I’ll admit it – it was my fault.
Looking back, I should have remembered that Lucy soaks up words like they were air, and you find her repeating the oddest words months later. But, in my defense, it IS difficult to think beyond the immediate task of redressing your 18-month-old when the clock reads something in the single digits with a cheerful “AM” behind it.
You see, when you’re trying to put a 18-month-old’s pajama pants back on at 3am, and she’s wide awake and giggling at your fumbling, sleep-deprived attempts to do so, it’s easy to say the first thing that comes to mind. I do try to be at least a little polite about it (even if the words come out slightly slurred). “Lucy, foot, please”. She obliges by putting her right leg into the pants, smiling all the way.
Yay – success. Someone give that man a medal.
At this point, however, the left foot becomes jealous, and immediately tries to follow its mate down the right pant-leg.
Eventually I finish the task, put her back to her bed, and crawl back to mine.
Now, let’s fast forward about 6 months.
The clock still reads single digits. Cheerfully.
Am I’m still occasionally awake to see it.
I get her pajamas off. I get her diaper changed – mercifully it’s just wet. I grab her pajamas and start to bunch up the first leg.
Lucy, holds up her lower right appendage, cheerful as a clock: “Foot!”
“Thank you Lucy.” I guide her foot in, and start to bunch up the other leg.
Lucy holds up her other lower appendage: “Wait!”
Oh jeez. Visions of awkward parent-teacher conferences three years from now begin to dance in my head.