December 5, 2012 by Julia
Fiona likes to put words in Jack’s mouth, which is easy since he doesn’t say many words of his own, yet. We have whole conversations with Jack throughout the day. She either talks for him, or tells me what to “make him say,” and I comply with a scratchy, high-pitched voice that we have recognized as “Jack’s voice” from the time he was about three months old. We’ve given him quite the personality. It’s pretty much based on who he seems to be so far in his young life, without the benefit of spoken words to express himself: rascally, cuddly, bold, curious, sweet.
One role Fiona likes to cast him in that I’m not sure exactly fits, however, is the “know-it-all” who actually knows nothing. For instance, he likes to instruct her on how to use the bathroom. We are usually obligated to keep her company, sitting on the edge of the bathtub. “Okay, sister,” Jack says. “First, you put DOWN the toilet lid. Then you sit on top of it, with your pants pulled up. Let your pee-pee out into your pants. Then you open up the toilet, and wash your hands in the potty water. Then you dry your hands on the wall. The wall is your towel. NO, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!! SISTERRRRRR!!!”
She will calmly correct him. “Jack, you don’t know how to go potty. You still wear diapers. You can’t wash your hands in the potty. That’s gross, Jack.”
Another recurring theme is that Jack believes he is actually wearing underwear, rather than a diaper, and whenever he starts to relieve himself he freaks out. This often happens in the car. “MOMMY!! OH NOOOOO!! I’M POOPING IN MY UNDERWEAR!!!!!! THIS IS TERRRRRRRIBLE…I’M SOOO EMBARRASSED…THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY WHOLE LIFE!!!
Fiona sighs and corrects him. “Jack…you’re not wearing underwear.” “BUT I’M POTTY TRAINED, JUST LIKE YOU, SISTER!!” “No you’re not, Jack, you’re just a baby who wears diapers.” “THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING!!” “Jack, it’s okay. You’re allowed to poop in your diaper. Right, Mommy?”
“Right, Jack – that’s what diapers are for.”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!”
For a while the big thing was Jack getting ready for a baby party. No special occasion, just a gathering of babies, by themselves, up to their own devices. Except, Fiona would be their servant. “Okay, sister,” Jack would start, as usual. “It’s time to get ready for my baby party. I gotta call Bobby and Johnny and Lola. You get the bottles ready. Clean clean clean!!! My baby friends can’t see this mess. Leave the baby toys out. Ding-dong! They’re here!!! AHH!”
Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you if it’s Fiona or I doing “Jack’s voice” half the time; it’s such a collaborative effort. I do know that she tends to make him more antagonistic, while I try to encourage the more tender side of their relationship. “Sister?” I’ll make him say plaintively, as he walks into her room, wearing only a diaper. “Do you still love me, even when I’m not wearing any clothes?”
“Yes, Jack, I still love you,” Fiona will say, shaking her head. And if we’re lucky, she might grab him for a snuggle on her bed.