Please forgive me if you find the following image disturbing (though it causes me to consider what fun the caricaturists and Saturday Night Live impersonators would have with Newt, were he the Republican nominee, and God forbid, future president). I myself was struck by the likeness. When I pointed it out to John, Jonah piped up, “Let me see! Let me see!” And what do you think he noticed first?
Nope, not the sweeping bouffant. Wasn’t the prominent ears or bushy brows. Immediately, and by immediate I mean a split-second, the J-man asked, “Why does he have such a little nose?”
Okay, so I had to search for a few moments even to find Newt’s nose in this picture. And I’m pretty observant. His nose? What kind of eyes does this kid have? We call Jonah’s attention to the smallest details (often at the expense of the much larger picture) his superhero superpower. His teachers regularly comment on it. The flip side is he doesn’t have much in the way of a herd mentality (one of John’s favorite Jonah-rific traits). He may have trouble working with others. And as much as most all of the kids in his class seem to truly like him and even seek him out, he’s just not sure what to do with them when they do.
Case in point: on Friday a boy in J’s class called out to him from behind the playground fence as we were walking home from school. “Hey Jonah!” he yelled. I had to remind J to say hey back. “Jonah, I’ll miss you.” J just kind of stood there, stone faced and dumbfounded. “You could say I’ll miss you too,” I suggested. “I’ll miss you too,” Jonah repeated. Then (we’ll call him) A called out, “I want to hug you.” I’m sure Jonah heard him, but he just kind of stood there, stuck, until I asked, “Do you want to give A a hug?” Still seeming confused, but willing and wanting to return the gesture, J ran to the fence and two very funny five-year-olds attempted to hug through a fence.
Here’s the thing. I bet you that if A was all the way across the playground yelling out to another kid, J would have piped up and exclaimed, “Hey, I hear A! A is so funny! Do you know something? Today A said…” and fill in the blank with a nonsensical incident that only two five-year-olds would find hilarious. Or say that A had a tiny tattoo of Spiderman on his arm, just barely peaking out from under his coat. J would be All Over It.
So is this why, when asked to brush his teeth before bed, Jonah (I mean, The Pink Panther) responded: “Do you know something? Pink Panther doesn’t brush his teeth? I don’t think you understand. I’ve never seen him brush his teeth. He doesn’t talk! He just coughs! Why don’t you understand?” I was trying desperately not to laugh, because The Pink Panther was entirely serious, and even a little distraught. The other morning before school he asked John, in all earnestness, “Why didn’t God make me a cartoon character?”
Sorry J-man. Sometimes life just ain’t fair.