Halloween Free Association

I had a lunch date with my 3-year old yesterday. He’s a delightful companion if a bit of a menace with a soupspoon. Did you know you can’t feel corn in your hair and people won’t tell you it’s there? It just suspends itself like a miniature bad hat.

Speaking of hats, this is the first Halloween that he’s been old enough to have definite opinions about what he’s going to wear. They are emphatic and change frequently, but all feature some sort of headwear. Reminds me of the Christmas I ill advisedly asked my daughter what Santa would bring her a week before his scheduled North Pole departure. Her answer was immediate and sure: “ a little knitted kitty with a little knitted pillow and a little knitted bed and a pet mouse.” Couldn’t be something Mattel or Hasbro. Couldn’t be something I could hit Toys R Us for at the last minute and just pick up. I spent some long nights knitting and Santa still “forgot” the mousie.

Egan wants to be alternately: a firefighter, a cowboy and a robot. Kaki is at least consistant. She had a fear of spiders a while back that I banished by establishing her sovereignty over the species. I wove a long bedtime story of Kaki the Queen of Spiders and thereafter any eight-legged beastie was a loyal subject come to do honor to his queen. She wants to dress the part. This will be her most conventional choice yet. Last year she was Cosette from Les Mis (but hey, I was Leela from Futurama to gratify a weird fetish of Scott’s who insists I look just like her, but with two eyes and red hair) and before that, in reverse order she’s been: a glitter dragon, a unicorn, a fairy’s cat, an alligator, Santa Clause, Elmo, an Elf, and Elvis.

I’m trying to spot firefighter, cowboy, robot similarities so that I can be prepared. Of course, he’ll end up something totally unrelated, like a pumpkin. Last year at this time he couldn’t say pumpkin. Or he could, only it sounded exactly like monkey. When you take your children to select their jack o’ lantern vegetables and your son talks excitedly and loudly, with pointing, about all the monkeys he sees, people watch with pity and alarm. Which is better than what they do when your son, who hasn’t mastered the illusive “tr” sound, walks through the Home Depot parking lot talking excitedly and loudly, with pointing, at all the big cocks.

If he were a little younger and not so prone to his own opinions I’d dress him up as his totem superhero. All parents develop superhero names for their kids, don’t they? Egan’s is (da, da, DDAA) The Randomizer. The boy has an uncanny ability to disappear things to the most obscure and random locations as well as to say or perform things utterly unrelated to anything else. At Kaki’s school birthday celebration, her teacher acknowledged his presence: “and you all remember Kaki’s little brother Egan.” Kaki (well I actually) had brought him to school for Show and Tell at the grand age of three days, so there were murmurs of assent and recollection among the fourth graders to which Egan replied “Hi. My name’s Rudy.” I have no idea who Rudy is.

For a while he wouldn’t drink milk with diner because “My Uncle Bobby says no” He has, not only no Uncle Bobby, but only one uncle- named Wan. In DC. Whom we haven’t seen since July and who likes milk. The other day I opened my jewelry box to discover half a banana and I’ve turned down the sheets in my bed to find a tube of toothpaste carefully enshrined.

He is particularly interested in the workings of our CD player. We’d already retrieved a chess piece from the VCR when we realized a number of our DVDs and CDs had gone missing. We watched surreptiously until we caught him, mimicking the gesture precisely, sliding discs between the components. He’s put socks on his hands to fall asleep. Once, an odd rattle during one of the louder Lord of the Rings sequences yielded a plastic ball, a wooden triangle and two small pigs in the subwoofer. The randomizing ripples. After a DVD we’d rented for Kaki went missing, I discovered the entry “find Atlantis” in Scott’s palm pilot.

And now, in the spirit of randomness, I submit a list of words it’s funny to hear a three year old say:
Trusty Sword (apparently there is no other kind. I’ve never heard him say the word alone)
Headphones (said “essotassers”)
Binoculors (pronounced superknockers)
Calculator (pronounced “fieldtrip”)

You’ll notice that pumpkins and trucks no longer make the list.

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