Friday, October 20, 2006

The Endless Questions

Tommy asks questions throughout the day.

But I remind myself that there was a time when I didn't think he'd talk at all. When he was three he barely said a thing and then slowly, the words started forming in his mouth. Of course I know he's still behind, he's probably at a three-year-old level now, but it shows that he is improving.

His words, they don't always come out clear, and if you don't spend every day with him you might not catch what he's trying to say. This is why I'm needed to translate. Sometimes he'll run up to Tom and say something and Tom will look confused and ask, "What did he say?"

All the questions that Tommy started to ask, they began last month. First he continued to ask where we bought certain things.

"Hey Mommy, where'd you buy one?" he'd ask, holding up a pair of his shoes.

"The BX," I'd reply, thrilled that he was asking questions.

"Mommy, where'd you buy vacuum?" he continued.

"The BX," I'd answer cheerfully.

"Mommy, where'd you buy book?" he questioned, pointing at the novel on the table.

"eBay," I said, wondering if he planned on asking me where we bought every little thing in the house.

He moved on to asking about names next. What he likes to do is pull out his Star Wars book with all the characters pictures in it.

"What's his name?" he'll ask, pointing to Chewbacca, even though he knows it's Chewbacca but he just likes hearing me say it.


"What's his name?" Tommy continued, pointing to Yoda.


And on.

And on.

I don't mind most of the time but I admit, sometimes I wish he'd be quiet, just for a few seconds, for goodness sakes. What I have to do is shut my eyes and remember how much I wanted him to speak, how wonderful this is, and all will be okay again.

Although I admit, last week I lost my cool a little bit.

After going over the entire Star Wars book and naming each character, I was a bit irritated.

When Tommy pointed to another character--Han Solo--I snapped, "He HAS no name. He's No Name." And then when Tommy's face fell I instantly apologized and said his name was Han Solo and would he perhaps like to do something else?

Now Tommy has moved onto asking about last names.

"What's Tommy's last name?" he'll ask, giggling.

And I'll tell him.

"What's MOMMY'S last name?" he'll go on.

And I'll tell him it's just like his.

"What's DADDY'S last name?"

"The same as ours," I'll reply.

"What's Christopher's last name?"

And I'll tell him.

Then he brought that dreaded Star Wars book out.

I really want to throw that thing out the window sometimes.

"What's Yoda's last name?"

And how should I know that?

So I tried to explain.

"You know Tommy, some people don't have last names. Just first names. Like Cher. And er, Roseanne."

But that only confused him and he blinked up at me.

"Er. Yoda's last name is...Green. Yoda Green."

Tommy nodded, as though this were perfectly acceptable.

"What's Chewbacca's last name?"

"Hairy. Chewbacca Hairy."

"What's Luke's last name?"

Oh thank goodness. One I actually knew!


"What's the vacuum's last name?"

"Er. Objects don't generally have last names.." I tried to explain.

A look of annoyance passed over Tommy's face. A look that I didn't figure I'd see until the teenage years.

"Hoover. It's Vacuum Hoover," I said.

"What's--" Tommy started again.

I felt my nerves start to lose it.

"Tommy, how about we paint?"

So I pulled out his Spongebob pictures and he began to paint. It was blissfully silent until:

"What's Patrick's last name?"

Remember Amber, he's talking, this is wonderful, talking is great, questions are great..

"You know Patrick's last name, Tommy.."

Again, the look of annoyance passed over his face.

"Star. It's Patrick Star."

Earlier this morning, Tommy was full of questions again. We named the entire Star Wars book and I explained why there was a bulldozer out in the street and what that loud thumping sound that he heard earlier was.

"The heater Tommy, it was the heater turning on.."

"Mommy?" Tommy called out.

I sighed, bracing to answer another question.

"Yes Tommy?"

"Mommy I LOVE you!"

And that, my friends, is why answering endless questions is worth it all.


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