EVENT 1 – GIRL
I sometimes get a strange feeling of vertigo when I look at my kids and see a younger version of myself staring back. The eyes, the mouth, the eyebrows and, as my brother-in-law is so fond of pointing out, “The Enormous Brookbank Toe”. This final one is a trait I’ve overlooked my entire life until he recently brought it up.
Even more fascinating than the physical appearances though, I think, are the idiosyncrasies that get passed down. Somehow, whether it be through some magic of DNA or perhaps through imitation, my daughter has begun to do a face that my wife calls “Evil Teeth”.
Apparently, and this is only recently brought to my attention, I have a tendency to jut out my lower jaw, bare back my bottom lip and snarl. When I say it like that, it sounds like I’m imitating a bulldog. I once saw a picture of myself doing this and… it’s actually not very far off the mark. I don’t know when this started. I don’t know how this started. I don’t know why this started. Some people tap their foot, some people crack their knuckles, I happen to channel Teen Wolf when people start toying with me.
That said, it’s not something I do when I’m mad. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I don’t drive up next to their car and growl at them like an animal. It’s more the instances when someone is purposely messing with me. Sometimes Jade will tickle me when I’m trying to read or she’ll put more dishes on the counter right after I’ve finished washing my final fork or she’ll wrap me up in a comforter while I’m sleeping and cover my face with a pillow and start screaming, “Are you getting claustrophobic yet?” knowing full well that I am hyper-claustrophobic.
Yeah, try waking up to that.
You’d have angry teeth too.
So this evening, my wife and I and my daughter were sitting on the couch while my son ran around exploring. Jade and I were sort of just watching Quinn, the way you sometimes do. Sometimes you just watch your kids and they’re doing nothing more interesting than staring at their foot and poking it like it’s a dead cat they’ve found on the side of the road, but to you, it’s the most entertaining thing. I could easily equate watching my children to watching a Gilligan’s Island marathon. Just give me a comfy chair, a peanut butter sandwich and a jug of milk and I’ll be good for at least six hours.
Anyway, Quinn is sitting on my wife’s stomach and she suddenly, and apparently accidentally, drops her doll and it flops lifelessly to the ground. Quinn sort of twists her head a little bit and stares at “Baby” lying on the wooden floor then looks up at me and… Evil Teeth.
My little bull dog.
EVENT 2 – BOY
I come home from work today and my wife is standing in the kitchen shouting this word over and over again. “PEACH! PEACH!”. I come around the corner and find my son sitting in a chair and pointing at our fruit bowl. I ask Jade, “What’s going on? Why doesn’t she give him the peach? And she tells me that he’s not saying peach… and before she tells me what he actually is saying, I already know.
As the kids are learning new words, they sometimes mispronounce certain ones. For example, Rory says, “Rennn” instead of “Red” or “Wah-wer” instead of “water”. That said, there’s not a whole lot of ways you can spin “Peach” before it becomes that other word. That one word you must never say unless talking to a dog breeder.
Rory points to the fruit bowl and shouts it. He shouts The B Word as loud as he can and it comes out just as plain as day. Sure, it’s a sloppy version of “peach” but it’s also a very clean version of the word that shall not be named.
Jade says, “PEACH! PEACH!” and I can tell that she’s freaking out. I can read it all over her face; she’s imagining us dining in a Red Lobster and I our son is screaming for fruit like a drunken sailor. Parents are covering their children’s ears and the restaurant manager is asking us to please curb the language of our young one.
I’m sure she’s imagining a situation where we’re at the park and Rory begins chanting for his favorite fruit and then a horde of children take up the mantra and our family is chased back to our hovel by the torch wielding angry villagers.
And then there’s the cat’s meow. The Grand Prize. The Full Enchilada. I’m sure she’s imagining him in church. Our pastor approaches us eating a small, yellow / red piece of fruit and Rory gets excited, points right at him and says something that sounds similar to peach but really just sounds more like the other. There would be awkward silence where our pastor wonders “just where did he learn THAT?” and I’d try to explain but the deal would be done. The bell would be rung, as they say.
“PEACH! PEACH!” Jade cries. “You must say ‘peach’, Rory.”
“BEACH!” It’s the closest he’s come but we’re still hanging in the gray zone.
Oh well, thank goodness he isn’t a hockey fan. It could be far more disastrous if he were always going around asking about his puck.