Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Toddle 2 - DareDevil-try


It was not precisely a dare, but it was a test. I watched his slow progression from the ground to the pedals; he gauged my interest with calculating mirth. He knew I was somewhat preoccupied with the seventeen feet of bum wipes he had cheerfully dispensed for me, just moments before. I half-noticed his fingers grasp the handlebars properly and I managed some phrase of congratulations.

This is where the average human adult, underestimates the underlying cleverness (or depravity) of the species. I had no idea that this toddler, was coolly calculating my every move, while negotiating a very tricky maneuver of his own.

Poor, aging Uncle, had been outfoxed, out-maneuvered and out-witted by an eighteen-month-old child. He didn't call my attention until he was set. "Ga-Duh" he said, clear as a bell.

We are working on the "Gordon" thing, as well as many other words. It is my considered opinion that baby talk is learned from parents. "Goo-goo, da-da" are not the only times this happens. Even when we teach children the language, we are sloppy and lazy. For instance: I don't say my name as it is spelled, "Gore-Done"; it usually sounds more like "Ga-Duh" which is what he said in the first place.

"Ga-Duh" he said, clear as a bell, from the top of the tricycle seat, where he stood with his hands out at his side. His expression was one I have only seen before on persons about to leap from perfectly good aircraft, on purpose.

Being a dutiful, as well as aging Uncle, I freaked and leapt to my feet. I stopped myself from hollering, a sure way to get him to fall. Even as I reached for him, I mulled the situation over. His manner told me he was seeking some show of pride in his skill and bravery.

I had to admit I was proud of him, I mean would you do that? On a more hormonal level, the kid has balls. However, I could think of few more dangerous things he could have done. Also, irrepressible toddler had craftily maneuvered aging Uncle into being elsewhere while he performed this maneuver. He must have known it would be met with disfavor, and craftily arranged a "scenario" to handle the situation. It was kinda spooky.

I briefly consider all this , then screamed, "GET DOWN FROM THERE!!"

Not really, what I did was smile and say, "Austin" in as serious a tone as I might, without showing alarm or displeasure. He knew he would have to listen to a short speech, and took it gracefully.

"Mommy would not like that at all, Buddy." He leapt into my outstretched arms. After my heart stopped pounding I hugged him as well as I am able, and rolled him on the floor twice. After the giggling faded I handed him his spill-proof, sipper cup thingy, loaded with milk.

He rolled onto Bearfoot, (a large stuffed Teddy, with enormous feet) and deftly worked the cup of milk. I began to replace the deluge of stuffed animals and Fischer-Price Doodads in the toy box. I started philosophizing about the complex range of emotion and reason that was at work in this infant. The Human mind and spirit can be truly amazing.

Before I could turn about to check on the adventurous lad, I heard the creaking of a tricycle seat, and a giggled, "Ga-Duh".