It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on the neverending adventures of one B.T. Esq., Professional Precocious Toddler. And so, once again, on the off-chance that the trials and triumphs of a toddler are of actual interest to you… well… you shall now be satisfied once again.
(Note: precociosity not necessarily included…)
I now give you to B.T., who shall recount his further adventures himself, in the first person. From time to time, I shall step in to offer my own thoughts and insights in order that you, dear reader, may have the most rounded presentation of the facts as possible.
Let it not be said that the life of B.T. Esq. is not fraught with difficulties, challenges, and danger. A young gentleman explorer’s life is not filled alone with fun and adventure. Nay, but in his ongoing quest to encounter strange and exotic sites never before seen by the likes of man (leastwise, not seen by the likes of man-who-is-a-proper-height-of-just-less-than-three-feet; unlike those ungainly five- and six-footish giants said man may encounter in his travels through exotic lands), there are many pitfalls. These strange lands are filled with many traps and snares: such devilish and conniving things as your own feet getting in front of you, or floorboards that are millimeters different in height, or immense, giantish tables whose tops come down to just the middle of your forehead so that you have to watch yourself lest you risk injuring yourself or, worse, getting a dreaded boo-boo. Let me say, my good people: I have faced all these troubles, and more, exploring these strange lands.
Thankfully, I have discovered that the natives – these aforementioned giantish creatures – are possessed of a remarkable, might I say even magical healing power? If one were to present to these mystical giants an injury, those creatures might bestow a magical kiss upon the injury which possesses astounding curative powers. I’ve found the magic most effective when kissed twice – once each by two of these giants. (Editor’s Note: his mother and I are not responsible for this discovery; we suspect he learned it in daycare/school.)
Of two of the giants I have grown most particularly fond, and I have attempted to learn their strange and exotic language. The slightly taller, darker-haired one persists in calling itself Daddy, while the somewhat shorter, more beautiful one uses the moniker Mommy. However, I suspect these are not their real names, but rather pseudonyms that they use while in the presence of explorers from a land of people of a more normal height. I’ve heard them use other names for each other when I believe they thought I wasn’t listening. Still, the words “Mommy” and “Daddy” suit my purposes well, so I humor them in this regard.
I’ve learned enough of their language to converse with them in short, two- and three- and occasionally even four-words sentences. My grasp of their strange vocabulary increases almost daily, and I find new words and new ways to express myself to these giants. My understanding of their tongue is such that I find I’m often better able to understand them than I am to speak their language myself and make myself in turn understood by them. However, the excuse of my lack of understanding has proven most fortuitous in many occasions, allowing me the opportunity to pretend I didn’t hear or grasp their meaning without offending either party.
(Editor’s Note: We’re astounded at B.T.’s vocabulary. About three or four months ago we started to try to keep track of the number of words he knew. Within a week we’d lost count with him closing on a hundred words. He’s continued to add words at an astounding pace. From various sources, we understand that his vocabulary and ability to construct sentences is very advanced for his age. His pronunciation on the other hand is very normal for his age – which is to say quite bad. The word “music”, for instance, he renders as “kikik”. Our dog “Shasta” is still “Tata”. “Song” is “Tong”, where the final “ng” is only a slight nasalization. And so on. Some words he tries to be quite specific about, and yet Dear Wife and I have no idea what it is he’s trying to tell us. It’s also funny to watch how he uses words and structure, like how he uses adjectives for instance. We’ve noticed a tendency for him to place the adjectives after the noun he’s trying to modify, rather than before which is the normal rule in English. This lead us to wonder whether adjective placement after a noun is possibly a more natural linguistic arrangement.)
Of course, learning the native tongue has also given me an appreciation for native song-and-dance rituals…
(Editor’s Note: B.T. had taken to spontaneously breaking out in song. His favorite is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and it’s musical twin, “The ABC Song”. He’s also a particular fan of “The Wheels on the Bus”, for which he’s learned all the relevant hand-motions. And of course, he loves jamming out and cutting loose in full-bore silly dance sessions. He knows where the iPod dock is, and how to turn it on – although he needs a little help getting both the dock and the associated iPod on and pushing play. He also knows what kind of music he wants to hear – usually upbeat and danceable tunes – and never hesitates to make his will regarding slow or downbeat songs known: i.e. Next Song Please!)
…As well as native literature.
(Good lord; we’ve created a Monster! It was always the hope of Dear Wife and I that we’d raise children who were enthusiastic readers and lovers of books. But maybe, just maybe, we took it too far. I’m not sure how we could have done it differently. But when B.T. gets it in his mind to sit down and have us read a book, he won’t take “No” for an answer: and really, how could we say “No” when what he wants is to snuggle in our laps and read a book, and we think that’s to be encouraged? Alas, or maybe not, we usually give in when it comes to books. Sometimes, though, we manage to delay it by saying “We’ll read a book after we do ‘X’ first.” And B.T. will often oblige by letting us do ‘X’ first. But he never forgets that what he wants next is a book.
(Lately, he’s taken it a step further: he wants to read them himself. Despite the minor inconvenience of not actually being able to read. But he’ll snuggle in Dear Wife’s lap, pull up his book, and when Dear Wife starts to read he’ll exclaim: “No Mommy Read Book!” Then he’ll get some other book to Dear Wife, take back the one he wanted and say “B.T. Read Book.” Some of them he seems to go by on memory – recalling some of what we’ve said on those pages before. Others he seems to read based on the pictures themselves, pointing out objects in the pictures with which he is familiar. It’s terribly cute, of course. And, no, we haven’t started him in on the heavy-duty Epic Fantasy stuff, yet. I’m saving things like Chronicles of Prydain and Lord of the Rings for bedtime stories when he’s little older and can actually understand it.)
I’ll continue to report on my ongoing adventures as I am given opportunity draft these occasional missives. Until next time, dear friends: never stop exploring.