As a parent, one of the greatest things in the world is when your child begins to talk. Before this point they are merely really cute mutes. At first their words are unintelligible. I barely grasped four years of high school Spanish but learned "toddler" within days. It made perfect sense; "Bots" was what a giraffe should be called, and inexcusable that my lawn guy didn’t comprehend when my son pointed at the "mawnmermer." There were of course a few words that threw me. When my daughter spoke of her excitement at seeing the "Mexicans" at the mall it took a little while to realize she meant mannequins. We also had a very confusing exchange about her wanting "vagina" for dinner. I quickly realized how similar vagina and lasagna sound. As you can see, I’m in favor of teaching the proper terminology for body parts. There was, however, a short period of time when I was fearful of her leading a game of Simon Says.
Our conversations are hilarious, and make my heart explode with joy. What I didn’t realize was very soon they were going to become CONSTANT. My children talk from the moment they wake up until the second or third time they come downstairs after bedtime to throw one more statement or question my way. You know the exchange that goes something like this, "Baby, go back upstairs." "But Mama, umm, I’m afraid of...prune juice." You sit there for a moment stunned, and then realize the stall tactic worked. Honestly, who isn’t afraid of prune juice? Children are walking reminders of the truth. When my son told me he thought my tampons were cool it made me think, and yes, they are cool. When my daughter asked if I "pooped her out" when she was born, she was onto something. "Rectal pressure" is a vast understatement.
As blissful as it is to hear their words, they can also cut me to the core. It’s heartbreaking to hear you are no longer their friend for committing a crime as sinister as trying to keep them safe. My son has repeatedly informed me, when I put him on a time out, that I’m going to jail. At least I would have some quiet and wouldn’t have to cook. The other night while lying in bed with my daughter she started to talk to me. She explained her reasons for wanting her baby boy to come first, and made me promise I would teach her how to drive. She asked if she could drink wine and talk with me when she’s a bigger girl. I shudder to think there may come a time when they won’t want to share the details of their lives with me. How soon before my son no longer tells me my pedicure looks beautiful? For now I will enjoy the laughs I get from listening to them. We were at the beach the other day and my daughter handed me a pretend ice cream cone made out of sand and said, "Mama, here’s your ice cream. I put alcohol in it, because I know you like alcohol."