Fluffy has gotten very conversational lately, very reciprocal. It’s so fun to have the back and forth, something that was nearly impossible a year ago. He’s doing it with other people too and I have to exercise a fair amount of restraint not to physically attack those who don’t respond. MY SON IS TALKING TO YOU! HE’S ASKING A FOLLOW UP QUESTION! A FOLLOW UP, DO YOU HEAR?
Ah well, I guess it’s one of those things that life will teach him: not everyone hangs on his every utterance, perched on tip toes, head tilted up and to the side. And not everyone will strain to decipher his story line as he rapidly talks and shovels in food simultaneously. And no one, not just me, will actually catch what he’s saying when he’s talking from inside the car while his conversational partner darts through house many many yards away, grabbing last minute essentials.
What can I say, he’s a deep thinker and a long talker. He’s got the gift of gab, as Dave says. His mind is a pair of bicycling legs, always going going going, which is why I often snort awake in his bed after putting him to sleep only to find him wide-eyed next to me, staring at the ceiling, puzzling out the area of a circle.
I will say this: The wall is down. Fluffy reported this fact during teeth brushing about a week ago. All gone. Since then, we had a very enlightening talk about bombs and fuses which I will now describe.
It was closing in on bedtime and he was short two hours sleep from the night before. At the last possible minute, he remembered some unfinished computer time and even though little warning lights were flashing across my retina, I relented. When the timer went off, he super glued himself to the keyboard. When the cool newspaper part came up at the end of the game, the part he likes us to read out loud, we put our foot down and he yanked back the inner panel of his dinosaur pjs and revealed a bomb strapped to his skinny torso with brightly colored pipe cleaners.
Dave and I, rock solid disciplinarians that we are, caved. We allowed for 3 bonus minutes to read the paper but when we turned back, the screen was blank and then Fluffy collapsed.
He threw himself all over the house, I WORKED SO HARD–SO HARD–AND IT WAS ALL FOR NOTHING! FOR NOTHING! It was such a grown up lament, so odd to hear it from his small form. There was much crying and calling into the air, WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE IT BETTER? WHAT SPECIAL TREAT CAN I HAVE TO MAKE UP FOR IT? But all we had was our empathy and our metaphors about disappointment being like a feeling boo boo and the body is wise and knows how to heal it just like his tetanus shot. Sometimes our sounds of sympathy helped, sometimes they made it worse; he would wind down, remember and wind up again as if freshly assaulted.
We tried the old D&R, distract and redirect, which only worked for a second, then right back to metaphor, this time stressing the importance of revving down our engine at night, not up. Fluffy brightened at this and said, Another way to express it is that it’s like a bomb went off and the fuse, instead of being long like it might have been in the morning, was short because it was night! Dave and I exchanged looks since this business of having short or long fuses is something we’ve never told him.
As is his way, Fluffy went on to describe his bomb system in detail, the three modes and three types of bombs in each mode with the least bad mode holding a a big bomb and long fuse, a middle bomb and long fuse and a small bomb and long fuse. The next least bad mode had a big bomb with medium fuse, a medium bomb with medium fuse and a small bomb with medium fuse, and the worst, as you can fill in here, was the mode with the big bomb with short fuse, etc. etc.,
When he finished, he was MUCH calmer and the sun was just peering over the horizon because, have I mentioned? the gift of gab and also a little speech thingy which extends the ends of his words in a kind of echo-stutter and almost all of it comes out at top volume: "MommE-E-E-E-EEEE, the WORST mode, the WORST mode, the WORST mode-ode-ode-ode-ode is the BIG-IG-IG-IG BOMB WITH THE SHORT FUSE!!!”
We showered him with sounds of love and appreciation and told him how proud we were that through all that, he didn’t hurt himself or us not once, didn’t hit or kick or punch. He said, that only happens when there’s anger and the wall, not with bombs and fuses. Silly!
We finally climbed into bed for stories and songs and cuddles and after all the excitement, I was out like a light. My son, not as much. He looked up at the glow in the dark stars for who knows how long until I startled awake, my mouth a fizz with spittle. Mommy, he whispered, you know what I wish for? I wish that you won’t die before I’m ready.
Me too, honey. Me too.