Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Outspoken.

No one has ever accused Sam of being shy. If this little girl I'm having has any sort of stranger anxiety, it will be an entirely new experience for me.

That being said, it should not be a surprise that Sam is a rather outspoken toddler, especially now that he's exerting his own independence and increasing his language at a sometimes alarming rate. We were out to dinner a few nights ago and I asked Sam if he'd like some orange juice, and he said yes. When the waitress came by, Mark placed his order for a drink, then I mine, and then before I could add Sam's order he leaned forward and got the attention of the waitress and said very seriously, "And I would like some orange juice, please." At the park today, I was chatting with another pregnant lady and asked her if she knew what she was having. When she said it was a boy, Sam piped up from the see-saw with "We're having a little girl!" In the Starbucks drive-thru, Sam is not about to let me have the whole conversation with the barista to myself. Usually after I order my drink, he bellows from the back seat, "AND SOME BANANA BREAD! AND SOME WATER WITH A STRAW!" Luckily, they think it's cute.

I'm simultaneuosly encouraged and wary about this new development. First of all, it's great that Sam feels like he has something to add to a conversation, that his thoughts are valid and valued, and that adults will listen to him. Good job, me. On the other hand, I realize now that I will have to be extremely careful about what I say around him. We're only one step away from "My mommy said your hair looks terrible today." I'm also thinking about how to address the stranger idea. I'm around him all the time now when we're out, but at some point we're going to have to have a conversation about talking to strangers, because not all of them are nice. How do I not scare him?

The other development along these lines is the questions. Ah, the endless questions. Do bees like trucks? Do engines have wheels? Why is that car red? And then the really esoteric ones: What makes traffic? Who made that tree? Why are there clouds? At the park today, Sam asked why the little hand-cranked ride-on platform was rocking, and I told him it was because it was a boat and boats rocked. The mother of an 18 month old standing next to us said, "Wow! I wouldn't have thought of that!" Listen, I wanted to say, when you get asked about 10 impossible to answer questions a day, you get to thinking on your feet pretty quickly...

I have to say, I love these two things about Sam. The conversation, and the questions. He is always very interesting company, and I can see him growing into a chatty, outgoing kid and a sparkling adult. But my brain hurts.

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