Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

face-off

December 21, 2007

“Read to me?” he asked, patting the couch.

“Sure!”  I plunked down and took the book from his lap.

“No!”  He ripped the book from my hands. “I read it!”

By this he meant he wanted to hold the book and turn the pages himself while I read aloud. Good for him, taking steps toward independent reading.

Still, that didn’t justify the ferocity of his retrieval, so I shot him a look: brow raised, chin lowered, glaring over the rim of my glasses – a look that said, “Well!”

… and there he was, shooting a look right back: brow raised, chin lowered, glaring out of the tops of his eye sockets – a look that said, “That’ll show you!”

My wife, witness to this expressional face-off, burst out laughing. So did I. And so did he.

That particular expression is a regular in my repertoire, but I never knew what it looked like from the outside until my son aimed it right back at me.

the second greatest story ever told

November 6, 2007

My older son came along to pick up a Papa John’s pizza. On the drive home it occurred to me that a two-year-old might not understand the nature of this little transaction, so I spelled it out for him in simple terms.

“Again?” he asked.

“You want to hear it again?” I asked.  “Alright.”  As I repeated the pizza-ordering process he echoed every line, enthusiasm mounting until we reached the climax.

“Again?” he asked.

By the time we were home he could voice the entire thing with me fluently:

This is how it works: when you get hungry you say, “Hmm, I think I want a pizza.”  So you call the store and say, “Please make me a pizza.”  And the store makes you a pizza with bread, tomatoes and cheese – that’s a pizza! Then you drive to the store and say, “Where’s my pizza?”  They say, “Here it is!”  So you give them money, and they give you the pizza. Then you drive home and you eat it!

What about this story delighted him so much? I suspect it was the first lengthy how-to narrative he’d ever heard. It spelled out a single process from start to finish, a process he had experienced it with me.

How astounding it must be, hearing words paint the first full story in your mind.