We do a lot of pointing at things and saying what the name of it is in English around these parts. Mr. Nathan repeats what we say and we move on to the next thing. It's all about repetition, right?
Well, a few weeks ago, Nathan and I were playing with his Matchbox Cars (thanks Jodi and Grandma R) and Mama got tired of saying, "Car", "Car", "Car", "Truck", "Car" as we pointed at all of them. So I decided to mix it up a bit and use the actual names of the car models or models.
That's where the problem started.
It's not that I don't know my cars. I'm pretty "non-girly" as those things go.
No, the problem was that out of all the things I listed off, the one that stuck wasn't the Porsche or the Ferrari, or even the Mustang or the Magnum. No! It couldn't be any of those. The one that stuck was "El Camino". Nathan thinks it's the BEST. WORD. EVER.
Not my Proudest Mommying Moment. I happen to loathe the El Camino with the fires of one thousand suns... -ish. (I might be rounding up.)
So for the next day he toddled around saying, "elcamino elcamino elcamino." ALL. DAY. LONG. Later we called my mom and Nathan and Grandma played a random "El Camino" game where he'd say it with a weird inflection and she'd repeat it. They both laughed pretty hard at that one. This wasn't just "once or twice"... it was at least 5 solid minutes of "ELcamino. elcaminO. El...camino!"
I'm in hell.
So fast forward a week. Last Wednesday night I put my sweet, little boy to bed, tucked him in a gave him a kiss. The next morning that sweet little boy isn't who woke up. Instead what emerged from his bed was some sort of Evil Alter Ego. Let's call him Senor Cranky Pants.
Senor Cranky Pants had a fit ALL MORNING LONG. He had a lot of timeout. At one point, I had him in timeout on the stairs. I let him scream for a few minutes. Then I pulled out all my best Mommying skills and everything Nathan and I have been working on for the last 2 months and went over to him. I took his sweet little face in my hands and said, "Nathan... Look at Mama's eyes." (and he did - we've been working on that - FOCUS when I'm talking to you). I said, "You haven't been happy this morning, have you?" and he nodded. "What can I do, Sweetness. What do you need? How can Mama help you?"
He looked up at me with those deep brown pools that are his eyes; eyes brimmed and running over with the tears from this last tantrum. He looked thoughtful and I felt like he understood what I was asking. This may be it! This may be the moment that my Awesome Mommy Skills help me COMMUNICATE with my son and thereby ease his pain. THIS IS IT!
His answer came in a soft, gentle whisper as he said: "elcamino".
Yeah...apparently the communication breakthrough wasn't really as "real" as I'd hoped. He still has no idea what I'm talking about. No Awesome Mommy Points for me that day. (although Senor Cranky Pants did finally disappear shortly afterward and Nathan and I had a pleasant day without him).
The final installment (I hope it's final) in this series happened last night. He'd fallen asleep on my lap. I carried him up to his room, changed his diaper and put his pajamas on him. He was NOT coherent, but he kept trying to put his arm through sleeves that weren't there. He was trying to help me get him ready for bed. That finished, I laid him down, tucked him in and kissed his cheek. I said, 'I love you, Sweetness. Good night."
And his whispered reply?
That darn car is going to ruin every Mama Moment for me, isn't it? That's what I get for introducing it to him in the first place!
He seriously loves that car, Jodi. It's the only one he knows by name. The rest are just "Machins". But he'll ask for his "El Camino" if he can't find it or he'll bring it to me and show it to me and tell me that it's his "El Camino".
Next time, I'll stick with things I won't mind him repeating!