Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lassos


Any time Jeff calls me from the “out and about” of life with Brighton in the back seat, it NEVER fails that before Jeff can press the “end” button on his phone, I hear my son erupt with words held for an eternity of sixty seconds or less. If you know him, or if you have read a story or two, you know Brighton talks. A lot. It matters not who is in the middle of a story, a dialogue, parental direction, if he has something to say, he just can’t help it. To make things even more interesting, he talks in circles, like a lasso. It’s the best way I know how to describe it. When he talks, my advice is that you better have both feet firmly on the ground, your ears wide open and your “bottom line filter” thing- a- ma-jig on because if you don’t, you may find yourself caught in the rope with hands and feet tied not to mention your own tongue. His rope can lead to worlds unknown.

As Mom, I get the whirring rope all day long which has caused a tad of desensitization. If I am not careful, his clever way with words can become more like background noise or something reminiscent of an elusive Peanuts parent. Because of my recent adaptive state, I can sometimes pull off talking right through his interruptions and actually keep my train of thought. Because of this new development, he has upped his game. His most recent tactic to move himself into the foreground is his echo. Yes, echo. He’s got the effect down pretty well. If I don’t get it the first time, the echo will come back around and get me.

When I am within seconds of completing a particular task, I find it excruciating to pull away and focus on a persistent little voice that I know will, most likely, take me to galaxy far, far, away with little hope of ever experiencing the satisfaction of making that beautiful check mark. When the echo technique fails him, his “sure fire” way in which he entices me from my goal to his galaxy is, “Look at me, Mom. Look at me with your pretty eyes, Momma. I want to ask/tell you something.” Then I get something urgent like, “Will tomorrow night be today sometimes?”, “We haven’t had gum in a hundred weeks.” ,"How long is my tongue down in my body?", “What are we having for dinner?” as he clears his BREAKFAST plate or just from today, “Why in Texas are they ‘pants’ and in Georgia they are ‘breeches’?”. Or something a bit more important like, “When I die and you die, will we be together? Then they will put a big rock on our heads? (tombstone) And put like ‘this person died in 1981 and his name was Jimmy’ on it?” and in the next breath, “What fun thing are we going to do tonight?” Notice that his words not only come by the mouthful, but like this last question, they can come studded with hidden agendas which prove to be one of his more advanced lassoing skills. In that simple question he leaves no room for the option of a hum-drum night. “I am not sure yet, B,” is my answer which was learned by untangling one too many knots. In my ignorant past, I have committed to things at 10 am for something 6 or 7 hours later. I don’t know about you, but I am in a WAY different state of mind at 6pm than I am at 10am. Twister or Uno might sound fun in the morning but after dinner……not so much. By that time, for me, the incapability of processing new information has set in. “Place right foot on red” might be translated as (there is a) “space right soft on (my) bed.” So if after breakfast I don’t have somewhat of schedule lined up for the evening, this is the suggestion I get at least twice a week, “Well, I’ve got the plan. How about if we eat dinner, put on our pajamas, build a fire, make hot chocolate, read some books, play Uno, pop some popcorn, and watch a movie? That sound good, Momma?” All that may sound just fine (albeit, too much for almost any night of the week), but in his mind, throwing in “read some books”, makes me a slow moving target and I better duck…..fast.

If his lassoing skills are ever seriously challenged (i.e. his “subtle” methods aren’t working and he is about to be left upstairs, in the garage, or in the backyard by himself), he usually tries to wear you down with more direct variations of his original request. Often his admirable persistency wins out. Just like all siblings, Julia may suffer the worst. With his high flying words, he wraps them around her, convincing her to do all sorts of things-- help him clean up his room, take off his snug pajama top, help him find his shoes, brush his hair, get his bag out of the car, give up her newly won “prizes”, find his snack cup, help him make his bed, “go up and grab my jacket”, fold up like a pretzel in the bus grocery cart (which he successfully did today at Albertsons), share her apple slices once his are gone, put away his bike/scooter and sometimes give up the last piece of turkey bacon. I do know that when he gets a little older, he’s the one I want with me underground on Canal Street in New York or at the market in Mexico.

Even though Jeff is a bigger target for Brighton, he is the least likely to be pulled in by the rope. Although, I do know of a few instances when Jeff took him into the office for a spanking and Julia and I never heard it. These may have been cases of “giving grace” but I can bet you, he asked for it (grace) and gave a good case to get it. Also, when Dad is on watch, somehow, Brighton always seems to have gum or a little “something, something” (pronounced “sumpin, sumpin” really fast) in his ever moving mouth. But just last week in the kitchen, Jeff said “no” when B asked for gum. Brighton kind of shook his head like maybe he didn’t hear just right and said, “What’d you say, Dad?” “No, Brighton. Not right now.” You ready for this? “Oh, come on, Dad. Talk like a real man.” Yeah. Because that one didn't go so well, here is how he approached Jeff the next time. “Dad, since you are such a good Dad, I am going to give you two pieces of gum.” “Thanks, B.” A confusing pregnant pause followed. “Daddy, since I am such a good boy, can I have two pieces of gum?”

He loves his voice. He loves to ask questions. He loves to have center stage in his present arena- whether it be the table, the car, the couch, or the bathtub. To Brighton’s credit, we are currently on Step #3 in “Motor Mouth Interruption Recovery”. His outright interruptions are decreasing. Now, instead of railroading a conversation with an outburst of sentences, he just grunts until you take a breath and then he skillfully throws it in. The sheer amount of his convincing ropes of words cause me to day dream about two things: what he might become one day and taking a silent retreat in a nearby convent. But then I know, in the silence, I would miss him…….. causing me to daydream about his voice, his questions and how I love to see his eyes, framed by his mop of hair, shine even brighter when he finally pulls me in.

5 comments:

Alyssa said...

I laughed and laughed. Who could ever resist, "Look at me with your pretty eyes"? And that comment to Jeff about a real man, whoa! But I've had some of my own lassos that I wish I could have held onto a little longer. Thank you for sharing precious B with us!

Margie said...

Wow, I really got to know Brighton in this story. You captured his essence with your words. I'll make sure my feet are planted firmly when I meet him. He's hilarious.

Sarah said...

this makes me want to be a fly in the sanders house to hear all of these fun moments. way to out talk the girls brighton!

Tori said...

What a sweet look into Brighton's growing curiousity and personality! I'm sure you must learn a lot from his questions on a daily basis. Kids are great about making us think about things that would've otherwise never entered our realm of thought!

TJ Wilson said...

you got him, K - what great descriptions!! hilarious and precious all at the same time. love this.