Now, although I’ve been a mother for nearly 7 years (holy shit) I’m completely clueless about this whole “toddler-thing.” As previous exhaustibly documented, Ben was a pretty odd duck when it came to toddler-dom, so I can’t use my vast knowledge of how to treat BEN as a toddler on Alex. It just wouldn’t apply.
So this whole mimicking what I say stuff that toddlers apparently do is totally foreign to me, but is making me rethink taping my damn mouth shut for the next 4 or 5 years (somewhere Dave is frantically nodding his head “yes”) so as not to teach my kid more stuff he doesn’t need to learn yet.
Just so you know, I’m that freak-a-leak at the store that holds a one sided conversation with the baby, not because I really can’t shut up for that long (okay, maybe that’s part of it) but because it was one of those things that we were taught to do to teach Ben to speak. This means that although Alex’s issues are not the same as Ben’s, I still have it engrained in my mind to obsessively explain to Alex whatever it is that I’m doing at any given time.
I probably look insane, but I really don’t care.
But this is how I taught Alex to say “penis.”
In my house we have “penises” and “vaginas” and “uteruses,” but we also take dumps, lest you worry that I passed on my parents insistence that we call taking a dump a “bowel movement” and in the past tense a “defecation,” or the ever-popular “urinating.” I did, however, have to stop myself from calling testicles “balls” when explaining it to Ben. I guess that’s just what I think that those dangly sacs SHOULD be called.
So during diaper changes, Alex would grab his penis, giggle and I’d say “That’s your penis, Alex.” And he’d squeeze it and poke it and laugh (just like a real man) and I would repeat myself. Rather than learn “that” “your” or “Alex” he picked up the most hilarious of them all: penis.
Last night, we threw the kids in the bathtub together and they had a blast, splashing the shit out of me, playing with each other and generally being mischevious. Once Alex realized that his weenier was out of it’s diaper, he became very, very excited and began delicately poking it with one finger:
“Penis,” he’d say happily.
“Yes, Alex. Penis,” we’d all echo.
“Penis!” he’d say.
“I have a penis, too!” Ben told his brother. “And so does Daddy! But Mommy doesn’t.”
“You’re right Ben, I don’t have a penis.” I choked out between laughs.
“Mommy has a uterus. See?” he gestured to my left boob. “It’s right there.”
If you look closely, you can see the water droplets making a shadow on his back. It’s really, really weird.
Trying (and succeeding) in soaking me.