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Two and a Quarter: Money for a Bird

June 7, 2011

Now that Henry can talk, ideas have started to tumble out, fast. They skitter across our floor like the half-broken VW bug we’re all so fond of.

Hearing what is perking inside of my beloved child’s little head is brilliant and shiny and everything I hoped for and love. He’s so funny. I know it’s not just him, it’s the miracle of a little guy with new skills and no filters, but he’s the one I’m hanging out with, currently.

For a few nights in a row, he woke up to yell that he needed a bucket of water. When questioned further, he explained that he wanted one so that he could pour it on the roof of a car.

And I wonder: do his new abilities of expression help generate new ideas? Or has he been thinking about this all along, and can only now explain it?

Or he’ll wake up and yell that he wants some cake, or to see my car being towed. Did he want cake in the middle of the night before, or does he want it now because he can talk about it easily?

The ideas that he has during the day, at least they don’t wake me up. But I’ve learned that I tend to be in a hurry, even when I’m not.

One day Henry and I were walking to the grocery store. Unlike the other two year olds I’d experienced, mine wasn’t one to dawdle tortuously. He’d march along side of me, for about a half a mile. (We always bring the stroller, but he doesn’t need it.)

I felt lucky and perhaps a little bit smug that my kid was such a good walker when everyone else’s kid was first inspecting everything, and then demanding to be carried, and then running away, and then hanging off of the end of their arm in the collapsing position.

Except, we just hadn’t hit that developmental milestone yet. He now dawdles copiously, and does all of those other things, too. On the day in question I’d leaned down to tie his shoe, and a quarter had come out of my pocket. He’d picked it up and was squeezing it in his fist when he started to look up at the sky, and suddenly, everything slowed way down. He was scanning the lush green yards for something or other, and then peering into the trees. I asked what he was doing.

“Need to find a bird. Give money to the bird!”

Even if you’re not a two year old on a rampage, you’re probably a person whom birds who are not rabid steer clear of, even if you have every intention of paying them for their time.

I couldn’t explain that there was really no way we were going to make this happen. I find myself getting tense when the little plots he wants to carry out take a lot of time, and that’s a shame, because it’s not like anything else we had on the agenda that day — what, buying some cheese? — was any better than giving money to a bird.

After many birds thwarted our attempts, we finally left the quarter on a lawn, near a bird who didn’t hop or fly off.

Not all of the ideas try my patience: some just make me laugh.

Periodically he announces that he is “Doctor Henry.” The first time he said his, he announced that Dr. Henry would cut my hair.

This last time he said he was a doctor, he put the ends of my sunglasses in the outsides of his ears, with the lenses hanging down like a stethoscope, and leaned forward to listen to my heart with them.

I asked if I was sick, and he said, YES. I wondered aloud what would make me feel better. A kiss? He removes the glasses carefully and gives me a kiss.

I felt good before, but I feel better right away.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    June 7, 2011 2:10 pm

    They fill our lives with joy and laughter.

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