My son Ben is quite a character. He has had an uncanny sense of timing. For example, when he was 2, my Mom and I were driving to see my house that was under construction. As we drove, a squirrel ran out in front of us. My Mom slammed on the brakes. Before I could even think it, Ben yells out “oh shit”. Now, I do not know exactly where he heard those words, but the fact that he knew exactly when to use them impressed me. That should have been my first sign of things to come.
He is also quite the teaser. He carries around “Tasha”. Tasha is a Backyardigan. The Backyardigans are cute little animals that have adventures in their backyards. She is a yellow hippo that wears an orange dress with flowers on it and red shoes that have a single strap. Yes, there are male Backyardigans, but Ben took to Tasha. He’s also latched on to Dora, Minnie Mouse and Zoe from Sesame Street over the years. Don’t ask, I don’t know. Maybe he just likes his ladies. Anyway, Tasha goes everywhere. Even though I wash her often, she is always filthy and possibly carries a number of diseases. One day while out shopping, my Mom bought Ben a Backyardigan book that had a picture of Tasha on the cover. Tasha was barefoot. Ben became obsessed with Tasha having her shoes off. (Damn you mother!) The only problem was, Tasha’s shoes are actually part of her feet, made to look like shoes, with the exception of the strap which was loose. Trying to explain this to a 3 year old was next to impossible. But that didn’t stop me from trying. I told him that if I took her shoes off, her stumps would spew stuffing and she would never be able to walk again. “You don’t want her not to have any feet do you? All of her insides will come out.” He screamed at the mall for over an hour because he just wanted her shoes off and I couldn’t magically make it happen. What a horrible mother. Geez. I cannot remember how we ever got him to stop. Maybe he fell asleep, I have no idea. About a week later, he came to me in the kitchen and asked me if I would cut the straps off of Tasha’s shoes. I explained to him that once I cut them off, there was no way I could sew them back on. (They are practically microscopic) Of course he says “that’s ok.” I asked him 3 more times because I am not about to relive the hour of crying. I reluctantly cut the straps and he carries Tasha off with a big smile on his face. Three minutes later he returns and asks if I can put them back on. Shit. I’m about ready to explode and lecture him when a smile starts to appear on his face. “I’m just kidding Mommy.” I’ll be damned. A three year old just set me up!
Like many kids, Ben is good at making up stories. The kind of stories to cover his tracks. When I was pregnant with Mikaela, Ben occasionally had to come with me to the doctor. When you are pregnant, all routine doctor’s visits start with a urine sample. Woohoo! Unfortunately, I had no choice but to take Ben with me to the bathroom. This came with MANY questions. One afternoon, I noticed a paper cup floating in Ben’s toilet. When I asked him about it, I said “Ben, do you have any idea why there is a cup in the toilet?” He responds, “no, it must have been magic.” Mmmhmm. I could only laugh, because I knew exactly what happened. (Jenni, thanks for reminding me of this story. My how things slip from the mind over time! )
Speaking of toilets, when Ben was very young he was terrified of the Easter Bunny. He worried constantly that the Easter Bunny was going to get him. This went on for over a year. We came up with all sorts of comforting things to tell him. We even tied his closet door shut. Oh, and the smoke detector was not a smoke detector, it was an Easter Bunny alarm system. One night when he was in the bathroom Ben spotted a spider. I came to his rescue. After killing the spider, I flushed it down the toilet while Ben watched. I told him I was flushing the bad spider way down the toilet where it couldn’t get him. He responded, “is it going to live with the Easter Bunny?” I guess in a desperate attempt to get Ben to go to bed, we told him we flushed the Easter Bunny. Although I don’t recall doing this, it must have worked, because from then on we never heard a word about the Easter Bunny. So if you ever wondered where the Easter Bunny goes when it’s not Easter, he lives in my toilet with a herd of spiders.
Right now, we are having trouble with words. Everything Ben says has an “ded” on the end. Like fixeded, of runded. He also seems to make up words that sound close to what he is hearing. Like lightsaber, he says lightsaver or when he sings Jingle Bells, he’ll sing one horse something sleigh. My favorite Christmas song flub is “he’s gonna find out who’s naughty at night.” It’s entertaining to say the least. He has also been very curious about cars brands. He now points out Fords, Chevy’s, Dodges, etc. I will have you know that according to Ben, we drive Hanukkahs (Hondas). Yesterday, he pointed out a silver Zucchini.(Suzuki) Every time he does this it catches me off guard and I laugh uncontrollably. Which is never good while you are driving. He also is beginning to throw out big words, like nemesis. He told me recently during a conversation about the devil, that he (the devil) is Jesus’ nemesis. A pretty good observation if you ask me.
The time really does fly. Ben starts school in less than three weeks. I still can’t believe it. My little baby is going to start school. I hope that he does well and makes lots of friends. I know how tough school can be and how mean kids can be. I want to protect him from all of that, but I know he will have to try and hold his own now. I have always assumed, since he was very small, that Ben would be the class clown. Now’s the time when I get to find out. It’s a whole new chapter. I love you buddy.