Putting Harrison to bed has a fun perk. After I read or tell him a story, he immediately returns the favor. His stories tend to go in little trends for a couple of weeks until something stimulates him to make major changes. The current story line always begins with Big John and involves getting stuck in the mud. The stories vary a lot, night to night, but lately you can count on those elements. But the best part is after his story. Then he asks me if I'd like to know a secret. I always do. He won't ever tell until my ear is brushing his face, and then I get lots of warm, loud breaths, lots of gibberish I can't make out, and then a few random words like "apple" and "banana" and he pulls back with a huge smile. I assure him that's a great secret, and then I tell him a secret back.
Yesterday, while doing errands, we drove past a big colorful daycare. Kids were out playing on some very basic park equipment. Unfortunately, our errand left us standing across the street from this fenced in oasis and Harrison and Truman's big blue eyes zeroed in on it. They'd like to go play too. (Of course, we'd just been to the park, but that didn't seem to matter.) I carefully explained what a daycare was, and that they didn't have to go to one because Mom and Dad make sure one of us can stay with them. Oh, the disappointment and resentment! Truman didn't have the vocabulary, but Harrison did. "It's just not FAIR, Mom!" As soon as we were inside, he carefully arranged himself in his most pouty stance and made sure I noted it several times.
What am I supposed to do with THAT?
Speaking of Mr. Harrison James, he is getting quite the reputation in the neighborhood. His literal girl-next-door BFF Chloe was over the other day watching me give Dan a haircut. She obviously hadn't seen this do-it-yourself approach before and was eyeing me pretty intensely. When I switched guards on the clippers she wanted to know why I needed to do that. With H-man around, I don't have to trouble myself with trivial explanations of that sort; he's on it. He jumped right in, explaining that the guards were different sizes and changed how short or long I cut the hair. Chloe listened to the pretty much spot-on answer to her query, then sighed and solemnly said to me, "He knows everything."
As long as I've known Truman to talk, he has called Harrison by the name of "Ya-ya." That's cool. Tru isn't the leader in the toddler-speech field and actually hasn't even mastered the shortened (let alone full-length) version of his own name.
So, I'm used to the Ya-ya thing. Not exactly a fan, but what IS one to do? And truth be told, I've caught myself even using the misnomer every now and then. The other night though, Truman really took it to the next level as he asked for help getting the last firefly out of his jar. I was just close enough to catch: "You do it, Ya-ya James, you do it."