Friday, October 2, 2009


Recreated here in Nutella (sending you straight to the store locator will only seem presumptuous until you have some,) bananas, apples, raisins, Life cereal, a maraschino cherry and some peanut butter "log," (peanut butter, honey and powdered milk combined to make a sort of clay) on toast is a familiar face from an animated favorite of mine. He's half of one of the most popular and beloved duos in film history. He formed an unlikely bond with a spaceman. His voice is unmistakable.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bing Crosby.
The reference I was using for Woody had kinda sleepy eyes. Why I didn't just replace them with wide-open ones, I don't really know. It was late - just ask him. He's got a pipe ready, just out of frame and he'll probably put it between his teeth for a moment only to remove it and say something like: "Oh, hello! I was just getting ready to have a sit-down by the fireside here. It's getting late and there's a nip in the air. Bum-bum-buh-baah-boo, boo-boo-boo-boo. Why don't you come on over where it's warm and have a little ... nibble?"

Our son Primo was a late talker. As time wore on past his second birthday, there was less and less "oh, don't worry about it, everybody's different," and more "have you taken him to see someone?" On the one hand, he was signing. So he could communicate some of the basics. On the other, when we went through the 2-year well-baby checklist, we ended up saying "no" a lot.

"Is he putting together simple sentences, like 'car go?"
"Would you say he says 100 words?"
"Maybe 50, then?"
"Is he calling objects by name? Puppy, chair, car ..."
"Um. No."
"But he's saying the big ones ... 'mommy,' 'daddy'..."

I was slowly becoming a "maybe we should see someone."

But then he pointed to the counter and said "yummy." And off we went. It wasn't like wildfire at first, so when he started mimicking a pull-string Woody doll we got him, it made an impact. The little "Ha, boy!" from the backseat every time Woody shouted "Yee-haw, cowboy!" (one of four phrases) made Woody the one "Really talks!" toy that I haven't ever thought of "misplacing." Even now that Secundo is at string-pulling age, 25% of what Woody says still makes me genuinely happy, which actually might have Secundo beat, at the moment. (Being a 2-year-old, he sounds a lot like we did at the wellness checkup these days.)

So, now that I've cleared up that this is actually supposed to be Woody from "Toy Story,"  this is something I sent along during "Western Week" at Primo's school. Primo correctly identified him, though he wasn't sure exactly what he was made of at first. Apparently he asked his class' paraprofessional, but she wasn't sure, either. At some point he, or someone, went ahead and took a bite, because very little of Woody made it home. When asked what he thought of it, he said: "I guess it was a good time to do it, because on the next day we wear our cowboy clothes."

Then he started talking about how much more like a cowboy he would be if he had a gun.

For my part, I think opting for the brown dungarees I dug out the next morning instead of the pair of jean shorts he insisted on wearing would have done at least as much in that department.

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