The anomie and the ecstasy


Ah, two, or more specifically, two-and-a-half. The range of feeling in a day. In an hour. In a moment. The only thing more emotionally exhausting than being the parent of a developmentally on-target two-and-a-half-year-old has got to be being a developmentally on-target two-and-a-half-year-old.

At the end of Act IV in The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio, when he was mind-f-ing his lady love into submission, made more sense than my dear lil’ monkey does on many a day. Substitute the lil’ monkey for Petrichio, and poor longsuffering Baba for Katharina, and it all fits:

Come on, i’ God’s name; once more toward our father’s.
Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!

The moon! the sun: it is not moonlight now.

I say it is the moon that shines so bright.

I know it is the sun that shines so bright.

Now, by my mother’s son, and that’s myself,
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
Or ere I journey to your father’s house.
Go on, and fetch our horses back again.
Evermore cross’d and cross’d; nothing but cross’d!

Say as he says, or we shall never go.

Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,
And be it moon, or sun, or what you please:
An if you please to call it a rush-candle,
Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

I say it is the moon.

I know it is the moon.

Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun.

Then, God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is;
And so it shall be so for Katharina.

Okay, well. I’m not always so well-collected as to say “An if you please to call it a rush-candle/ Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.” It’s more like, “Fine! Have it your way! It’s a frickin’ rush-candle! Now can we please just get into the carseat?!”

[Later note: Sound far-fetched? Don’t just take my word for it, listen to Dooce.]

7 thoughts on “The anomie and the ecstasy”

  1. Ah the things I have to look forward to! Right now, the closest I get is the announcement, “Dog!” whenever we leave the house. We have no dog, there are no dogs on our block. There are no dogs in sight. But it is true, the only time we’ve ever seen dogs is after having left our house.

  2. Ah, my sister. As Bette Davis said, right before she got all butch on the upstart Eve in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Set your watches to somewheres about two-and-a-half, if your boy is an ordinary homo sapiens.

    Hey, not that a good bumpy ride can’t be fun! But as you leave the house, when you call out in your regular chipper tone, “Dog!”, be ready for him to either: (a) break down crying upon hearing the words, where before they set him off in paroxysms of joy; (b) scream out, “No! No! No! Cat!! Cat!!”; or (c) both, in rapid succession, followed eventually by his making up a delightful song about dogs as he skips out the door.

    After which you are either in a heap, shaking your head, or humming and skipping behind him.

  3. Dare I say that it starts as early as two? This morning, my two year old awoke and her first words were not “good morning” or even “hello mama”. She started her day with, “Mama – let me tell you sumpin’…” and then proceeded to direct me through the rest of the morning.

  4. [Rocky and Mama, playing a naming game]

    R: My name is [Bad Word that starts with S]
    M: [silence whilst I figure out the right response]
    R: I said, my name is S—.
    M: Well all right then! Hey, my name is Phlemphlam [hoping to distract]
    R: No its not. It’s S—. [repeats word several times]
    M: Hey, so your name is [word that sounds like the S word but isn’t]
    R: NO, Mama, it’s S—. [repeats several more times, trying out different techniques]
    M: Rocky, that’s a word that’s really just not polite to say in public.
    R: [begins to sing the S-Word in a song, made up at that moment, while M tries valiantly to hide guffaws]

    [Later, in church or at the grandparents’, the S-Word Song WILL reappear.]

    At three, it appears there’s no outwitting, distracting or leveling with them.

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