Maybe it comes of having a brother of such rich vernacular means, but the things that come out of Gabriel’s mouth. John’s convinced that everything he says is a line from Richard Scarry’s Busytown Mysteries. I think he just picks up on everything, never mind my own indiscretions (honestly, sometimes I just don’t care—let my children see me as I am).

Just now I told him to go play in the basement while his biscuits toasted. He practically dove down the stairs on his belly while proclaiming, “O gracious Ward in heaven!”

And speaking of the toaster, he loves pressing down the lever. Loves watching it heat up. Loves waiting for the inevitable “POP.” Yesterday he said, “I put in the toaster. Get fire on it!”, showcasing the elemental way I imagine he sees things.

Of course there’s his favorite refrain to the incessantly repeated question, “Gabriel, what are you doing?”
“No anything!” Or this variation: I’m in the room watching his play (garbage dump and road building usually rank one and two on the list). I ask—because his play is so often a wonder to me—what it is he’s working at. His most recent (and unsettling) response? “Don’t wanna talk about it.” Umm, when did my almost-three-year-old hit tweendom?

But probably my favorite, and endearing, interaction revolves around music. I recently came across the Indigo Girls album, Rarities, at our public library. I’m obsessed with about four songs (including a cover of Elton John’s “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” and a demo of “Ghost” that includes a key change). G really listens to these songs and will chant back phrases of the lyrics:

“He said ‘sons of bankers, son of louyers!'” (that would be “lawyers”—from the Elton John song)

“Trashcan dream come true!” (“Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” again)

“He said, ‘deep night coffee black!'” (from “Winthrop“)

The first track is “Clampdown,” which G will chant from the backseat or at random times throughout the day around the house. Hearing him say clampdown is just about as funny as hearing him say “Mitt Womney,” but not quite.

[Postscript: On our way home from church today— at the conclusion of “Ghost”—he quietly said from the back seat, “That’s my favewit song.” Weird.]

need some snow!


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