First things first: My two year-old nephew’s Christmas present to me was awesome, the best gift a child could ever possibly give to a childless adult with a demented sense of humor.
When I first arrived at my (little) sister’s house in New Hampshire, my sister warned me not to go into giggly hysterics if the two year-old nephew emitted a particular (and rare) curse at the world. She somewhat shamefully insisted to me she’d only said it in front of him once, that he’d heard far worse from others, but he’d remembered that…THAT particular line of vulgarity, and she didn’t know why that was. I told her I couldn’t promise anything. Kids emulating adults, as long as it’s not bullying/abusive, is just hilarious to me.
Two year old neph is incredibly smart and conniving, I’m learning, the way two year olds often are. He can formulate full sentences and can hold pretty decent conversations with the invisibles around him. Everyone else can sod off in his world; rarely does he take interest in the problems of live people, especially those tall, arrogant Authority Figures around him every day who constantly say, “No.” He’s practiced in the art of alligator tears, having watched his two month-old brother wailing and flailing and getting all the attention. Two year old neph can expertly squeeze forth a couple of salty drops from his round, hazel eyes while he lets out a purposeful, carefully enunciated “WAH! WAAAAH!”
But his real, vented frustrations are modeled carefully off the Authorities’, and he’s just perfect at it all. He woke up late this morning, not quite fully aware of the grand significance of All Things Christmas-y and-Santa Clause-related (he’s only two for crying out loud). Then he promptly made his routine, formal announcement to those listening on the baby monitor that HE was Up And HE Wished To See the Authority Figures On Matters of the Utmost Importance Right Away.
(Various demands and proclamations included — but weren’t limited to — issues about not eating breakfast, issues about eating breakfast, issues involving drinking chocolate milk, issues involving maaaaaaybe not drinking chocolate milk, issues about not wanting to go downstairs, issues about wanting to go downstairs, and there was probably something else about cars and trains and lots of inquiries about those sorts of pressing matters, all of it VEWY IMPORTANT.)
Male Authority Figure patiently said, “Good morning,” and granted two year old neph “permission” (Right, as IF!) to enter the domain of both Authority Figures.
Upon opening his bedroom door, two year old neph soon discovered the delightful surprise that had been Velcro-looped carefully to the doorknob: A colorful stocking filled to the brim with Stuff…
…Stuff that made noise, Stuff that tasted so AMAZING, Stuff that could go-go-go on a carpeted floor, Stuff wrapped so crisply it crinkled…Stuff to play with! Stuff to eat!
Stuff that made its stocking-container quite unwieldy and awkward for a two year-old to carry to the Authority Figures’ bedroom.
I was just dragging myself out of bed when I heard a “CLUNK” — the sound of the heavy stocking with Stuff dropping to the wooden floor, loud enough that it reverberated throughout the upstairs hallway.
This was then followed by the exasperated voice of my two year-old nephew saying,
I’m glad I couldn’t promise anything to my sister because I laughed until it hurt.
And with that I end with the brilliance of Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal comic creator) and his all-too true bit about children on Christmas…