My son is the unacknowledged king of the simile. He is a poet, and he don't know it. Like a lot of his compadres, he comes up with the most startlingly astute observations when I least expect it. For instance, the other day he was wearing a pair of undersized army pants. (Don't ask: I instantly regretted buying them, although, it has to be said, they do look unbearably cute on him.) He glances down, all thoughtful, points to the motif and says, 'It's like puzzle pieces'. And another time: pointing to a tag on his top. 'It's like a flag'. And so on.
But my ultimate favourite bit of toddler lyricism came earlier this week. Allow me to set the scene: for some reason I always let LGO jump on my bed in the morning. Don't know why -- possibly because I was never allowed to as a kid, and really, it seems like a fairly harmless release right now. Who knows, maybe I'll think differently when he's 12 and cracks the box spring... Anyway, this whole bed-jumping routine also serves one incredibly vital purpose: it allows me to get dressed and ready. So the other day he pauses mid-jump and spies a white, modestly padded bra on the bed. Without a moment's hesitation, he holds the cup and declares, 'It's like an igloo'. Why, yes, I thought, it is exactly like an igloo -- a very, very small igloo. Still, leaves me wondering whether it's too early to sign him up to his first creative writing workshop. Bet he'd blow away all those Emo undergrads.
On occasion, however, his powers of perception -- though right on the money -- aren't quite so welcome. The truth hurts. And trust me, no one does truth like a preschooler. Because preschoolers haven't yet got that inner censorship button. In other words, they don't yet know how to lie, or grasp the social function that lying sometimes serves. That particular talent comes with age and years of experience; just ask anyone in public office... And anyway, we've all heard the stories -- the kid in the mall who practically shouts, 'Hey, mommy, that lady over there is really fat!' or 'Hey, mommy, why doesn't that man have any hair on his head?' Well, I guess the honesty-at-all-costs game starts at home.
Recently, my son has discovered the art of playing pretend. Needless to say, we never know who's going to show up at the dinner table each night. Will it be a rooster, a cat, or a sheep? Or, as was the case the other evening, will the anthropomorphic target become yours truly? 'Mommy,' he declares upon seeing me wolf down a second helping, 'is being like a pig...' Errr, honesty? From where I'm sitting: not always the best policy.