Their names are Bindy and Blake. Blake has oh-so wide jeans, a jacket and a baseball cap (backwards, of course). Bindy has braided brown hair streaked a fire engine red, a sort of minidress and go-go boots. As of today, there are three items that my older son cannot live without. One is a hat that his grandmother made for him, and the other two are Bindy and Blake.
The two Bs were a Chanuka gift from his auntie Jo, and while I was initially surprised by her choice, in fact dolls for a little boy are a great idea. Dolls offer an obvious avenue for playacting some of the scenarios that he's trying to sort through, like having a sibling, the various emotional baggage of his medical issues, or perhaps the kid at school who doesn't speak English, but sure wants to roughhouse with him. Yup, dolls for a small boy are a great idea - although I'm not so sure about the go-go boots. But Bindy's first game in our house was a game of soccer, so I suppose the boots will be a Ginger Rodgers kind of thing (anything Blake can do....only in heels).
Today, after a frustrating morning of not getting out of the house to run a necessary seventeen errands including, thankyouverymuch picking up a new prescription for the oh-so ironic birth control pill,
[sidebar: when our baby decides to poop in novel directions, few of which involve the diaper, he really takes it to an art form. Today he managed to go through three outfits in as many hours. Each mini-explosion was timed perfectly to coincide with either the interview of a potential nanny for next year, mama's lunch, or her attempt to get out of the house and run an errand. Peeing on mama was simply a minor fillip on an already baroque morning.]
I finally escaped with the baby long enough to collect my older son and his two B-buddies. I was instructed to buckle in the Bs (why??!!!), which I did (why??!!!!!!!!?), and we all went off to find mama some sanity at Starbucks.
Now, if you have a cute kid and go to one of the more family friendly Starbucks in our area (translation: "family-friendly" = easy parking, less staring at the lactating woman), your kid will be an object of some interest. Mine is definitely a cute one, and he immediately struck up a conversation with a couple at a nearby table. He took them on a detailed tour of his new winter gear, and of course introduced them to the two Bs. I curled my hands around my latte and tried to remember how my shoulders felt when they weren't sitting up around my ears. The kid played with B&B, the baby slept, and the couple resumed their conversation with each other. Slowly, slowly my shoulders descended, and the fog lifted.
Bindy: Hey, Blake! Let's play a kissing game.
(they press their faces together and rock slightly)
Blake: Let's go fight!
(they go under the table and appear to tussell, bumping the table from time to time.)
By now, the couple at the nearby table, the barrista and the cash register girl with no hair and many metal decorations are all watching. A woman reading a novel in Hebrew is studiously staring at the page. My shoulders creep up around my ears again. I force them down, resisting a slightly manic urge to giggle.
Me: honey, who do you know who plays kissing games?
Child: Sam and I like to play hugging games. And we play squshy-mushy, but then Judy says to stop.
Child: Bindy and Blake are married.
Me (relieved): really? How old are they?
Child: three and a half months.
Me: not, say, 30 and a half years?
Child (tone of withering scorn): No.
Now, I know that 'squshy-mushy' is his word for 'dogpile,' but the listeners do not. I also know that 3.5 months is his baby brother's age and that 'Sam' could be either a girl or a boy, and, and, and. I am, in fact, bursting with helpful information that could explain this interaction for our fascinated audience. So, now I have a few choices: I can comment loudly on the child's role as social analyst; quietly consider that the kid thinks my partner and I have a healthy sex life and argue a lot and whose role is 'Sam' playing if this is about me and ma man?; I could obsess about it (ooh, yes); I could try to publicly defuse the situation; I could acknowledge the audience; ignore the audience; laugh it off...
...or I could count my blessings. My kid is telling me what he sees, and hell, with a cup of good coffee in my hands, I guess I can just damned well shut up and listen. Thanks, Auntie Jo.