You say “potato”…

From time to time, J will decide to become someone’s echo.  This, I believe, is part of his status as the youngest in the family hierarchy.  Every family has one kid who will incessantly repeat what others say with the sole intent and purpose of annoying the heck out of them; in our family, J holds this position with greater distinction than his brother ever did.  Yesterday, whatever word was said loudly, J would repeat in the same tone only to immediately assume a “did YOU hear that?  Where did it come from?  FREAKY, huh!?” attitude.

Our oldest, working the night shift at the hospital, is often stuck watching the weirdest things on TV.  He’s come home telling me all about Brazilian Butt Lift workouts, Genie bras, books on how to get “free money,” The Rifleman, Three’s Company, you name it…he’s watched it.  The one thing he dislikes above all others is Three’s Company, and in this household that is more than enough to make us tease him tremendously.  If he goes out at night, we’ll tell him “when you get home, let us know.  You know:

Me: come on knock on our door…

Husband: come on knock on our door…

Me: We’ll be waiting for you…

Husband: We’ll be waiting for you…

Oldest son: You people are SO weird!

Little pitchers, as they say, have big ears.  Can you imagine the even bigger pitchers?  Say, like J?  His ears are -figuratively speaking- quite large.  The fact that he knows which buttons to push to annoy his older brother makes it even better…guess who’s now humming the theme from Three’s Company?  Yup.

This morning J repeated every loudly spoken word, as I said.  I called out to his brother, the name got repeated.  I said “quickly!” to get him to hurry.  “Quickly!” got repeated.  My husband called out from the basement level and I said “no, thank you!”…you get the picture!

Today was shopping day.  It was a necessary expedition to groceryland.  The other humans in the household had done their locust bit and we were down to the wire shelves.  We took J to Sam’s Club and let him choose his snacks (we hid them when we got home and we will be parceling out daily allowances in a plastic bin.)  The only store where J doesn’t look tremendously large is Sam’s; the warehouse style aisles have such tall shelves that J looks quite average among them.  Every package is so big, that he looks small carrying them.

Our next stop was the grocery store where, like a fool, I said “I’ll catch up” and found myself carrying 20 items in my hands.  I meant to grab two things…I think they multiplied as I was walking.  And, of course, nothing was of a shape that would snugly fit in with the other items so I looked like bait for a hidden camera show.  People made way like I was carrying explosives.

I can guarantee that I was five minutes behind my husband and J.  They made it clear across the store quite quickly because, I might not have mentioned this before, my legs are about as long as is absolutely necessary and their legs are twice as long and elastic.  No one in this household seems to take into consideration that my stride is shorter than theirs and that, being plagued with hot flashes, my exertions to catch up with them usually result in crankily yelling out their names to make them notice I’ve been left behind.

No sooner did I yell my husband’s name that J, with his hypersensitive hearing, heard me and started calling out in the same fashion.  My husband, not being endowed with hypersensitive hearing and -furthermore- no longer in the phase of marriage where my voice is the equivalent of a siren’s call, jumped at J’s apparently spontaneous outbursts.  At one point, stopping to make eye contact with our son, he must’ve noticed that J was giving him one of those “dude, follow my eyes!  She’s like behind us!” looks.  They both turned to look at me, red and panting, running on my stumpy little legs, and J gave his dad the knowing “oh, you’re in trouble!” look.

“I was wondering,” my husband said, “why he was calling out to me.  Figured it was a Bobcat Goldthwait thing.”  Really?  I didn’t say anything because I was in the middle of a Chernobyl-like hot flash.  “You look winded!”  J, in his infinite wisdom, interfered by vigorously humming Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2…because nothing deflects a crisis like something one has seen on Tom and Jerry.

J’s sense of humor is keen.  It is also interesting.  Anyone who can run into a room, make sure one is sitting down and occupied enough that pursuit is not likely, and then dashes downstairs, causes clattering sounds, dashes back up, pokes his head in (just in time to see one moving as if to check the source of the noise,) proclaims “BYE!!!!” and dashes back downstairs is up to no good.  J, agile in spite of his girth and height, still thinks that he is invisible when he stands against the wall and doesn’t move.  He also thinks that, if it’s dark enough, his pajamas camouflage him.  Tell me, please, that that’s not interesting…

Today, during our visit to Sam’s, we got him enough soda to last a minimum of 24 days.  He chose to be amnesic about this fact once we reached the second store.  Motioning towards the soda, J got a stereo NO from each of his parents.  He looked at me.  He looked at his dad.  I pointed out, quite calmly, that he had already acquired soda at the bigger store.  Three steps down the aisle: SODA.  Stereophonic NO!  “We got some at the other store!,” and on we walked.  Five steps down the aisle (in the sweetest tone you have ever heard) SODA.  Dada decided to focus his attention on the display of toilet paper so as not to burst out laughing.  I closed my eyes, taking deep breaths and telling myself that between the hot flashes and J’s request my patience was wearing thinner.  I felt something tug at my eyebrow.  My eyelid lifted reluctantly and I was looking straight into J’s right eye.  SODA NO!  He said rather loudly.  And smiled…

The Cheshire Cat has been smiling and humming Liszt all afternoon…




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