistence, I did outgrow the gene that made me care if people liked me, but I never did outgrow the desire for a big family.

If you haven’t poured through my archives with a fine-toothed comb to discover that *gasp* my eldest was born *gasp* out of wedlock *gasp* and sired by another *gasp* father, well, he was, but if you haven’t, it’s because we don’t make a big deal out of it here at Casa de la Sausage.

Anyway. It’s not a dirty little secret or anything, it’s just not that important to us, because, really, it’s kind of old news now. But after I was pregnant with him and before I had met The Daver (this was a shockingly narrow window), I knew that I wanted to have more children, and, being the planner that I am, I wanted to have them closer together than my own brother and I are.

Part of the problems (but really, only a small part) that my brother and I faced were that we are ten years apart. What do an eight year old and an eighteen year old have in common? Fuck-NOTHING. The other problems are farther below the surface and much more purulent, so let’s just stick with the age difference, shall we?

Luckily, The Daver came along before I had to think about begging my male friends for a shot of their Man Juice–can you imagine the awkwardness? Because I can’t–and I would happily have dropped trou and tried to start makin’ babies well before I was Mrs. Aunt Becky Sherrick Harks.

The Daver is more traditional than I am (I know, you’re shocked), so we waited until after the wedding to cook up a couple of crotch parasites. I got pregnant with Alex as we were nearing our one year anniversary and Amelia as we were nearing our third. And no, to clear up any pesky rumors, we have no affection for the letter “a”.

I mean, it’s a good letter and all, and it’s a vowel so that makes it awesome by association, but if I had to BE a vowel, I would be “sometimes y”. Wouldn’t you?

It was weird the amount of ominous flack I got from people as I lugged Alex and Ben around, largely pregnant with my third.

“You’re going to be busy…” people would cluck meaningfully at me, obviously disdainful of my “delicate condition”

“Wow… you have your hands FULL,” others would sort of sneer, as I heaved a box of diapers and Alex, never offering to lift a finger to help.

While I appreciate that everyone is entitled to have an opinion on everything, and what comes out of (or, apparently, goes INTO) my vagina is no different, this was really not their call to make. They never liked to hear it when I told them as much, but come on, how rude could you be. I had 3 kids, not thirty. My uterus wasn’t exactly a clown-car yet.

But no, thank YOU, Mr. Fuckface, I appreciate you loudly judging me in front of my children, I have it under control. And you know what, I do. I still have it under control even now that I’m only pregnant with a burrito baby.

I sit in the other room sometimes, the baby banging merrily away in her saucer, gnawing on a pair of metal measuring spoons that were her older brother’s favorite toy too, screaming joyfully, her voice echoing against the glass door and bouncing back again.

Mingling with it are the indistinguishable voices of her older brothers, who have–5 years apart–the same tone and timbre of voice (without the words, I cannot tell them apart) as they scream delightedly together, piling on top of each other like squirmy puppies.

They are happy. My children, they are happy.

And I smile quietly to myself, as I sit there listening, knowing that if I do nothing else right for the rest of my life, I have done this right.

My children, I have done right by.

I Believe That Children Are Our Future And Other Sausage Tales

Ben, fiddling with a straw, leftover from a *gasp!* sugary soda, as we walk around Target.

Horrible, Awful Mother, “Hey Ben, here’s a garbage can. Please throw that away.”

Ben scowls in her direction and makes no move toward the garbage can.

Aunt Becky: “Ben, now. I don’t need any more weird garbage-y crap to clean up around the house.”

Ben, if looks could kill, she’d be dead and buried.

Dave, “Benjamin MAXWELL, NOW.”

Becky snickers into her palm at the usage of the Middle Name Treatment.

Ben flounces dramatically to the garbage can and makes a huge production of throwing out the straw. Then, he pivots to face his parents.

“FINE, I’ll throw it AWAY” he stamps his feet. “Since you HATE MOTHER EARTH.”

Apparently, our son was brainwashed.

——————–

“Dat a Pumpkin, Mama?”

“Right, Alex, that’s a pumpkin.”

“Dat’s notta pumpkin. Dat’s a GOURD.”

“Okay, it’s a gourd.”

“It’s not a gourd. It’s a pumpkin.”

*headdesk*

For the record: it was a jack-o-lantern.

——————–

(Cacophony of dogs barking after someone knocks on the door)

“Who was at the door?” I barely looked up from my computer to ask Dave. My ass was tired from a strenuous day of sitting on it.

“Some high school kid selling magazines.”

Knowing my husband is a sucker for anyone selling anything, I sighed, wondering if he’d renewed our (never read) subscription to Golf Digest.

“What did you get us?”

“Nothing.”

Shocked, I was silent for a second.

“Wait, did the kid offer a subscription Playboy? Because I TOTALLY would have subscribed to that.”

BECKY.”

————————

And then incongruently there is this:

Mimi Rules

Which leaves me alternately so full of joy and so full of survivor’s guilt that I can barely talk about it. I know it doesn’t make sense, survivors guilt makes no sense, but I don’t understand any of this.

How did we dodge this bullet? I don’t understand any of it. I just don’t understand.

21% with her type of encephalocele are born alive.

55% of those born alive are expected to survive.

75% of those who survive have some degree of mental defect.

She is a miracle. My sweet daughter, a miracle.

I sit here with tears streaming down my face, crying because she made it and crying because I know so many didn’t and crying because I am so grateful that she is so, so blessed to have so many people who have prayed for her and love her.

Thank you. Every day, I am grateful for you. All of you.

—————–

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye that requires my immediate attention.

Like Babelfish for Toddlers

For some reason when I was pregnant with Alex, I somehow got it into my head that all babies were alike. I’ll allow you to revel in my stupidity for a moment, because even for me, this is quite a doozy. Go ahead, roll your eyes. I do.

I think Dr. Spock probably said that most PREGNANCIES were alike, you know, if you puked your guts out from the moment the sperm hit the ova, to the moment the baby crowned, it was likely that you repeated that with Baby #2. I can’t honestly say that my pregnancies were all that alike, besides my propensity to become brilliantly fat with each baby, no matter if I was hugging the bowl or stuffing my face.

But Alex was born and BAM! He was IMMEDIATELY nothing like his brother. He looked like a small yellow old man/garden gnome whereas Ben had looked shockingly like Chairman Mao. Then he acted nothing like his brother, further solidifying how dumb that thought train had been.

Where Ben preferred the company of his mobile to human interaction, I literally could not put Alex down without evoking a tantrum. He was born with separation anxiety so fierce that I nearly lost my marbles. No, I mean, like Crazy Town USA type marble loss (not ACTUAL marbles, because with a toddler, why on earth would I have marbles around?).

Language is one of those pesky ways in which Alex was nothing like his brother. Where Alex sat in his bouncy seat and babbled different sounds and managed a first word by age one, “kitty,*” Ben barely spoke until he was three. And then, only with the aid of speech and occupational therapy.

Now, of course, he never STOPS talking, and Alex is right along side of him, yelling over each other to hear and be heard. The tone and timbre of their voices are identical (Finally! Something that IS the same) and if I can’t hear who is doing the speaking, I cannot tell them apart.

When you get closer, of course, one of them speaks coherently and the other speaks and while some words may emerge, it’s more like listening to a long monologue done by someone in another language. Either Toddler or Devil, depending on his mood. Alex is my clone, be it good or bad, he’s very similar to me, although he’s infinitesimally more charming than I could ever be.

As proof of his infinite charm-a-bility I offer you this:

Whenever Alex has something with ketchup plopped neatly onto his tray for ultimate dipping pleasure, he partakes of the sweet red goo. Rather than use a pointless utensil, he would much prefer to place one of his fingers into the mound, coat the tip of his finger in it and then offer it to whomever it is that is sitting nearest to him.

Which is often me.

He offers it to me as “ice cream.” As in “Want some ice cream, Mommy?” Although with less intelligible words. And obviously, with less ice cream. Alex tears through the entire mound that way, finger full by disgusting finger full, each time gently promising ice cream when he will only deliver ketchup.

Can we get him a shirt that says, “Future Used Car Salesman?”

Anyway. Like I alluded to, you can understand a fraction of what Alex is saying up and to a point, always with context, and it’s frustrating for us all as he is obviously really saying SOMETHING. What it was, nobody really knew, except, of course, for Alex.

Earlier in the week, though, I woke up, grumbled to myself about having to get up and shuffled down the stairs to come upon my Alex, who ran full steam into my legs, demanding to be picked up.

Hi Mommy,” he screamed joyfully. “How’s it going?

“I’m fine, Alex,” I replied, confused. “How are you?”

I’m watching TV with Ben,” he hollered (Alex was born without an inside voice. This is, apparently, genetic). “Come sit with us.”

It was like I’d somehow gone to Turkey, gotten off the plane knowing all the Turkish I know (answer: none), and found that I could understand the cabbie perfectly. I don’t know if it was me or Alex or both, but it was like the Intelligible Switch was flipped into the ON position.

And now, the talking back begins. The Terrible and Terrific Two’s. I couldn’t be happier**.

alex-pool1

“Might I interest you in a genuine pair of WOODEN NICKELS? I only have one pair left and they’re going fast! Hurry and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime offer!”

*sounded like “titty.”

**I could, but it would involve a pit of black beans and wrestling female gladiators. And oodles of illegal AND immoral narcotics.