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07:00 am: Father's Day, part 2, and further thoughts on language
We had a lovely (if unseasonably warm) Father's Day dinner with my Dad last night. He's so wonderful and patient with Teddy.

And Teddy does require patience, particularly at the end of a long, hot day. While he happily slurped up his leftover lo mein (no, we didn't serve Dad leftovers; Teddy's too young for shellfish), he also smeared noodles all over, dumped his bowl in his lap, and started screeching when his bowl wouldn't stack properly on top of his sippy cup.

I think all the boys (Dad, Peter, and Teddy) enjoyed dessert, which was fruit and ice cream on sponge cake (with whipped cream for all but Peter, who doesn't like it... but I married him anyway -- am I outrageously open-minded or what?). Strangely enough, Teddy very carefully set aside his blueberries and ate all the other fruit.

Keeping up with this child's dietary preferences is like trying to hit a moving target. On a rollercoaster. From horseback. In a tornado.

With his speech getting clearer all the time, Teddy becomes quite peeved if we don't respond properly to what he says. Of course, I don't really mean "speech," but "words," which makes a difference: the words are clear, but what he's trying to say isn't always.

When he wakes up, sits up, points to Peter, and says DADDY, he wants me to show signs of consciousness and agree that yes, that is Daddy. (If I fail to open my eyes, I am derelict in my linguistic duty.)

Yesterday when he seemed to be complaining about his EYES, he did not, in fact, want me to fix anything or make him feel better, but again to confirm that he was, in fact, poking himself in the eye.

Similarly, declarations of FAN or LIGHT require acknowledgment that the item in question is a fan or light (or both, just to confuse matters).

On the other hand, a BOOK is not a matter for agreement, but something to read. Now. Preferably with Teddy sitting on my lap. If I fail to get the hint, Teddy declares BOOK, gets the right book, grabs my hand, pushes me to sit down, crawls into my lap, thrusts the book into my hand, and directs my other hand to open the book.

Very, very specific.

A DOG or CAT must be acknowledged, and the appropriate sound volunteered. If I fail to ask him what a dog or cat says, I am a disappointment.

A BUS is to be acknowledged, but a BUS? must be found. Because lord forbid the child might lose sight of the bus for two seconds (the bus in question is a cheapo Little Tikes car that came from a Happy Meal, but it's his favorite toy... and he insists that it's a BUS). And a BUS! requires that the aforementioned vehicle be drawn for his viewing pleasure, but only if we're in the bathtub. Otherwise, a real BUS! has made an appearance and much excitement must ensue.

And of course there's the ongoing APPLE/UP PLEASE confusion.

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