Yoo-hoo! This means “come here,” according to Benji, courtesy of his 65-year-old preschool teacher.
Oops-a-daisy! This means “uh-oh. Same origin as above.
Oh, dear. Another “uh-oh,” only used when it’s something he doesn’t want to do. Same origin as above.
You must be bananas! This is used similar to “that’s so silly,” and comes from copious reading of Sesame Street books from the 1970s. Thankfully, “groovy” has not yet entered his parlance, but if it does I’ll probably die laughing.
What you say? This is replacing “why?” and seems to be a way to keep us talking with him. But it’s quite irritating when he says it a half-dozen times in a row and I know perfectly well he heard me the first time. One time, Ian was just mindlessly chatting with Benji, and Ian said, “I don’t even know what I’m saying,” and Benji replied, “What you say, Daddy?” Exactly.

The other night we heard Benji describing Tillamookies (his favorite dessert by far) in the crib to his snuggles: “These are COOKIES with yummy ICE CREAM in them! They say, ‘Eat me! Eat me! Eat me, too!'” I’m sure the snuggles were much enlightened by this description. I’m not sure if he really believes food asks us to eat it, but if not it’s a very vivid and powerful pretend right now. Also maybe a little morbid and/or disturbing, but thankfully only to us adults.

The last month or so have been mostly pretty rough, with a lot of tantrums and fighting and knee-jerk “NO!” often followed by tearfully following our directions. Benji has a cold much of the time, which makes even adults grouchy and bad-tempered, traits only magnified in a 3-year-old. Anyway, we slog through each day and occasionally get a gem of cheerfulness to carry through to the next time.

Last weekend we went and got a Christmas tree with our pastor, his wife, their 3-year-old son Will, and their baby daughter.

That's Benji in the firefighter jacket. Will is in the yellow snow jacket.

It was pouring rain, as it has been for a couple weeks, and we had a short trip. But we did get the tree.


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