Conversations are somewhat rare at our house. Not as rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth, I think of them more like rainbows: infrequent, unexpected and completely delightful. Because I am never quite sure when the next one will come, I always take the moment to stop and take notice.
Some conversations make me laugh. Sometimes I scratch my head, completely perplexed. I have learned it is best to follow the exchange and see where it takes us. I savor each as fleeting glimpses into Sam’s thought process and how he views the world.
Here are some recent dialogs and my best interpretation. After you read this, tell me: What do you talk about at your house?
Holidays and Yankee Swamps
Me: What did you do today?
Sam: Yankee Swamp.
Me: You went to a Yankee Swamp?
Me: Was it wet?
Me: What did you do at the Yankee Swamp?
Sam: Get presents.
Me: Did you get a present?
Me: What was the present?
Sam: Barak Obama.
Me: You got Barak Obama? Really?
Sam. Yes. Really.
Me: Tony, open Sam’s backpack and make sure Barak Obama isn’t stuck in there.
Explanation. Sam has a hard time discriminating words sounding similar. To him “swap” sounds like “swamp” and “present” like “president, making for some very curious conversations. PS, for anyone worried, Barak Obama was not trapped in Sam’s backpack.
A trip to the hospital
Me: What happened today?
Sam: Felt sick. Tongue hurt.
Me: Then what happened?
Sam: Ride in the firehouse to see the dentist at a hospital.
Me: Then what?
Sam: Feel ok. Eat cheeseburger. Go home.
Me: That’s it?
Sam: Yes. Firehouse. Hospital. Home. Hug Mommy. Big hug.
What actually happened? It took me a few minutes to understand Sam’s version of the day’s events but he was actually pretty accurate. Sam had a seizure necessitating a trip to the hospital via ambulance. A fire truck accompanied the ambulance and Sam saw it (hence the ride in a Firehouse). At the hospital, a man in a white coat looked inside his mouth because Sam said his tongue hurt, explaining the dentist reference. He is completely correct about the cheeseburger. We stopped at the nearest burger joint for a refill before heading home.
Sam: NO SCHOOL TODAY! Mommy, no school. School tomorrow.
Me: Sammy you are in luck. Today is a holiday so the is no school.
Sam: Holiday. No school.
Me: Do you know what holiday it is?
Me: It is Martine Luther King Day.
Me: Sam, no presents on Martin Luther King Day. You get presents for Christmas.
Sam: Presents, Mommy. Unwrap the presents. DVDs. Yes. DVDs.
Me: Do you want to learn about Martin Luther King?
Sam: No Martin Luther King. Presents, Mommy. Presents.
Moral of the story? All holidays should come with presents.
Insights from an artist
Me: Sam, what are you drawing?
Me: (a little surprised) You are drawing wood?
Sam: Wood. Yes.
Me: The wood is pink?
Sam: Yes. Pink wood.
Me: (pointing) Really. And what about that yellow?
Sam: Yellow wood. Pink wood. Drawing wood.
Me: Pink and yellow wood. Really?
No explanation needed. It is the artist’s prerogative to draw what he likes.
Sam: Mommy! Waz the plan? The plan is, drive the car!
Me: Oh? Where are we going?
Me: What should we do on Nantucket?
Sam: Mommy! Watch TV. Watch On Demand.
Me: Anything else?
Sam: Eat dessert at restaurant.
Me: What's for dessert?
Sam: Chocolate cake.
Me: Is that it?
Sam: Yes. Is a good plan.
Again, no explanation needed. Clearly he has given some thought his ideal plan and except for watching endless reruns via On Demand, it sounds pretty good to me.
Watch what you say while driving
On a recent icy winter night Sam and I were driving when someone cut me off. I swerved, narrowly missing the car. My adrenaline rushing, I yelled, though moments later I couldn’t remember what I said. Fortunately human tape recorder reminded me for the next 48 hours (with near perfect voice inflections) exactly what I said:
Sam: Mommy yelled: Cheezets Christ
Moral? If you are going to shout something out, be sure you aren't traveling with a human tape recorder or be prepared to be ratted out.
Sam: Mommy! NO SCHOOL!
Sam: Is nighttime. No school at nighttime. Mommy! NO CAMP!
Sam: Is winter. Camp is summer. No camp in winter. Mommy! NO SLEEP!
Me: Sam, look out the window. What do you see?
Sam: See nighttime.
Me: What do you do at nighttime?
Sam: Go to sleep. Mommy! NO VAMPIRES.
ME: Sam, if you go to sleep I promise I won’t send you to live with vampires. OK?
Sam: Is OK.
OK, if you are looking for a little more of an explanation on this one, see: http://janetamorello.blogspot.com/2012/10/about-vampires.html
iPads and attitude
Me: Sam, you need to quiet down.
Sam: (Smirks) Ha, ha, ha.
Me: You need to quiet down and finish dinner.
Sam: (More smirks) Ha, ha, ha. Mommy you be quiet.
Me: (Upping the ante) Sam, you need to quiet down and eat your dinner or your iPad is going away.
Sam: (Bigger smirk) Mommy! No one ever said Sam’s iPad would be impossible to get.
I’d like to thank the TV show, Drake and Josh, for teaching Sam how to be a teenager. That pretty much explains it all.
It’s always Mom to the rescue
Sam: Mommy. I need help. I need help.
Me: What do you need help with?
Sam: Help with Sam. Help with arugula salad. Mommy. I need help.
Me: Sam, you need to learn these things. You know, I won’t be here forever.
Sam: (after a thoughtful pause) Mommy! We need more time!
Silly me. I guess more time would be the obvious solution.
Me: Ugh. I’m tired. I don’t want to go to work.
Sam: Yes. Work. You can do it Mommy! You need to go on!
Never mind he completely ripped this from an old Barney show. He has a future as a motivational speaker.
Best advice evah
After a rough day, I decided to take a walk and Sam came along. Once outside Sam turned to me and laid his arms on my shoulders and said, “Mommy. Take a deep breath. Deep breath.”
This is as good a piece of advice as I have ever gotten from a very unexpected source.
Sam: Mommy. Hug, big hug. Biggest hug in the world.
Sam: Mommy. No go. Stay.
Me: I’m staying. How long should I stay?
Sam: Forever and ever.
Me: OK. Why should I stay?
Sam: (After a considerable pause) Because. Stay. (Struggling for the answer)
Because. Mommy stay because…
I love you.
I stayed. Only a fool would argue with love.