Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Pooh-cabulary Lesson

The little toy barn with the carry handle on top becomes a briefcase.  The door to the playroom becomes the front door of a house where a little boy lives, and I quickly realize I am that little boy.  Pooh is my daddy.

"I have to go to work now," he says in the most businesslike tone of voice a two-and-a-half-year-old can muster.  "Good-bye, Sweetheart."  He pulls the door closed and takes off down the hall.

Sweetheart?  We replay this scene umpteen times, and each time I rollick inside at that particular word choice issuing from that tiny person and directed at me.  Let's face it: it is hilarious when a toddler heads off to work and calls his Googie "Sweetheart."

"Who calls him 'Sweetheart'"? I ask Pooh's mama later. "Where did he get that?"  I don't recall reading it in any of the bedtime stories or hearing it in any of the Disney movies.  I am stumped, and so is his mama.

Fast forward to some point later in the day.  Pooh is thirsty, and I hear myself say, "Here's your lemonade, Sweetheart."  A fluke, I think, until later yet, I hear myself call him that again.  Guilty.  Busted.  Pooh calls people "Sweetheart" because he has heard me do it, and I didn't even realize the word was a staple of my vocabulary.

Fast forward again.  It is dusk and we are outside chasing fireflies.  A particularly playful bug gives Pooh the wink-blink and hovers just enough ahead of him that, between the ever-flitting light and the gathering darkness, he can never really complete the catch.  Chalk up one for insect insight.  This bug is no dummy; he perceives danger lurking in those little hands.  And well he should.

Nevertheless, Pooh pursues intently and relentlessly, at last resorting to sweet talk:  "Come here, little fellow," he entices in a soft, high voice.  "Come on, little guy."  I chuckle to myself at the idea of my grandson using such terms of endearment to address a creature with compound eyes and six legs.  Again, I wonder at these things he says.  Where does he get this stuff?

Fast forward one last time.  Pooh has fallen asleep on my lap in the rocker.  I carry him to his bed and tuck the blanket around his shoulders.  I kiss his cheek and run my fingers across the stubble of his new buzz-cut.  The haircut makes him look older, and he is growing up so fast.

"Good night, little guy," I hear myself whisper.  Another day done.  Another mystery solved.


  1. Cute stories. At least the words that he hears his Googie use are endearments rather than the #@*&%! that some kids hear from their parents and grandparents.

  2. So sweet!! Made me remember the time Amara called her Grampy "honey". She was about 3 and I had called "honey, dinner is ready" and he didn't hear me. So I told Amara to go tell him dinner was ready and in typical fashion she turned and simply yelled "honey??" and turned to me and we both busted up laughing!

  3. I hate the buzz cuts! I get surprised by them each summer. A little toddler with beautiful white blond hair and then POOF ! Next I see him his head his naked.. Buzz!
    I love your stories though..I tell you this every week :) I cannot imagine anyone that would not love your writing :)

    I will tell YOU two funny stories of mine that have just come to mind :
    Grandson gets chilled while swimming...does not have full vocabulary ; tells me his "teeth are whiggling"

    Reading a VERY old-fashioned Golden Book called "what do daddies do " I start the book asking that question and grandson says " they talk on the phone "
    ( Indicative of constant cell phone usage, not his dad's line of work ) Cracked me up

  4. This is such a sweet story. I love the names and words kids pick up on.

    My grandfather's name was Norman but he was quite a character and was widely known as "Boaster." All of his grandkids called him "Granddaddy." Well, all except one. My cousin John, who is about 12 years younger than me, always called him Boaster. Everyone thought it was hilarious, including Granddaddy.

  5. What an adorable story. Love this post.
    Debbie :)

  6. This is so sweet. So nice to have a child mimic the endearments he hears. Lovely story, as always.

  7. One of my older grand daughters (5 yrs old) calls the baby of the bunch sweetheart. she will find a toy she believes will be liked and says "here sweetheart, this is for you" so cute! It's really fun to hear them at such a young age use terms of endearment that typically adults use.