8:30 p.m. Thursday. Henry is being tucked in for the night.
Henry: [scratching his ankle] I have an itch.
Me: [Applying hydrocortisone cream to the poor kid’s rashy leg.] How’s that?
Henry: You made it feel better.
Me: Well, I’m glad!
Henry: Thank you for the cream.
Me: [startled] You’re welcome, Henry.
Henry: Thank you for making my rash feel better. I love my Mommy. [Puts a hand out to touch my cheek.] You’re soft.
Me: Who are you and what did you do with my son?
8:30 a.m., Friday. Henry and I are eating oatmeal.
Henry: [sounding eerily like an air horn, if an air horn could speak] No, not this bowl!
Me: You want another bowl?
Henry: [weeping] No!
Me: [sipping my tea calmly while Henry glares at me through his tears of rage]
Henry: Don’t drink your tea!
Me: But I like my tea.
Henry: No--don’t like it!
Me: I’m going to go sit over there now. [I move to the couch. Wouldn’t you?]
Henry: Don’t sit over there! Stand up!
Me: [My resolve falling apart because he’s making his oatmeal soggier with his tears, I stand] Do you want me to sit with you?
Henry: Don’t stand up!
Me: [beginning to sit]
Henry: Don’t sit! Don’t stand!
Henry: DON’T SAY OKAY!
So I more or less blew off the Internet for a few days; the Internet kept calling but I was checking my caller ID and letting the machine pick up, and then Husband says to me, “You have some comments you might want to read,” and I’m all, “What, did my mom write something?,” and he’s like, “Um, no, some other people,” and then I read the comments and I cry a little and I tell my husband how much you all rock and then the Internet calls and says “Come back to me, baby,” and so here I am!
We’re indoors almost all the time these days GOD HELP US WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING which means we’re listening to a lot of music ANYTHING TO BREAK THE AWFUL, AWFUL SILENCE and Henry is forming some strong opinions IF I DON’T PLAY THE ONES HE LIKES OH GOD THE SCREAMING. Here, in no particular order, are some of his favorites.
“First of the Gang to Die,” Morrissey
Henry: First to die! First to die!
Me: I'm enjoying Morrissey’s latest album, not least of which because it’s Swiffering my brain clean of my old Morrissey associations—the hours spent listening to The Queen is Dead in the Wendy’s parking lot, staring mournfully into the distance and pondering the bleakness of my future. That said, it’s a little unnerving to listen to your two-year-old shrieking “First to die!” while leaping about in glee.
“New Slang,” The Shins
Henry: It’s the ice cream song.
Me: I’m not sure why he calls this the ice cream song, as it sounds nothing like Turkey in the Straw, or as it’s better known, “Do Your Boobs Hang Low.” (Or balls! It works both ways! That’s why it’s a classic.) Or what's that other brain-searing plinkety-plink song? It’s difficult to recall anything about ice-cream trucks when you’re buried beneath a foot of snow. Did we enjoy this "ice cream"? Were we warm, back then? Did we not wear heavy boots?
“Chimbley Sweep,” The Decemberists
Henry: [standing, transfixed, in front of the stereo] That’s good. Again. Again. Again.
Me: Apparently Henry strongly identifies with the “poor and wretched boy” of this song. Or he dreams of being an orphan. While I like the album, this song isn’t my favorite. Especially when you have to play it over and over. And over. And what the hell’s a chimbley?
“The Art of Noise,” Cee-lo Green
Henry: [Is too busy frantically boogying about the room to issue a comment.]
Me: Damn. I didn’t know anything about this here Cee-lo until my very cool brother (who owns the very cool Sound Fix) gave me a mix that included this song. I could go on at great length about this song’s joyfulness and booty-shaking-osity, but really you just need to hear it and, you know, get your freak on and so forth.
“Oh What a World,” Rufus Wainwright
Henry: [looking highly suspicious] Opera. Nooo.
Me: Okay, so this isn’t exactly one of Henry’s favorites. And Rufus is getting all operatic on our asses, it’s true. You could kind of see it coming, if you paid even a little bit of attention to his previous albums. For the record, I paid a lot of attention to Mr. Wainwright’s previous albums, as I believe that he is not only a wondrous musician but also a dreamy dreamboat. And if he ever, say, needed to crash somewhere for a few days, he could totally stay here and I would make him cocoa and brush his hair and supply him with all the heroin he requested. Or if he’s not into that anymore, that would be totally okay! More cocoa, then!
Imagine, if you are able: Scott comes home; Henry and I are listening to music, as is our way at times (those times being when we are not making Playdoh pancakes or weeping into our fists).
Scott: What are you listening to, sport?
Henry: It’s a song about fucking.
Scott looks at me.
Me: That’s not what he’s saying! He’s obviously saying something else!
Henry (delighted): It’s about fucking! FUCKING!
Me: I know he’s saying something else! I just can’t identify what it is!
I waited for him to lie his dinosaur on top of Spider-Man and say, “Like that! Fucking!” But fortunately for me and sadly for this blog, no.
Now before I endure another onslaught of scandalized emails: PEOPLE. He was not saying that. He speaks in the charming but often baffling language of toddler-ese, where f’s become s’s and “puppies” becomes something obscene. He was probably saying “It’s a song I enjoy very fucking much.” Like that! You see!