Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Primo is my firstborn and because I have nothing to compare his behavior to, I often worry that it is abnormal. In case you’re wondering, this is not a helpful or constructive thing to worry about. My current concern is about his monomania.

“I wish you’d never read that word on the internet!” David complains.

I do this. I try not to, but I do. I skim scary shit on the internet and then I talk about it as if I am informed. For instance, I never read the Five Languages of Love but I talk about it ALL THE TIME. It is now fully integrated into my relationship-advice-giving lexicon, as in, “He just isn’t fluent in your language of love which is physical affection!”

I think I read “monomania” when I was researching the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Just before Seconda’s first birthday, I read some emphatic posts on parkslopeparents, got fully terrified for about three days, skimmed all kinds of crazy stuff on the web, spoke to my ped and got the vaccine, as planned, and it was fine. Feel free to air your opinions in the comments section. Nothing is so welcome on this blogspot as a lively debate involving thousands of comments and millions of clicks and world-wide fame for me, the instigator. So, please, I invite you.

But, back to monomania, I latched onto this term, having little to no understanding of what it actually means and now, much to my husband’s annoyance, I use it frequently to describe my son’s obsessive relationships to his hobbies

When you get right down to it, I’m the same way -- an easily-addicted, immoderate person who fully immerses myself in fleeting passions -- so I can’t fault the kid. In fact, I am actually really proud of the depth and intensity of his attachment to his interests. He’s a serious guy, my kid, a real man of substance. Plus, his monomanias have all been pretty esoteric, and we all know that esoteric interests are the coolest ones.

What he’s into right now is the book/ song “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.”

After reading the book and watching the Scholastic lightly-animated version, and singing the song about four million times, he moved on to making his own Old Lady books and performing Old Lady plays, with his matrioshka dolls.

That eventually grew tedious, even for him, and now he mixes things up by varying the theme of what the old lady is swallowing. If you read my post about the f7@cking fours, you may remember that the old lady went through an unfortunate period where she liked to ingest Halloween spooks like Frankenstein and Count Dracula. I was pretty impressed he could rhyme with Dracula, but, it turns out, that was nothing. Last night, my little rhyme-master outdid himself.

I was getting his room ready for bedtime while he jumped up and down on my bed like he’d just mainlined a packet of Fun Dip (did I just age myself as prehistoric with that reference?), when all of a sudden I heard,

“MOMMY WHAT RHYMES WITH PERSEUS?” This piqued my interest.

Primo was working on a Greek-myth-inspired Old Lady song, and, understandably, the name Perseus was giving him some grief. So I rolled my sleeves up and together we got the job done. I have to confess, though, that my rhymes are woefully inferior to his. Seriously. I did the first two verses and he handled the final two. You decide.

There was an old lady who swallowed Perseus

It was such a curse on us

When she swallowed that Perseus

There was an old lady who swallowed the Sirens

She checked her environs

When she swallowed the Sirens

There was an old lady who swallowed Medusa

She drank Jamba Juice-a

When she swallowed Medusa

There was an old lady who swallowed a Glockenspiel

She let out a squeal

When she swallowed the Glockenspiel

Perhaps she’ll DIIIIIIIIEEEEE!

(I know Glockenspiel has nothing to do with the Greek myths, but in our home, we fully embrace stream-of-consciousness in the creative process.)