Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Warm Sleeves and Impenetrable Hair

One of the funnest things in parenthood is the way the whole world becomes revealed to you through the eyes of your kids. You get to examine everything in new ways, think about things from different perspectives, when you really listen to what they say, to the questions they ask and the observations they make. Even to the words they use. I remember when Mackenzie was very young, he would ask me to "unpeel" a banana for him. It makes perfect sense - you get "undressed" when you take your clothes off, why then wouldn't "unpeeling" a banana mean removing the peel? He would also turn "upside-up" after being "upside-down".

Both of the kids are older now, the cute phrases of toddler hood are mostly far behind us, but they still occasionally surprise me with funny sayings that make me smile. This week I overheard one of them telling the other that it was cold outside and they needed to find a "warm-sleeved shirt". Mackenzie still says "orderwise" instead of "otherwise" some of the time. And he exclaimed in dismay that his hair was an "impenetrable fortress" when trying to shampoo it (I tend to agree - this kid has the thickest hair in existance. He can dunk himself completely underwater and it's still dry five layers down, like some kind of retriever dog bred for cold waters).

I know when the last of childhood's insightful and engaging speech patterns is gone, I'll be just a bit sad. I still can recall the day that Asa first called Mackenzie by his real name. Prior to that (and to all of our befuddlement) she had chosen to call him "Geegaw". I think a tear slipped out of my eye when her toddler voice first said the name "Mackenzie". Then again, I still call my sister by my childhood knickname for her, so maybe there's some hope for a few remnants, at least for awhile.

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