Friday, August 28, 2009

Conversations with Norah

Norah changes on a daily basis. And it’s easy for me to lose sight of just how different she is from month to month as the changes are hidden away in minor…well…baby steps. I’ll look up suddenly and realize that some phrase or habit of hers that once dominated our routine disappeared unnoticed some time ago…can’t say for sure when, but now that you mention it it’s been a while. So, below are listed a few of her favorite current sayings. While her vocabulary is immense at this point, the quotes below constitute a disturbing percentage of our conversations with our daughter.

"That happens sometimes"
Said as she spills her water, slops spaghetti on her shirt, or if I do any of the same. She has become very wise in her acceptance that upsetting things do, indeed “happen sometimes.”

"I so silly"

Yes. Yes she is. This statement is most often joyously declared as she puts her underwear on her head, intentionally sings a song lyric incorrectly, pretends to be a dog darting between our feet as we try to set the table for dinner, or other such activities that she finds fantastically absurd.

“Make him talk.”
Demanded as she hands you a stuffed animal. It’s cute at first….but loses its luster after you’ve pretty much exhausted everything you can think of that a triceratops might want to add to the conversation.

"It was only an accident"
Her second favorite explanation for disaster. This one can be interchangeable with “That happens sometimes,” but finds better traction when the destruction is punishment-worthy.

"You want to play with me in my room?"
Imagine puppy dog eyes and a hopeful tone of voice that almost never fails to deliver you into her room for a rousing game of “Make him talk!”

"Good morning, Baby Dean!"
Said almost every morning in a high pitched voice that is muffled due to its being spoke directly into my wife’s pajamas and ever-growing belly. Norah is keenly aware that there is a baby in there and does her best to include her brother in moments of family togetherness.

"Daddy tooted!"
This one’s self-explanatory. There will come a time in the near future when she doesn’t find this nearly as amusing as she currently does. She’ll eventually come around to her mother’s view on this subject and my flatulence will be outnumbered by disgust votes. My only hope is to stall this inevitable betrayal by Norah until Baby Dean is old enough to find delight in such low brow humor. Then the votes will be tied and the tie breaker will go to he who is willing to face the ire of a mere 50% of the household.

"What kind of _____ is it?"
She has yet to discover the incessant “why” that I’ve heard so much about. But this is her current version of the same thing. “What’s that?” “It’s a bird.” ”What kind of bird is it?” “It’s a goldfinch.” “What kind of goldfinch is it?” “It’s a boy goldfinch.” “What kind of boy goldfinch is it?” And on and on and on. I really do try to humor this for as long as possible because she does learn a lot through this routine…but often I’ll try to end it by creating a loop. What kind of boy goldfinch? A bird boy goldfinch.

"I want that in my home"
Spoken in response to just about any toy commercial. Currently, her favorites seem to be Baby Doctor Barbie, Barbie Three-Musketeers, Paperoni, Slimer Shoes, Tinkerbell play set, and several others whose product names I cannot currently recall.

"That's awesome"
It’s a phrase her Dad overuses and it has rubbed off on her.

"I miss Grandma"
Don’t worry, Husker, she misses Grandpa too…but with two Grandmas, this phrase gets spoken twice as much. She’ll frequently and quite suddenly miss any number of people. She wept today in the car for 15 minutes because she missed her friend David. She is keenly aware of all her friends and family who are not with her.

"Watch TV?"
She asks this a bit more often than I would like. She’s in a Sponge Bob kick right now and we are often trying our best to distract her from her love of TV with coloring books, outside play etc…only to have her ask, “Watch TV?” again the second the page has been colored or she’s peddled her trike once around the cul-du-sac.

“Poo Poo!!”
The cornerstone of any three-year-old’s comedy routine. “Norah, what’s that a picture of?” “Poo Poo!” “Norah, what do horsies eat?” “Poo Poo!” It really is a quite versatile joke, the use of which is often followed by “I so silly.”

"Just a little bit"
Used to cutely mitigate a transgression and frequently an answer to the following questions: “Norah, did you hit any kids at school today?” “Norah, did you spill your cereal?” “Norah, did you have a potty accident?”

"I'm a nice T-Rex"
She feels the need to explain this quickly if your response to her jumping into the room with a roar is to act afraid. It seems to me that a truly nice T-Rex would stop scaring us like that and politely announce its niceness BEFORE it roared its way into our living room. But I’m not a paleontologist.

“He’s not real”
Norah loves to care for and talk with her stuffed animals. She brings at least one of them to the spare chair at the dinner table every night and feeds them imaginary food. However, should you be tempted to play along with her illusion, for instance to ask if Mr. Giraffe would like a helping of carrots or to playfully ask if Mr. Hippo could pass the pepper, Norah will fix you with a wilting “duh” look that declares to the whole room that you are the stupidest person in existence adding, “He’s not real,” just for good measure. There’s really no way to defend yourself against it. You just shake your head and get the pepper yourself.

  • Reminds me of a funny story. Mr. Dingus (my former boss) is an energetic guy who loves to play with his kids. Makes a fool of himself in public with them in a way I wish more fathers were comfortable doing. Anyway, we were out with his two daughters, one 4 and one probably 7 at the time. Mr. Dingus is playing with the 4-year-old. She would dart behind him and Mr. Dingus would pretend to have lost track of where she was. “Where’s [Dingus Daughter]?” he would cry in over the top confusion as the 4-year-old giggled hysterically. Me and the 7-year-old are off to the side watching this, the 7-year-old taking no part for reasons that I assume have to do with her greater understanding of the act her father is putting on. Surely, the game holds no interest for her since she’s in on the joke that the 4-year-old doesn’t get. But then, she turns to me sadly and shakes her head as she rolls her eyes and explains, “My dad gets confused sometimes.”

Anyway, back to my own daughter.

"I love that dinosaur/movie/book"
Exclaimed whenever she is reminded of one of her favorite things. She sees a T-Rex in a book. She points at a child at the playground wearing a Wall-E t-shirt. She sees a Tinkerbell backpack. Someone mentions Max and Ruby.

I’m sure there a many other expressions that I’m just not thinking of right now. Picking out small threads that make up your every day tapestry is rather difficult since it all just blends into the design. But these are the ones that stand out most in my mind as I write this, so that’s a good sign that they are the ones most worth mentioning. By next month, the quotes will undoubtedly be different and I’ll read back over these and wonder when exactly she stopped saying “What kind of _____ is it?”

At least…I’m hoping that’s the next to go.