Monday, April 30, 2012
A Conversation With LO
Last week, LO and I had the opportunity to meet the newest member of the family, Little Cousin. Apparently, LO formed some fairly strong opinions about his new status as a big cousin. After we returned to Baltimore from Little Cousin's hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, Grandpa Jim had the following conversation with LO. I would like to point out that there were no independent witnesses to this conversation, which Grandpa Jim swears occurred thusly:
Grandpa Jim: So what did you think of your new cousin, LO?
LO: She's a baby!
Grandpa Jim: Well, you're a baby, too.
LO: No, I'm a MAN!
(Both exclamation points and the capitalization of the word MAN were very much a part of Grandpa Jim's retelling of this conversation.)
My skepticism about this alleged dialogue stems from the fact that LO enunciates about as well as a French-speaking cow with a mouthful of cud. Also, I'm not convinced the child can speak in complete sentences yet, although he certainly does make enough sounds to qualify for sentence-speaking.
To be fair to the Grandpa I'm suggesting was engaging in some imaginative listening, I will admit that many of LO's non-sentence sentences seem to end in exclamation points. There are quite a few (unintelligible) words in all-caps sprinkled through LO's speech patterns, as well. And to continue to be fair to Grandpa's version of events, the nickname I have most consistently called LO since he was born is Mr. Man. So it's entirely possible that he thinks of himself as a man.
(Feminist side note: I have wondered for some time what I'd call a baby girl that was equivalent to Mr. Man, since Ms. Woman does not exactly roll off the tongue, and Miss Lady violates my sense of fair play. I ended up calling Little Cousin "Miss Thing," which seems to miss the point of the feminist overthinking, as I'm both using the Miss salutation and reducing her to an object. But it still felt cute to say.)
As for LO's alleged assertions, I have found that one of the problems with parenting a toddler is the impossibility of getting said toddler to repeat a skill/word/hilarious conversation on demand. (There is the possibility that this impossibility is specific to *my* toddler, however, as I have seen other parents successfully coax their toddlers into waving/telling us what the cow says/repeating particularly inflammatory dialogue from The Big Lebowski.) So, even if my dad is correct that LO has a rather elevated opinion of his own maturity (and why wouldn't he?), we're going to have a devil of a time proving it.
You will notice, however, that my skepticism about the veracity of the above conversation has not in any way kept me from repeating it.
Posted by Emily Guy Birken at 3:48 PM