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Saying Night Night

November 26th, 2006

It’s hard to explain to a one-year-old where all the people that he said goodnight to for the past week have gone.   For the third night in a row,  Kenny asked several times for “Papa” and “Ra-ran” (Ryan) and it’s not too much of a stretch to hear the names of the other family members in his slurred toddler speach.   I responded to each with, “He’s home in his house going nigh-night.”   Kenny seemed to accept that all right, but asked a few extra times to be sure.

Come to think of it, explaining just about anything to a one-year-old is like signing up to teach ping pong to a penguin.   Last night, when Kenny threw a cracker at me (which was obviously not what he was asking me for when he was yelling, “CarCar!”), I started in on an  emphatic speech  about not throwing crackers, not wasting food, how was I supposed to understand what he wanted when he whined and threw things, etc.   Casey, who was standing a few feet away, said quietly, “He’s one.”

Yeah, I knew that.

So I sat Kenny down in his highchair, opened some YoBaby yogurt, and touched his little face and told him that I was sorry for getting frustrated with him.   He happily ate all his peach yogurt and cheerfully repeated “Dodurt!” understanding that “CarCar” means cracker, and not just the universal, “Food now, please, oh most wonderful Mommy!”  

He says many food-related words fairly well now: waffle, nana (banana), ap-plee (apple), carcar (cracker), peezah (pizza), pah-ta (pasta), tip (dip, meaning humus), cuk-key (cookie), and the funniest, “Dost!” (toast).     He will also say, “nack?” when he wants a snack.

It’s so hard, though, to be able to give him most anything he wants in many ways ~ snacks and books to read and games to play ~ and yet be unable to conjure up the family members he wants so sweetly to say goodnight to.   It’s one thing  to say NO when he wants to play inside the refrigerator or brush Dudley’s teeth, but quite another to deny him a night-night kiss from the people he loves.

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