Owen’s power of communication has always been strong. Even as an infant, before he had any words, the kid could tell you with his eyes and his expressive eyebrows and his scrunchy little nose exactly what he was trying to say. As he’s grown, he has picked up on very subtle emotional cues and adult words, phrases and patterns of speech. And humor! Oh, humor. I would not be at all surprised if Owen grows up to be a comedian. He can imitate me with such precision that it often makes me laugh so hard I can barely breathe. He takes dramatic pauses before he does something in front of a group just to drum up the laughter. It’s an art.
Lately this understanding of language and emotion and cues means that he can tell what is about to happen before it happens. By the way I breathe in to say something or look at the door for his shoes before I say it’s time to put them on. Sometimes he reads my mind and says what I was about to say. And other times… he stalls.
His stall tactics have gotten quite good recently. Especially when it comes to flossing and brushing his teeth at night. The kid know exactly which buttons to push.
The latest [totally irresistible] technique?
Owen: I wanna hug me, Mommy.
Me: (Grinning.) You mean YOU want to hug ME? You say, “I want to hug YOU, Mommy!”
Owen: I WANNA HUG YOU, MOMMY.
Then he climbs into my lap and wraps his little arms so tightly around my neck and doesn’t let go. He pats my back or strokes my hair until I’m laugh crying because he’s just. so. precious.
And then I am forced to say things like this:
Me: Ok. Enough hugging. Now it’s time to floss!