The past two weekends have been a laugh riot. New Year’s Eve weekend we spent with Bray’s family at the farm in Louisiana popping fireworks, sitting by a bonfire, and eating a lot of black-eyed peas. This weekend, my father and his wife and my brother came in to visit us from Oklahoma City. We see them about three or four times a year, so the kids change a ton at this age in the months that separate our visits. That made this weekend with the family, as well as New Year’s weekend, by turns funny, enlightening, and bizarre.
I think one of my favorite things about my undivided time with the kids on the weekend is observing the nutty stuff they come up. The funniest example from the weekend is the term the eldest came up with for my dad. I called my father’s parents Papa and Gaby, so that’s what the kids call my dad and stepmom. They’re just now starting to learn that we all have names besides mommy, daddy, etc. because my nanny has been telling them everyone’s real names. Well, they heard my stepmom saying “Richard,” several times when talking to my dad. My dad has never gone by anything other than Richard – no shortening, no pet names, just Richard. So I have no idea where my funny kiddo came up with, “PapaRick!” I wish I had video footage to show you. He says it very loudly and all together, as if one word, and it elicits, as I’m sure you can imagine, hysterical laughter. Which perpetuates my dad’s new nickname and everywhere we go it’s, “PapaRick!” He’s now added, “Homa” when he talks about Papa Rick because my dad and his wife offered to take him back to Oklahoma with them and he was READY to go. Just this morning, getting ready for school, I hear “PapaRick! Homa!” Funny.
They really struggle with my brother’s name though – Caleb. We’ve tried everything but could only get one to come out with anything that resembled Caleb. He shortened to to “Pub” and they were able to grab that in an instant – it was also mildly amusing because my brother has been known to enjoy a beer or two.
Bray was the one to notice that last thing at night or first thing in the morning the kids have taken to practicing the new words they’ve acquired. As I’ve written about recently, the baby is currently obsessed with “apple pie,” and says it all the time, particularly when cooking in their new play kitchen. While at the farm last weekend, and with my dad this weekend, you could hear them all (through the walls or through the monitor), working on their linguistics. Most notably, the baby is keen on these recitations, and you’ll hear, “apple pie, five, gaby-papa, apple pie, coffee, gamma-ganpa, apple pie….” (If you didn’t figure it out, Bray’s parents, called Grandma and Grandpa by the other kids, are currently Gamma-Ganpa to my kids – one never without the other.)
I love watching these new found verbal abilities displayed, but the most surprising thing is how silent (relatively) the little lady is. It’s my boys that have mastered their tongue, despite what common lore would have you believe, which might just mean we have a pastor/lawyer/politician in the making (I can feel Bray shudder). Here’s a few of the highlights from our weekend: