Note: I wrote this post a few days ago, right before my laptop was found face down on the floor beside our desk, charger still intact, in what appears to be some random, drive-by child-meets-gravity accident. Can’t quite say for sure who’s responsible, but the Mighty does have some solid arm strength these days…But what I really want to tell you is that nothing about which is talked in this post is true now. Quinn’s new favorite word is “Please,” or rather “Beee! Beee! Beeeeeee!” She says it so often–for juice, to be picked up, to get us the heck out of her way because she’s trying to tackle the dog–that I often wonder why we think it’s so great to teach kids manners in the first place.
You know this is the whole reason I write this blog thing, right? It all changes so quickly. If I don’t capture all of this now I’ll have nothing with which to embarrass them when they bring around their first boyfriends. And isn’t that really the goal?
Our Mighty Quinn is a sweetheart in the running, spinning, giggling, demanding, jumping, rolling form of our precious youngest daughter. She still has that dimple in her right cheek that pops whenever she grins at us. It will make your heart go all gooey-like if she ever looks at you like that, I promise you. When she cackles in laughter she’s all cheeks and dimple and bright, bright, flashing (green?) eyes and little teeth. She’s a toddler-talks-a-lot, all “I want down” and “Let’s go get ‘Sir-sha’” and “I want juice.” She calls me ‘Mimi’ or ‘Mama,’ depending on the way she’s thinking about the words that are rolling off her tongue that day, and calls David ‘Didi:’ “Hiiiii, Didi!” She has this little munchkin voice, and she talks more quickly than those disclaimers you hear at the end of prescription drug commercials (and that better be the last time I use “prescription drug” and “Quinn” in the same paragraph, young lady), nodding, earnest, confident that you’ll totally understand everything she’s saying, but perfectly okay if you don’t, because she’s got this, she knows what she’s talking about, at least, and you’d better hurry up and get with the program, Mama, before I move on without you, graduate from UPenn, and head up my first Fortune 500 company while you’re still standing here changing the bag in the diaper pail. She is a cuddler, a hugger, and will hurl herself into your arms like a fireball out of a cannon (get it?! She’s a fireball? Because of that hair?!).
And she’s one of the most polite 19-month-olds I’ve ever encountered. She delights in saying “Bress you” when we sneeze. She says “I ryuv you” with abandon, and is quick with an “I ryuv you, too.” She is so determined to say “thank you” for everything she receives—a raisin (cut up, of course), a tissue, a toy. At dinner on Christmas, my mom-in-law was cutting up Quinn’s food on her own plate before placing it on Quinn’s tray. With every single morsel placed before her, Donna heard “Trank roo. Trank roo. Trank roo.” I told you: the heart. Gooey-like.
What the child won’t say is ‘Please.’ Oh, she knows how. We’ve heard her say it, when one day when she was so frantic to get a drink of milk that she kept gesturing at the fridge, going “Beeeeee! Beeeee! Beeeeee!” before we finally figured out what she meant. But that was it. One day of “Beeee,” and then…no ‘please.’ Just “trank oo.” I don’t know why—did she inherit the stereotypical red-hair-borne stubbornness (oh, dear Lord, no)? Does she just not like the way the “l” sound fits into the word, and she’s not ready to tackle that one yet? I’m not sure. She knows it. But you won’t hear it from her.
The other day, at lunch, Quinn pointed to her cup of milk, which was on the table, out of her grasp.
“I want dat,” she said.
I sighed. “Can you say ‘please?’”
She looked at me, finger still outstretched, her body straining against the tray of her seat.
“Yeah,” she said. “I want dat.”
We looked at each other, neither of us breaking our eye contact. I bit my lip. I gave her the milk. She took it, and drank, gulping the milk down like I’d been denying her the nectar from the fountain of youth. Then she looked at me over the lip of her cup.
Eh. I’ll take what I can get.