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Friday, December 19, 2003  

Deniece at 23 Months

I know there's all sorts of crazy text on my site right now. Crazier than usual, I mean. I don't know what's going on. I'd fix it if I could.

Actually, let me clarify that. I'd fix it if I knew it would take me less than thirty seconds to do so. Since it won't, I'll put it off and blame Blogger.

Maybe it's because I changed the font size. I try to make things more readable, and look what happens. I mean, suddenly all of my quotation marks and apostrophes have to be perfectly vertical? What's that about? And if I want to use a letter with an accent mark, like é, I can just forget about it. Please bear with me, and I'll try to fix the gibberish issue, and if you can just be patient and stick with me through this I'll send you a free @$%*§^&€# after it's all over.

* * *

My niece Deniece turns two years old a month from tomorrow. This is, of course, the period of development referred to as "the terrible twos," a year when the only word the child seems to know is "NO!"

That won't be the case with Deniece, much to the relief of all. She's already past "no." She has mastered "No. Way." And situations that call for the heaviest rhetorical artillery get the dreaded "No way, José." I didn't pick that up until I was five.

I don't mean to make it sound like she's gotten any less pleasant, because she hasn't. We also have to factor in all the people and gifts and general sensory overload and lack of naps and car-accident-aftermath-witnessing she had to contend with this weekend, whereupon it becomes amazing that she didn't resort to violence. Hell, by the end of the weekend, I wanted to lie down on the floor and cry.

Most overwhelming was the Saturday night gift exchange at Trash's mom's house. And Deniece was kind of overwhelmed too.

She opened one gift early: an toddler-sized electric keyboard complete with bench, music stand, gooseneck microphone, and--get this--black keys that work. This was from her aunt, my sister-in-law, who is an inveterate eighties-music fan. I'm going to have to give Deniece a guitar for her birthday to counteract SIL's influence. Deniece spent her infancy thinking she was a soul star, but if SIL has her way she's going to be heading into kindergarten thinking she's a member of the Pet Shop Boys.

At the end of the evening, one of Deniece's larger gifts came out. She was thrilled and grateful for each and every one of them, and wanted to take them out of the packaging immediately. We adults were reluctant for that to happen; some of these things came with smaller pieces and accessories that would have disappeared forever into the chaos of spent boxes, ribbons, and wrapping paper. Deniece didn't see it that way. She wanted it open now, thank you. No, now. No, now. Is it open? Is it being opened? No? Then we're going to throw down.

Of course, Deniece, being not quite two, doesn't figuratively throw down when she gets mad. She literally throws down. As in, she throws things down.

Only one thing to do: bring out the next big gift. Wow! Look at that! That's so amazing! That's so cool! You want to open it? How about later? Yeah, we'll open it later.

Uh-oh. Next gift. Repeat until child is exhausted or adults run out of gifts, whichever comes first. And guess which comes first?

The great thing about children at Christmas is that moment when they're transported in total amazement, before phrases like "batteries not included" and "some assembly required" sink in. And the great thing about that moment with Deniece is hearing a twenty-three-month-old human saying:

"Oh. My. Gosss."

Today's best search phrase: "Naked snowblower." Um, I wouldn't recommend that. After five minutes you'll be able to steer the thing with your nipples.

posted by M. Giant 2:50 PM 0 comments


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