He's Lucky He's Cute
I've been looking at old baby pics of Max recently, fondly remembering the days when he hadn't yet begun to talk. Pining for those days actually. Yearning. Clicking my heels together and closing my eyes and chanting, wishing for a time machine to go back to the days of relative silence. Oh sure, babies cry, but that's easy compared to what we're dealing with now. I'll take a full-on baby screaming, crying, trying everything-but don't-know-what-to-do day over the CONSTANT questions, chatter, demands, complaints, tantrums and Michael Jackson songs that we're experiencing now. In two languages no less, sometimes three.
"Remember mommy? In English we say "blue", in Spanish we say "azul' and in French it's "bleu". How do you say "blue" in Maya? In Chinese? In Italian? I have a friend, remember? His name is Raoul, he's teaching me Italian. I don't know Chinese but I think you say "buh". Remember? I like Chinese food. Can we get a whale shark in the house? I'd feed it! Grandpa got bit by a crab, remember? I love you mommy. I'm not your friend EVER mommy. Leave me alone! Come here NOW! Mooooommmmmmmy, can I have some milk please? I SAID I WANT MILK! Where's my shoe? How come? Why? How come? Why? I don't want to eat more, I am full, but can I have some ice cream? My tummy hurts, I don't want to go to school, can we go to a cenote? My tummy doesn't hurt in cenotes. Remember when I was four and my tummy hurt and I died? And there was blood everywhere! Can I have more salsa, I want it hotter. That's too hot, you burned my tongue with the salsa on purpose! FINE, just forget it, just forget about it mommy, just forget it."
And that was just one morning before school. The kid can TALK. And talk and talk and talk. Everything he says to me in English he repeats for his daddy in Spanish so we get double the chatter, double the fun. Or, he'll say something rude to his father in Spanish and I will reprimand him and he'll turn like a fury with "I wasn't talking to YOU, I was talking in Spanish, don't listen!" I picked him up from his summer course the other day and the teacher said "Max es muy lindo, muy, muy, muy lindo. Pero...........uy, TREMENDO, un pingo, puede hablar y hablar y hablar" (Max is very cute, very, very, very cute. But, oy, TREMENDOUS, a mischief maker, he can talk and talk and talk.) The teachers complain about his behaviour, he has a strong will to do his own thing, but then they pat him on the head, give him a kiss and say "Ay, pero es mi Maxito, mi Maxie precioso" (Ah, but he's my Maxito, my precious Maxie). This is going to cause us no end of trouble I am sure! Dennis the Menace got away with a lot and he wasn't even close to being as (deceptively) charming as Max.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the kid more than anything on the planet, but it's exhausting to be his mom! He'll be getting ready for bed, blathering on and on and on, lay down, still talking, pull the sheet up, still talking and he'll continue talking for the first few minutes of sleep. Heck, he talks IN his sleep! At this point a moment of silence means that something is seriously wrong. He's got the scissors and is cutting his hair in the bathroom. He's putting clothes on the cat. He's putting on eyeliner so he can be like Michael. He's "fixing" the toilet. As much as the chatter can grate, it's the silence that brings the fear.
I find myself apologizing to people at times for his behaviour, but they always say, "Ahhh, no te preocupes, es un niño! Y tiene mucha energia y salud, gracias a dios." ("Ah, don't you worry, he's a boy! And he has a lot of energy and health, thank god".) And this is so very true. So every time I am at the point of pulling out my hair I think of all the children who are not healthy, those who do not have boundless energy because they lack food and water, those who do not chatter incessantly about the world as they have had little to no education. And I think of parents who have lost their children (I don't think I can even imagine their pain). And I am grateful. And my exasperation fades away. And I give Max a big ole hug and a kiss and tell him that I am the luckiest woman in the world. And he responds "Yeah, I know, now leave me alone, you're squishing me and you're sweaty!".....He's lucky he's cute.....