Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's in the genes

I didn't even know he knew how to play Hangman.

"Yes, Mommy, I know, I knooooow. You don't have to teach me. I've seen you do it with your students before and I've played with Sofia a couple of times."

"Ok, Ben, but then don't you want me to go first? How are you going to know how to spell the words? And what if you can't think of anything?"

Then he busts out with this:

I'm not sure if the grin on my face was more from his message or the fact that he whipped it out without hesitation, informing me first that "It's 4 words."

For Round 2, the only explanation he gave is that he's "not really sure how to spell it" so he's "gonna do it the way he thinks it sounds."

For those of you not fluent in "invented spelling," that's SARCASTIC for ya.


As if that weren't enough, he hung me with it, too.


What kind of kindergarten graduate comes up with "sarcastic" for Hangman?!?

Oh yes...MY kindergarten graduate. And really, now that I think of it, his FATHER'S kindergarten graduate, too.

When I told the story to some of my friends and family, they just chuckled and said things like "Figures," and "I'm not surprised," and "So there you go." I don't know why we are ever surprised by Ben's personality; he is nearly exactly like us in so many ways.

It's like if now, all of a sudden, we have another partner in crime. It's not just the two of Us anymore, now we've got another one on the team.

And it's pretty cool.

For Father's Day, one of the gifts we had gotten Hubby was a book I knew he had really wanted. A few days before Father's Day, Hubby does what he often does right before a gift-receiving occasion: announced out of nowhere that maybe we would all go to Barnes and Noble the next day to hang out and shop because there was a book he really wanted to get. (It almost never fails: whether it's a book or a $3000 bike, Hubby's impatience usually kicks in and he gets himself whatever I got him.)

But this time, I had someone else on my side.

Ben stops with his cereal spoon midway to his mouth and (almost) subtly looks over at me. We make eye contact across the table, and I realize that he got it. He gets it enough, in fact, that he says nothing over breakfast, but comes immediately over to me in my room when we are done. He whispers: "Mama, we can't let Daddy go to Barnes and Noble!"

"I know, Ben, so here's what we're going to do..."

Between the two of us we devise a plan to get Daddy home and avoid the bookstore altogether, and the next day, the boys and I surprise Hubby with breakfast in bed (Ben's idea) and a bag filled with gifts, including the book he really, really wanted.

It's kind of odd, this shift we have felt from baby to full-fledged kid. And a smart, funny kid, at who can actually be part of the conspiracies, instead of have them explained to him all the time.

It's funny, because waaaaaay back in the days before kids, one of our biggest concern was our "cocoon." We used to say that we had this little cocoon of two, and we were very hesitant to let anyone else in. We liked each other so much, we weren't sure how we were going to handle having to share each other with someone else. (And don't get me wrong; there are definitely plenty of days when we would like nothing more than to throw the kids out the window drive-by style at the grandparents' house.) "Can you imagine?" we would ask each other. "We're gonna have a whole little person around here, another human being, sharing our space, our home, our life, our cocoon..."

And yet here we are now, stuffed in tight, the four of us, into this space...and now it feels like Ben has crossed over to really feeling like one of Us...similar humor, strong in his opinions, blunt in his thoughts, curious about everything.
Welcome to the team, Ben.


  1. It's amazing when they start to "get" things, isn't it?

    Love his hangman phrases. Yeah, sarcastic would have hung me too.

  2. As this post. I have been feeling similar things about my kiddo who will start kindergarten soon. The things that come out of his mouth are just so...US. We just got back from vacay and he had us cracking up every 5 minutes because it was like traveling with a person this time instead of a baby. That probably sounds weird, but still.
    The hangman is awesome. Mine probably would have spelled "cheetah". Because everything is about cheetahs right now. Who knows?


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