Saturday, March 28, 2009


This morning, my children scrutinized a line of ants marching into garbage for 45 minutes. We went to get ices at Uncle Louie G’s and after devouring his cup of rainbow in about ten seconds, Primo became mesmerized with the ants. As is her custom, Seconda joined him and soon both of them had their noses poised half an inch from the filthy street strewn with wet garbage. I made feeble attempts to curb the grossness but they were having so much innocent, good fun.

“They so TINY!” Seconda shrieked, “Nice to meet you ants, you TINY ANTS! I LOVE YOU AAAAAAAANTS!”

This is usually how her monologues develop. She starts out pretty mellow and then becomes more and more thrilled with her own ability to communicate thought in speech, so she starts yelling and making grand proclamations with intense feeling. For instance, last night she whipped herself into a frenzy about this board book she’s very into now. The theme of the book is opposites and at one point, it shows a girl laughing on one page, for “Happy,” and a boy crying on the opposite page, for “Sad”

“The boy sad, he kai-ing,” she observed, “The mommy laughing.”

She regarded it for a moment in silence, and then, “Oh noooooo! The boy kai-ing! I no like the boy kai-ing!

Stop KAI-ING boy! You NAUGHTY! Go AWAY go AWAY go AWAY!”

“If you don’t like it, just give me the book and I’ll put it away.” I offered reasonably.

But she did like the book, of course. She loved to hate it.

“Oh nooooo, I no like this mommy laughing. You stop LAUGHING, YOU MOMMY!”

Primo had been listening to the whole thing and tried to set her straight.

“That’s not a mommy. It’s just a girl who’s happy,” he explained, “Mommies don’t laugh when their kids cry. If they did that, they would be a bad mommy,”

I briefly entertained the thought of explaining schadenfreude to them, before being restored to my senses.

“Yes, honey, mommies don’t laugh when their babies cry,” I agreed.

Sec took these wise words in, her little amazing brain computing all the information, and then she yelled at the book, “BAD MOMMY! GO AWAY!”

She threw the book in the corner and gave the bad mommy a time-out. Then she tossed her head back and laughed, a delicious kind of laugh which made it clear how much she enjoys herself. I don’t blame her. I enjoy

her, too.

Until she walked right over and blew her nose in my shirt. Then, not so much.