"Mom, I want mutant balls."
I nearly slammed into the car in front of me. "What?" I asked Kaiden as we drove to the bus stop. "I want mutant balls, it's a game." Whew. I let out a breath. This is one of the many things that seems to keep me on my toes day to day. I just never know what they are going to say next. I should keep a pad and pencil with me, just to be able to note these things.
It's so adorable when they first begin to talk, when they grow from bah bah bah to actual word. I think Kaiden's first word was "No" (go figure) and Kamrin's was "Dada." Then their language starts to evolve. A lot of what the kids have uttered over the years have become I permanent part of my immediate family's language. For example, when trying to teach my boys manners, and to say the standard please and thank-you's, Shawn and I would use those words over and over when we spoke to them, hoping that it would somehow become ingrained in their minds. If we asked them to do something, we made sure to emphasize "please" and when it was done, we said "thank you." Kamrin would always respond with a hearty, "You wack 'em!" To this day, we still say, "You wack 'em!" instead of "you're welcome."
One of our dogs has been renamed. He started off as Bo, and after Kamrin was old enough to hug him and understand that this was his pet, Bo became, "Bope." or on occasion, "Bopie."
I often daydream about what my children will be when they grow up. Adults have a tendency to do this, they'll see a child drawing and they'll comment, "Oh he's going to be an artist." or if he plays with Legos® maybe he'll be an architect. On one afternoon, when we were watching Kamrin do what Shawn dubbed the "army shuffle" (where a baby uses only his arms to scoot himself along), I asked Kaiden what he wanted to be. I threw out possible hopefuls such as a doctor, a baseball player, a musician (anything to support us in our old age)...and he replied, "A woman." I thought Shawn was going to hit the ceiling. It only makes sense when you put it into perspective. I was at home a lot more than Shawn was at that time, and I suspect I was what he related to. Or maybe that's my pride talking.
Time has very little meaning to children. Their idea of time is "forever" between holidays and birthdays. "When is Halloween?"
"Four days away."
This last year, when Kamrin was three and we were approaching his fourth birthday, he would often ask other children, "You wanna come to my party?" Or if he was having a particularly bad day, he would use it as a threat, "You not coming to my party!" Shawn and I were often invited and uninvited several times in a day. I remember at one point, Shawn and I were actually alone in the house and I asked him, "What should we get Kam for his birthday?" And, without missing a beat, he replied, "I don't know. I'm not invited." At one point, I had asked Kamrin to do something and he was being sassy. I put on my stern mama's voice and said, "Kam....(stretching it into two syllables)" and he started pouting. "You not coming to my party!" he shouted. "Only dad, Kaiden, Bope, Ripley, and...and...the guy who brings the cake!" Well at least he has his priorities straight. That kid loves his cake. I had a few pieces of cake left that I had put on a plate to save for later. Kam walks into the kitchen, spies the cake and says in a saultry voice, "Heelllloooo gorgeous."
I'm really into music. I once made a CD to listen to in the car, geared towards the kids, mostly based on beat. Kaiden has always leaned towards country and hip-pop (which I dread!), but even as young as 2-1/2, Kamrin has always had a thing for "Don't Fear The Reaper." But unfortunately, both of them heard (and forgive me, I don't know the real title of this song) "I Like Big Butts." Kam would sing that song in three verses, "I wike big butts cannad lie. I sprum. Whe-psssh (whip crack sound)." For those of you who are familiar with the song, you'll know what I'm talking about. I absolutely hate that song. I used to have to listen to it over and over. BUT...they can also sing "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel almost word for word. For the past year, Kamrin's song of choice has been Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He constantly hums it, almost subconsciously...when he colors, when he plays with his blocks, even in the bathroom. If you ask him to sing it, he says, "Winkle, winkle, little star, hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm what you are." I often get to work in the morning and there it is, rolling over and over in the back of my head.
They also imitate commercials. Kamrin has a knack for humming every fast food jingle out there. Grammie bought him one of those fish that look like they should be mounted on a wall that sing, "Gimme back my fillet-o-fish.." from McDonald's. I'm still thinking of how to get my revenge for that one. (And you'll probably get that stuck in your head now that you've read this.)
Shawn sometimes worries about his boys showing any signs of femininity. Like Kamrin coming out of the bathroom with long black lines from cheek to forehead after finding my mascara. While visiting my parents over Thanksgiving, my mom and I were talking to the boys about various activities they'd like to be in in school. (This is very similar to the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question.) Shawn was an extremely good wrestler and excelled at it in high school, so we asked Kaiden if he'd like to do that. He replied, "Will there be blood? (He relates to the WWE). Do I have to take my shirt off? (No.) Mmmm baseball or football or maybe an artist..." and since Kamrin is so not interested in sports, I tried to involve him. Knowing his love of music, I said, "Well maybe you'll want to be in plays, or maybe play in the band?" Kamrin immediately responded, "Yes, my want those big drums!" and aped playing the bass drums beating the air with invisible sticks like in a marching band. I said, "How about you Kaiden? Do you like saxaphones? Tubas? Trombones? Trumpets?"
"What about....(he pauses with finger to lip) a piccalo?!" My mom and I shook with laughter with an image of a big, stocky, football type playing the piccalo in the marching band.
Some of the things they say stop me in my tracks. I was taking Kaiden to a friend's house for a play date when out of the blue he commented, "I talked to Grandpa Ken today." Grandpa Ken has been gone for over 4 years. I actually don't doubt him. He and Grandpa Ken had an extraordinary relationship in the 2 years they were together. It was nearly magical, beyond explanation. I don't know what bonded those two together, but it was something unexplainable. I don't doubt what he said for a couple of reasons. One, I think children are more open to the supernatural. Or if you're not comfortable with that, angels. Two, I believe that when someone passes, they are still watching and will give you signs that they are watching, if you're open to them. I've often thought I saw Grandpa Ken a couple of times myself in a passing car, or in a group of people. But as an adult, I'll write it off.
Kaiden rarely calls Kamrin by name. He calls him, "Little Man". This stems from their daycare where they have 2 Kamrins (one Cameron). It started with one being referred to as "big Kam" and mine referred to as "Little Kam" thus "Little Man." It will be funny (although doubtful given what a waif he is) if he grows to be a muscular football player that he will be nicknamed, "little man."
(to be continued)