Don’t Take Candy From Strangers …Or From Little Old Asian Ladies

Dear Little Shot,

Today you told me your very first joke. Well, you didn’t really tell me the joke, ‘coz you can’t really talk enough yet to string together a full sentence. But it was hilarious nonetheless, and we both laughed hysterically.

It all started while we were on the bus. You had reached that fidgety, annoying, 4:00pm – and – haven’t – had – a – nap – yet – stage, and I had exhausted the very last of my energy in trying to keep you happy for the last ten minutes we had waited at the bus stop. We were sitting behind a little old Asian woman and you were bouncing up and down on my lap, shouting. I tried to hush you but it only seemed to make things worse. You kept biting my face and throwing yourself backwards. I tried flipping you around and pointing outside, but you were beyond my distraction tactics by now and your screaming could have shattered the windows.

That’s when you started tapping on the small Asian woman’s head. She probably realized then that sitting in front of you was her biggest mistake that day. She politely shifted herself nearer to the window, thinking she was out of reach, and I tried to pull you away, but you persisted, wiggling closer, shouting over the back of her seat at her. “Hey!……Hey!…..HEY!” You demanded her attention.

After a while of your constant yelling and tapping on her head she spun around and said, “Here! Eat!” Abruptly shoving a little round disk in your face, which you snatched up. I couldn’t quite see what she’d handed you, but for a few seconds you stared at her with such seriousness in your expression, holding what she’d given you between your hands, and she stared straight back at you sternly, never breaking eye contact. “Eat,” she said once more, offering me one too, before spinning back around in her seat in a huff. You looked down at your hands, then to me, then back down at your hands again, a little startled.

I tasted the little round white thing, cautiously, and realized it was a mint. I tried to take yours from you, but you were howling again in an instant, so I let you have it. Yeah, worst Mum ever award goes to me. I  know mints probably aren’t the best thing for a baby to be sucking on, but please keep in mind that by this point I’d put up with at least an hour of your public tantrum display and I was well and truly over the screaming and biting and scratching, so almost anything to keep you quiet by then was alright by me. I probably would’ve drawn the line somewhere around alcohol or hard drugs. But a mint from an old lady? Surely that wouldn’t do much harm. There was no risk of choking; you could barely fit the thing in your mouth, and you kept it held between both of your hands while you had a little taste. The outer layers were spearmint; quite sweet, but by the time you had sucked down to the center and I was covered in a soggy wet patch of your drool you froze and stared at me with the biggest eyes, as if to say, “Oh my goodness, Mummy… what is this?!” I know, because I was thinking the exact same thing.

I spat my spicy, hot, crazy, revolting mint – or whatever it was – into a tissue. You saw me do this and grabbed at it to do the same. We sat quietly for the rest of our bus trip, you dribbling, and me trying to figure out what the hell that was.

When we arrived at our stop – which also, of course, happened to be the old lady’s stop too – she turned to us and smiled at you, squeezed your cheek and make a weird clicking noise, then smiled and we left.

You looked over my shoulder to check she was gone, then you looked at me and cracked up laughing. I couldn’t help but laugh too – it was totally one of those, “Oh my gosh, I know, right?!” Moments.

You kept laughing ’til we had walked up the hill a bit further, then you said, “Mum!” And when I looked down at you, you poked out your tongue, pointed at it, and made a spluttering noise and panted, pretending you’d eaten something really hot or spicy. I can’t really explain what you did in words, but it was hilarious! And both of us burst into a fit of totally uncontrollable laughter. We kept on laughing all the way home as you repeated your joke over and over.

I just thought it was so clever that, at not even one year old yet, you were able to pick up on something that was actually funny, remember it, and make a joke out of it too. I know when you grow up we’ll be making jokes all the time. Everyone’s gonna get so sick of us and it’ll be awesome. You’ve got a good sense of humor on you. And it’s cool to see parts of me in your personality.

I had a really fun day today with you. Thanks Buddy.

I love you heaps.

Mummy

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Take Candy From Strangers …Or From Little Old Asian Ladies

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