Wednesday, December 20, 2006

dr. duck

Besides his sign language, real and invented, Isaac now says a bunch of words, most of which sound exactly alike, making context and the generosity of a mother’s ear crucial. There is for example, Hot, which comes out kind of like “Dot” as does Cut, Stop, Drop, and Pop. Then there’s the proverbial “Duck,” meaning Sock, Stuck, Truck, and, in fact, Duck.

Birds were Isaac’s first love, and though at this point his obsession with trucks rules large, his obsession with ducks falls not far behind.

Due not to any example or encouragement from me, Isaac constantly wants to see ducks and feed ducks. Duck books that have gone missing in the house have been known to cause inordinate amounts of trauma, and anything in a book even slightly resembling a duck, must, by the laws of Mr Baby, be a duck. A chicken or an ostrich, for example. “That’s an ostrich. An ostrich bird, Isaac,” I tell him staring at the same damn page of that First Words book for the umpteenth time. (God knows why ostrich needs to be one of his first words.) “Duck,” he assures me. “Duck.”

Many children have negative associations with the doctor’s office. Isaac does not. Besides the fact that our pediatrician is incredibly personable for someone with a medical degree, he keeps a drawer full of little plastic animals that he gives out to the kids after visits. There are starfish, frogs, bunnies, lots of stuff. There are probably no longer any ducks, however, because I’m pretty sure we’ve wiped him out. I counted at least seven bobbing along next to Iz during his last bath.

Here’s an example of a conversation I’ve had with my son more than once:

Me: “We’re going to go see Dr H today, Isaac!”

Isaac: “Duck!”

Me: “You’re going to get a shot! Cool, huh?”

Isaac: “Duck!”

(Later than same day…)
Me: “Here we are at the doctor’s, Izzy!”

Isaac: “Duck!”

(In the examining room…)
Dr: “How are we today?”

Isaac: “Duck!”

Once, when Isaac went to get a vaccination (a whole separate and contentious topic worthy of much blogging), the nurse made him cry, not with the needle, mind you. He got upset when she wanted him to sit naked on the cold scale and went about calming him in oh-so the wrong way. Trying to tempt him with an early toy, she waggled the bit of orange plastic in front of him saying “Look at the octopus! Look at the octopus!” Nevermind that it was really a hippo, which was where she lost credibility with me, it was certainly not a duck. After the dumb, mean lady was gone, Isaac reached into the drawer two-fisted and pulled a pair of little red ducks, wiping his eyes on his sleeve.

Ernie’s got nothing on my boy.

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