I woke up this morning thinking I could really go for a diagram. A schematic, a flow chart, an exploded view; anything along those lines would do. I’ve always been the type of student that learns visually. I can draw a graphical representation of the connections between anything: the flow of a conversation, the relationship between friends, a DVD player with its top pried off so I can see the gears moving ( I promise I’ll put it back together, Spouse). The fun part of being a stay-at-home dad is watching connections form within the mind of a human being. All stimuli of the world go into your kid and you see what comes out, hopefully with a better understanding of how she works inside. I’ve been within spitting distance of The Child nearly every day of her life for two years. As a result, I am skilled at connecting what goes into her head with what comes out. This makes me feel close to my kid.
For the first couple months, The Child was like a computer booting up. Her screen said some things I needed to know (if she needed changed, if she was sleepy, what type of video adapter she had) but it was information of a purely technical nature. She hadn’t booted to the logo yet. After she had grown a bit more there were very clear corollaries between cause and effect: slinky made her happy, bath time was fun time, lady bugs scared her, when she ate corn she pooped corn. The connections were easy to follow. In her toddler days, The Child couldn’t say “berry” and instead opted for “dubby.” Grapes were dubbies, raisins were grandpa dubbies and olives were salty dubbies. I could see the logic behind her nonsense and was a better parent for it.
Now, though, her mind and personality have grown in complexity to the point that any unusual statement or action exists outside my grasp. She told me, “those monkey pirates came and took your saw, because it’s a treasure.” What? She repeated, or insisted, rather, that this was a real event for days. She does like monkeys, and I do use a lot of tools… hmm… she knows what a screw driver is, so maybe she know what a saw is… where do the pirates fit in, and why is my saw a treasure? There is too much going on for me to be able to decipher it; for me to grasp the whole of it in my mind at one time. Its at these times that as a parent you are required to recognize that your child has created something on her own. Delighted, perplexed, and without a hint of sarcasm I nodded and said, “they sure did, sweetie.”
We recently purchased a bike to aid in the transportation of children and goods. It’s a lovely bike, well geared for either climbing hills or conveying us at reasonable speeds from location to location. The bike also has ample storage to contain the many things a child cannot be conveyed between locations without. Unprompted, The Child told me, “my bike’s name is Fuffalow.”
It sure is sweetie, it sure is.