Thanks, Ben Franklin. Now go back to sleep.
A couple of days ago, while we waited for Charlie's Xopenex prescription to be filled, he and I wandered down the aisles of the drugstore together. It was great fun. Charlie would point and ask, "What's dat?" and I would either tell the truth or dissemble. "What's dat?" [Pointing at shelf of home pregnancy tests.] "Instruments of the devil himself." "What's dat?" [Pointing at rack of athletic supporters.] "Elizabethan codpieces." "What's dat?" [Pointing at bin of leftover pink Peeps.] "Rat poison."
He was most enthralled by the rack of summer toys, brightly colored, hanging at toddler height, and tore a few of them off their peg before I could stop him. "Want to hold dat," he wailed as I carted him away, toy unpurchased. "Holllld daaaaat," he mooed, as we paid for his medication. "Hold dat," he sniffled as we drove away. And then he got distracted by, I don't know, his fingers or something, and didn't mention it again.
Didn't mention it again until later that night. His coughing, largely unimproved by the asthma meds, had caused him to vomit in his crib, and he woke up crying. I held him while Paul changed the bedding, and eventually he calmed as I rocked him. We talked. "Dat was pretty much sad," he concluded, as he rested his damp head on my shoulder. And then, "Want to hold somesing."
He already had his blankets, so I offered him his cup of water. "No, sank you. Want to hold somesing." I offered him one of his favorite books. "No, sank you. Hold somesing." I offered him one of his dozen plastic Godzillas. "No, sank you," he said, in a more peevish tone. "Want to hold somesing great."
Like what? "At the drugstore. Toy onna rack." Referring, of course, to the kickass purple and orange plastic semi-automatic water gun he'd coveted earlier in the day. My First Happy-Go-Spray-Time Kalashnikov.
Starts early, doesn't it?
When I explained that we had not purchased said somesing great, he was predictably fretful. I can't be sure, but as I left the room, having seen him back to his freshly made bed, I think he muttered something about the outrageous and unlawful abrogation of his Second Amendment rights, finishing with something pithy like, "Thoſe who would give up essential liberty to purchaſe a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Either that or "I had frow-up in my hair." Which, come to think of it, works much better on a bumper sticker.