Somebody who I hadn't spoken to in a little while called and asked how Xan was dealing with the terrible twos. "Has he entered into the 'NO NO NO NO' phase?" she asked. "Well, in his own way," I replied. "And by that, I mean he seems to offer further explanations with his 'no.' It's rarely a simple 'no.'"
He has actually done this for a while (in fact, I blogged about what turned into his favorite phrase at least once) Case in point for the new version: This morning, the three of us were in the car to go to work when suddenly Gloria Gaynor came through the speakers, discussing her post-breakup Survival skillz. Naturally, because disco was involved, we in the front seats started car-dancing and singing along with Gloria: "At first I was afraid I was petrified..."
The back seat disapproved. "No!" came the shout. "No dancing! No singing."
This has happened quite a bit lately, the plea for no more frivolity. And I have to say, it's not because the two of us are tone-deaf. I also have a hard time remaining quiet and morose all the time, particularly when he is having so much fun. We stopped for a minute, then suddenly bounced back: "And so you're back! From outer spa-"
"No, no! Mama and Dada, stop singing and dancing." There was some actual distress here.
"Listen," I patiently explained, "all the books we read indicate the singing with your child is a good thing, even if you have a bad voice. And not only don't we have bad voices, we have good voices. And I know you haven't read those books yet, but that's what they say, so there you go. Not to mention that this is disco, which is definitely indicates the necessity for dancing."
He contemplated that for a moment.
"And besides," I continued, "Mama and Dada sing because we're happy."
This, he could counter: "No."
"No. Mama and Dada are not happy."
"Yes. Mama and Dada are not happy."
I looked at Angela. "Well, I was hoping it would be a good day with the students, but I'll have to tell them that I was told I was 'not happy' today. I wish I had something to grade, man."
Angela stopped giggling enough to pipe in at this point. "Does that mean Mama is sad?"
"Yes," Xan said, "Mama is crying."
Angela proceeded to cry. I continued, "And that must mean Dada is angry." I then started growling like a lion.
This actually made him happy. He forgot that we were not supposed to sing and dance by this point and we could go back to doing that eventually -- although the downside was that we were then met with cries of "Mama, cry please! And Dada, please growl!" for much of the rest of the trip.