Darcey turns 14 months in two days, and she is starting to attempt a step or two on her own. She isn't saying any words yet, not like her friend/rival Olivia who is two months younger and already has quite the little vocabulary (that's okay, Darcey could totally take her on physically - she's waaay better at standing up). Darcey says something that sounds like "tickle tickle" but it's random and not usually related to a tickling incident. Two women who were playing with her in church swear up and down that Darcey said "pretty" when they put a ribbon on her head, but those results have yet to be replicated. Besides, how can she say "pretty" or "tickle" when she's not saying "hi" or "mama" yet?
It doesn't matter really, because Zack does enough talking for both of them. Seriously, I don't need a fourth talking child because my ears are ready to bleed from listening to the first three yap constantly. Not Brad, so much - he's already beginning the tween/teen withdrawal so that whenever he wants to talk, I want to listen. Noah is at that great age where he is saying insightful and interesting things. But Zack, well, he's just killing me a little more each day.
Some things that he says are hilarious. He has no inhibitions and doesn't get embarrassed so he'll say some bizarre, random things. He'll see a stranger walking down the sidewalk and from across the street he'll shout, "Hey! What's your name?" He gets words wrong, like pronouncing licorice "snick-orice." And he can be tender, like when he told his swim teacher that she had the sweetest swim suit. He's hit the joke-telling phase, which is funny only in the absolute stupidity of the jokes he makes up. For example: How does a cow touch a hand? It eats it! (followed by screams of laughter and six more jokes about cows eating various objects including arms, houses, and trees.)
Other things he says are less hilarious and more grating. His recent addition to his lexicon is "I can't do it" and its many variations. It has to be said in a long, drawn-out whine, so that the whole phrase takes 15 seconds or so to get out. I could count the hours I've spent listening to "I can't do it" and the corollary "It's too hard." He spent his thirty minute swim lesson repeating those two phrases over and over while he did every single thing the instructor told him to do. I finally told him that he had to start saying "It's too easy" instead of "it's too hard" for the sole purpose of my entertainment. It makes me giggle to hear the whiny "it's too easy" - but don't feel sorry for him, that may have just saved his life.
Today in particular he Mommed me to death. Every single phrase, sentence, question, thought, whine, comment to come out of his mouth started with "Mom?" and then a pause while he waited for me to acknowledge him. And if I didn't acknowledge him quickly enough, he'd repeat it - "Mom?" pause "Mom?" Sometimes he wouldn't hear me so it would go like this: "Mom?" "What?" "Mom?" "What??" "Mom?" "WHAT!!!" It's the Chinese Water Torture all over again, I'm strapped to a chair and getting "Mom?"s plunked on my forehead until I am ready to spill my secrets just so long as they will STOP SAYING MOM!!!
I finally lost it today when Zack had spent the better part of ten minutes downstairs at the computer, calling "Mom?" up to me in the living room, where I was on the phone, which I mentioned to him more than once in increasingly aggravated tones. He was oblivious, though, and just kept repeating "Mom? Mom? Mo-o-o-o-o-m? Hey Mom! MOM! Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom! Mom? Mom? Mom!!" The rest of the afternoon was no better, and at dinnertime I finally declared, "Don't say Mom anymore! You are not allowed to call me Mom! Got it?" I doubt he got it.
He's asleep now, the picture of beauty and childhood innocence. One day he isn't going to want to acknowledge that I'm even related to him, let alone his mother, so I ought to be patient and count my blessings. But for now, the only thing I'm counting is the number of days before I've got one more kid chanting "mom" at me. Maybe this is one contest I'll let Olivia win.