Toby's verbal skills have exploded with the gusto of Mt. Saint Helens, and his mushroom-cloud ego is threatening to fill this house. He's got his eye on being crowned "chattiest and sassiest of the Eby house," a title Hannah has held unchallenged for five years now, but she may soon have to relinquish.
"Get up, Mommy!" Toby yells from his crib in the morning, "Get up and change my diaper! I'm all wet!" I drag myself from bed to greet him and his sisters, and turn off the white noise machine in their room. "Don't turn off noise 'chine!" Toby scowls at me. "Don't wipe my bottom!" he argues as I clean him up.
After spilling a bowl of Cinnamon Chex on the kitchen floor at breakfast, he looks at the floor, disgusted, and orders, "That's a big mess! Get a broom for the floor, Mommy!" When I sweep up the crumbs, he asserts that his judgement was correct with, "See?"
He no longer watches inquisitively as I make lunch; he tells me how to do it. "Get a can opener for that can! Don't cut the strawberries! Don't put ketchup on my plate!" I know it's time to curb his little bossy tendencies, but the truth is that I still find them more amusing than annoying, especially when his commands come out a little mixed up. This morning he ordered Hannah to come to breakfast with, "Hannah! It's dinner time for breakfast, Hannah!" When we all chuckled at that he grinned with pride and yelled it again, just a little louder for effect. Glancing at me for approval he added, "I funny."
At times he loses his in-control attitude. He's developed a new fear of the roaring garbage truck that picks up the dumpster outside our back door. He actually screamed and tried to run from the truck that had quietly fascinated him just last week. And sometimes his vocabulary still hits a weak spot, like when he tripped over Emma and cried, "I fell down...off of Emma."
Yesterday, when Matt came home from work and caught him wearing Hannah's dress shoes again, Matt sighed, "Toby, are you a girl or a boy?"
"I a pretty girl!" Toby replied, then, seeing our
laughter he corrected himself, "a...a...a pretty boy!" Next word to add to his vocabulary: handsome.
Sometimes it's hard to take him seriously, like when he pulls my socks over his hands up to his elbows and yells out, "Bye! See ooh yater! I gonna get some potatoes!" And occasionally his jargon is so cryptic I haven't a clue what he's talking about, like when I caught him with a bag of cookies and he explained, "This is my message for January." Perhaps it was his plan just to befuddle me, because I clearly couldn't punish him after such an explanation.
He knows he's got us in the palm of his hand. It's all a part of his plan to win our hearts, and he has been overwhelmingly victorious.