I'm mentally stuck in that stage where I just mindlessly chase Carter around so he and everyone surrounding him survives his destruction. The babysitting stage seemed like it wasn't ever budging. Now? He's mostly trustworthy with bombs and such. I can let him run the house, confident he's lost all interest in carrying around the toilet brush or licking a random dirty wash cloth laying in the laundry room.
Enter the talking/understanding stage.
I'm naturally untalkative, so I'm challenged with the explosion of vocabulary and dozens of little (hilarious!) broken sentences that have straight out of nowhere graced Carter's current age. I'm supposed to be encouraging nonstop conversations and coming up with ways to introduce words.
But seriously. I was getting so good at the chaotic chasing.
I easily forget that everything has a name, and - whoops - he doesn't really know any of them yet.
We're sitting cross-legged on the floor, eating sweet cajun trail mix. Except for chomping, it's all but silent. This is nice.
This is trail mix. Can you say 'trail mix?'
He says it and probably forgets it as soon as his lips finish the attempt.
Uh oh! You dropped one on the floor.
I decide to just go all space cadet on him.
These floors are made of wood.
Wood is from trees.
You know, the trees that are outside?
Blank, unsponge-like stare.
Everything I'm physically doing deserves an explanation. I remind myself that he doesn't know why I'm boiling water (I figure out some words that somehow support the meaning of cooking). Why I'm washing the plate (Bacteria is probably completely over his head). Why he shouldn't touch the knives (a long annotation about how the word dangerous correlates to booboos).
In the back of my mind, I'm fighting myself, thinking There's no way he understands what I'm saying, why do I bother? I soo enjoy any rare silence that might creep into my house. I'm training my mind to keep moving; always search for words to talk to him about. The I'm so happy to know you's and songs that make no sense, the purposes of folded clothes and combed hair, the consequences of unbrushed teeth and stinky breath, the cats with their tails and the little boys with no tails, just a hiney. It feels so trivial and tedious sometimes. I wonder if he's holding onto any of this.
But I say it all, anyway. Because by not listening to my unorganized babble, he's learning even less.