Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Getting it all on Tape


Recently, it was pointed out to me that I’d better be recording Master Blackwell’s voice as much as possible.

His voice is quite cute right now, the reasoning went, but it won’t last for long. I’m going to blink my eyes and his voice will be asking me for the keys to the car and some spending money. This is, no doubt, very, very true.

As of last month, he’s two years old. His vocabulary is growing by the day but, for now, it hasn’t caught up with all he’d like to say and his ability to say it. The result is a combination of perfect English, indecipherable baby babble and lots of in between. And, as any parent can attest, few things are cuter.

The boy currently has a few catchphrases he’s fond of. Leading the pack are:

Pictured: False advertising. 
“Uhh-Genn! ‘Genn!” —  This refrain is almost exclusive to book reading. It’s great that the boy loves sitting in our laps and reading a book. Really, it’s amazing. What’s not great is getting through the ninth reading of ‘Elmo Learns to Use the Potty’ and hearing the boy say: “Uhh-Genn! Genn!”

“Peez!” — We are trying to teach the boy manners and this is what ‘please’ currently sounds like. It’s often accompanied by the arrival of ice cream and is, consequently, spoken with a measure of desperation.

“What’d you do?” — He gets a lot of mileage out of this one when he’s done something wrong. For instance, if I’m in the middle of watching a hockey game in sudden-death overtime, and he somehow commandeers the remote control, mutes the TV and changes the channel to order a movie On-Demand in one fell swoop, he’ll ask me, “What’d you do?” Meanwhile, I frantically attempt to change the channel back to the game only to find a goal has been scored and it’s all over. This happened by the way. “What’d you do?” indeed.)

“Whuh happened?” — When something out of the ordinary has occurred he acknowledges it. He also puts a a huge inflection at the end so there’s no question it’s a question. The boy really wants to know what happened.

“Choo-choo” — Ideally this means let's take a trip to the basement where we have a big play table complete with a little wooden train set and village. He can make his own little world out of all these toys. What “choo-choo” really means is: “Let’s go to the basement, get dad distracted by the train set and then check out what’s happening behind the hot water heater.”

I'm guessing if the 'Little Einsteins' had a team in the NHL
I wouldn't have missed the OT winner. 
“No.” — This is what it is and the boy knows how to use it. No problems whatsoever with this one.

“Mamma” or “Dahdee” — These really are two heartbreakers. When I hear him excitedly say “Oh! Dahdee! Dahdee!” I stop dead in my tracks. At that moment I am putty in his hands. It’s shameful. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like and I don’t have the good fortune of recording it yet but it’s without a doubt my favorite. I’m pretty sure that all of the above goes for Mrs. Blackwell too when it's Mommy.

“Min-keee, whea-uh ahhh you!!” — His favorite blanket is “Minky” brand so we call it “Minky.” When he needs Minky, this is what we hear. 

If you’ve read this far, I’d guess you are a parent. (This is just the type of conversation that bores the hell out of those folks without kids, perhaps justifiably so.) If you are a parent, you also know that there is no hope whatsoever in recording all the moments you want to capture.

There are so many little quirks, habits and behaviors that are heart-meltingly cute but, as soon as we get used to them, they are gone. We can’t hope to get it all on film or recorded.

I like to think that, instead of being stored in crystal-clear, high definition, those memories melt away and settle in a warm, glowing place and when we drift back in our memory they’re there — ill-defined, yes, but unmistakably beautiful all the same. 

Well, that's what I tell myself when the camera isn't running and he says "Oh! Dahdee!"

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