Big Brother is Watching You

Ian has learned to say, ‘uh oh!’. Actually, he’s learned to say ‘huh oh’, but we get the point. And while he seems to understand that the phrase means something bad has happened, he doesn’t quite grasp that it’s something you didn’t want to have happened.

And Ian usually only says this after he’s thrown something on the floor. Or while he’s throwing it.

He also understands the word ‘no’. We know he knows, but he pretends that he doesn’t. He knows that he’s not supposed to touch the endtable, and will quickly withdraw if we tell him ‘no’. Then his arm slowly sneaks back to the table, his eyes watching mommy and daddy to make sure that they really meant ‘no’ the first time.

Ian is such the little stinker that he’ll shake his head ‘no’ as he’s reaching for the table! Sometimes he gives himself away by shaking his head before he’s done anything. He’s a terrible Poker player.

But Ian is never cuter than when he greets someone. He’ll see a friendly face – any friendly face – smile, and wave. ‘Hi,’ he says. It’s so simple, and so charming. Distance doesn’t matter. If you’re standing next to him, or sitting across the street in a restaurant, Ian still says, ‘hi’. He greets men, women, children, the backs of heads, dogs. He greets statues.

All of this has led me to realize, quite suddenly, that Ian is watching every move we make.

I know Kelly and I say ‘hi’ quite a lot, and I’m sure we wave more often than I realize. ‘No’ is a given. But how many times do you say ‘uh oh’ in a day? Not only does he know the words and their meaning, but he also gives the phrase perfect inflection and timing. And he’s said it like this from the beginning.

He knows what the phone is for. We used to hold the phone to his ear, and he would quickly turn his head, looking for the grandparent who was talking to him. Or to stare at the red ‘on’ light. Now he talks. At first, I thought that he was simply responding to the person on the other end. The other day I called my mother and got the machine. I put the phone to Ian’s ear, thinking it’d be cute if he left the message. He had a lot to say. Talk, talk, talk, even though there was no one talking back.

Ian has two eyes, a big brain, and he’s connecting dots faster than we can draw them. I should stop picking my nose before…oh. Too late.

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