Home > Uncategorized > Lessons from a Toddler: How to Make a Man

Lessons from a Toddler: How to Make a Man

The internet, if not the larger world, is already pretty well overrun by stories of children’s precociousness.

Can’t see the harm in adding another to the canon.

My son turned two recently, which has no direct relevance on the story, but the event in question occurred first thing the morning after the birthday party we were throwing for him.

Owen always has a few commands/suggestions first thing in the morning. The list almost always begins with “no no change diaper” and “jammies on” (as opposed to putting on the sorts of clothing that might indicate a departure from the house and, hence, the loss of chance to see fulfilled other common items from the morning request repertoire, such as “watch ‘Dino Train,'” “play trains,” or even the occasional “eat, eat, eat…”

Maybe a bit more a creature of habit already like his father than Daddy would like to admit, Owen tends to not stray too far from those items or closely related variations on the topics.

This particular morning, however, it was “”poon? ‘poon?”

Not easy to decipher initially, I let him repeat it several times before I realized what he wanted was a spoon. Out of the context of sitting in front of some food, it seemed like a new word entirely. As most parents will recognize, once you land on what your child is saying, it seems like it should have been obvious. Plus, I think Owen picked up an early affinity for wooden spoons, first from watching me cooking (“Daddy making pood?”) a lot and later when he realized a spoon can be an excellent stand-in for a guitar.

Again, as many parents will recognize (I hope it’s not just me.), once such a simple item is discovered to have the power to deliver such joy, you make sure to buy a few to have around just for the baby.

That being said, it had been a while since Owen had really requested a spoon outside of the context of eating. Once I figured it, it was easy enough to hand him a large wooden spoon.

From there, Owen went in search of his red plastic fire chief helmet before asking me where he might find “the boy.”

“The boy” is a very simple plastic figure which came seated in the plastic construction vehicle Owen had received as a gift the day prior. Rather than pluck it out of the truck for him, which is precisely where he’d left it shortly before bed time only ten hours ago, I asked him where he thought the boy might be.

Turns out it was all a ruse, because he knew exactly where the boy was. Don’t be fooled; for all the cuteness and charm, the perceived innocence is a tool for their use to get you to do their bidding. Everyone tends to think their child is especially smart, but I think maybe they’re not as smart as you think in the way you’re thinking of “smart,” while being incredibly smart in ways you would prefer to disbelieve.

The boy was immediately plucked from the truck (steam shovel? I was never the kid who was interested in construction machines or police or firemen or cars or anything stereotypical of young boys’ interest and, hence, sometimes don’t really know the basics.) and plopped into the helmet. Owen then took a seat in the middle of the living room and started stirring with the big wooden spoon.

“What are you doing, Owen?”

“Making….making a man.”

Of course.

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