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My kid the caveman

GAYS MILLS - Over the weekend, Thatcher had his first daylong play date with a girl.

Our friends asked us to watch their curly-haired daughter in exchange for them watching Thatcher on another day. They assured us she was always on her best behavior at the sitter and was quite verbal and able to make her demands known.

Neva, the little lady is only about a month-and-a-half older than Thatcher. We have seen her a little bit here and there, but we were not fully acquainted with her until this very afternoon.

We usually joke that our little guy is a bit of a caveman. Although his motor skill development, strength and height seem to be far superior to his peers he doesn’t say much, at least not in English anyway.

We picked sweet little Neva up and decided that some breakfast was in order. She was shy and rode quietly in the back of the car, while Thatcher chirped and squealed in the back seat.

Once in the restaurant, she was such a civilized dainty little thing, going into her highchair with ease and waiting patiently.

Thatcher on the other hand, was tired after a visit with Santa at the Gays Mills Community Room and took to running around chasing the other kids. His ability to cooperate with mom and dad was rather compromised at this point.

Somewhere along the line, as we were trying to wrestle the little beast into his highchair, he managed to get his grubby little paws on one of those little plastic containers of coffee creamer. As quick as a flash he popped it in his mouth and bit down. Spraying creamer all over the adjacent table.

By now, the civilized little person we had in tow proceeded to help herself to the bucket of crayons the waitress had dropped off and was patiently coloring. “I’d like a pancake, please!” she exclaimed. Our jaws dropped.

“Did you hear her? She just ASKED for a pancake! Oh, my God!” I was beside myself in shock that toddlers could not only be civilized, but also talk. “A green crayon!” SHE KNOWS HER COLORS TOO? I nearly fell off of my chair.

Things with our spirited, but tired, T didn’t improve and, defeated we put him down where he proceeded to walk from parent to parent getting bites of our breakfast, as we were hurriedly shoving it in our mouths, ready to leave.

“I’d like to get down and run around too!” the tiny voice next to me chirped pleasantly.

Once home, watching the two interact was like watching little chimps at a zoo.

If you’ve read my column, you’ll know that before I had a kid, I was no baby expert. By now, Chasca and I fancy ourselves pretty capable parents, but nonetheless we were fascinated watching a pair of little people interact.

Their interests only seemed to lie in what the other one had or was doing. Fortunately, there were very few tears that erupted during Neva’s stay. Those tears were primarily attributed to the toddlers’ decidedly different strategies on how to assemble a puzzle. Neva, followed generally accepted way of putting the puzzle pieces in the appropriate slots. On the other hand, Thatcher figures, “What good is a puzzle if you can’t dump the pieces out?” 

However, it seems that kids just reserve their best behavior for those who aren’t their mom and dad. We often receive reports that Thatcher is the “easiest kid ever,” when he is with the babysitters or at daycare. And listening to the shock in Neva’s mom’s voice when we told her how incredibly easy she was to spend the day with, reminded us that our kid isn’t totally wild and crazy, he’s just a kid—our kid.

However, I am not entirely convinced that he isn’t at least a little bit more of a caveman than the average toddler. But that’s okay, we love him anyway, silly grunts and all.