It seems like you’re a little taller every day.
It seems like you’re a little smarter every day, too.
You’ve surprised us, again, with your smarts this month. You know all sorts of things that we didn’t know you knew. For example, you met a couple little girls at a family reunion — your Poppa’s cousin’s grandkids, I think — and one of them, not really realizing how young you were compared to her, kept talking to you and expecting answers, which you really couldn’t give. But then she said that they were going to play hide and seek, and you ran off to hide… and when you were found, you slapped your hands over your eyes and started counting to ten.
We never taught you hide and seek.
Or, after lots of times of singing you the alphabet song and you never really singing any of it along with us, you were sitting at the dinner table and suddenly burst out with “q, r, s, tv, w, x, y, z, now i know abc, next sing me.”
You told a pun last night. Your first. Very advanced, I think, for your age — to recognize the possibility of wordplay.
See, you regularly tell us that you need a hassue (tissue) because you have a nosebooger. That’s what you call them. Noseboogers. However, you usually don’t actually have one — you just want to blow your nose and put the “hassue” in the trash can. So last night when I turned out the light and started to sing you your songs, and you told me you had a nosebooger, I didn’t believe you. After telling you that we didn’t have any tissues in your room and that you were fine, I finally put the side of my hand to your upper lip to act like I was wiping away a booger… and as it turned out, you were telling the truth.
You said, “Nosebooger — HANDbooger. Handbooger…” and at this point I watched your eyes flare with recognition of the power of playing with words. You said, “Handbooger… HAMbuhger. Fwench fwies. DINNA TIME!”
And you giggled that giggle of yours that makes me explode into sunshine.
The other night you asked for a couple of your favorite songs, and then asked for a song about a mouse. A song about a moose. A song about a mouse and a moose. Well, I’m a trained improviser, so I came up with a short little song about a mouse and a moose. You loved it… and asked for it again the next night, and the next night, and then you finally asked your mother to sing it. So I had to teach it to her.
By the time you read this, you’ll find this embarrassing, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
The lines to the song are very simple, as befits a song sung to a two-year-old when the singer has no time to prepare.
There was a mouse.
His name was Matt.
He met a moose
Whose name was Pat.
So Matt and Pat,
This mouse and moose,
They had a dinner
Of roasted goose.
And on the last line, I goosed you.
NOW, when we sing the song, you fill in the last word of every line, except the last one. When we get to the last one, you stand up if you’re sitting, and you half-holler “WOASTED GOOOOOSE!” — and you stick out your butt to be goosed.
It’s hilarious and adorable and I hope some day your kids do something that entertains YOU that much.
You met a new friend recently, too. On my birthday, your friend Joe got a new little sister, Laurel. We went to see her the next day. You made sure to tell her goodbye, and when you got home, you declared that one of your baby dolls was Baby Laurel.
I think you’d make a really good big sister. (You do, too. I asked if someday you’d like to have a little brother or sister. You thought about it and said, “Bwuvver.” I told you we don’t always get to pick. You said, “Wet’s twy.”)
(And no, this is not a letter where I tell you that one is on the way. Not yet.)
My advice to you this month: learn to tell stories.
Communication is so important, and so much harder to do than people realize. Telling stories is a great way to communicate ideas, and to engage with other people. And telling stories is definitely about engaging with other people. Not everyone will like every story, and that’s okay. The ones who do like the stories will have found some piece of truth that they might not have recognized before. Or sometimes, it will just mean that you bring someone a little extra joy, and that’s a pretty great thing to do.
Other than that, this month I’m going to remind you to be who you are.
Sage, your mother and I love you SO INCREDIBLY MUCH. Even when you have days full of whining and tantrums (you are having more of those than you used to), you’re still such a polite and sweet kid most of the time. We’re so lucky to have you in our lives.
I love you, Sage.