Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, October 29, 2010

Birthday Letter to Parker, Part 2


It’s your birthday today (like you didn’t know that – you have been counting down the days for four weeks now), and as promised, here’s some more “Parker content” – all dating to when you were three.

As a three year-old, you began to tell jokes, such as, “When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When it turns into a DWIVEWAY.”

Instead of “Yes,” you tended to say, “Sure.”

You were very fond of Mom’s “brown Sprite” (Diet Coke), and any time you saw her with one you would remind her that “Mommy, you need to share with people.”

In the bathtub, Mom explained to you that you aren’t supposed to drink bath water, and you responded, “You do when you’re really thirsty.”

This was the first year that you grasped the concept of Santa, although you experienced some initial confusion (you would point out a toy that you wanted and tell your parents, “I want to buy that for Santa” – but it wasn’t long before you realized that the supply arrow needed to be reversed and began to say, “I want to buy this from the store.”). After Christmas, you explained to your mom that, “If you want something from Santa, you write a letter and put it in the mailbox, and the mailbox makers take it to Santa.” Close enough!

After you opened each gift, you would say, “Ooh, I’ve never had this toy before. I’m so proud of it. OPEN IT.” See – politeness mixed with bossiness. One of my favorite bossy Parker moments happened at Nana’s house one Sunday night, when you told Connor, “Take that food OUT of your mouth – we have NOT said our blessing.”

Thanks to the aforementioned big brother, you were quite fond of the word “actually” (“I want orange juice. No, actually, I’d rather have milk.”). You also substituted a very forceful “NEVER!” for the usual three year-old “No.” Another favorite: “Victory!” (used when you succeeded in getting a toy away from Connor, etc.).

Favorite three year-old phrases were “You have GOT to be kidding me” (frequently heard at the dinner table, when your mother instructed you to eat your vegetables) and “You want a piece of me?” That last one came from Toy Story, but again Mom was reminded of a Mafioso in a gangster film.

At three and a half, you developed a fondness for “Monster Sink” (Monsters, Inc.), which seemed to help you over your fear of monsters. Previously, you would go around muttering, “There are no monsters in this house.” Then you would ask Mom to spray “monster spray” (room spray) in your room, so apparently your monologue wasn’t convincing you. One day, you were leaving a fundraiser at Connor’s school with Mom, and as you were crossing the street, you asked, “Are there monsters or ghosts or zombies on this street?” When Mom answered no, you asked, “Can we pretend that there are?” That was when Mom first started to clue in to the fact that she might have a little performer on her hands. Other clues:

1) You told the woman who cuts your hair that you have a big brother who is 26. And you were quite convincing about it.

2) When Mom took you to have portraits made (without Connor – when brother is around, you only want to show off for him), you shocked and awed the photographer with your ability not only to follow instructions and hit poses on cue but to come up with your own poses. When she asked you to lie down on your belly, you immediately kicked your legs up behind you, propped yourself up on one elbow, cocked your head, and said, “Cheese - wait, it will look better if I switch elbows.” So around the house you became known as “Derek Zoolander, Male Model.” (The Zoolander thing actually dated back to when you were two. You and Connor were fighting over who got to sit on which side of Mom while she was reading you a book. She asked you to sit on her left side, and you said, rather mournfully, “No, I can’t.” Mom responded, “Are you afraid to go left? Who are you, Derek Zoolander?” Dad thought that this was entirely too funny, and told Mom that the comment reminded him of just how much he loved her and her ability to pull bizarre cultural references out of the air, and the fact that he immediately got those references was proof of Mom and Dad’s soulmate status. But I digress.)

You also borrowed something from your brother’s three year-old playbook – the always funny, “Mom/Dad, I have a question,” followed by a statement (“I like race cars.”) - and frequently lapsed into a routine similar to the old “Chris Farley Show” SNL skit:

Parker: “Dad, you know what?”
Dad: “What?”
Parker: “You see that bridge up there?”
Dad: “Yes,”
Parker: [Silence, then] “Dad, you know what?”
Dad: “What?”
Parker: “You see that bridge in front of the first bridge?”
Dad: “Yes.”
Parker: [Silence.]

You insisted on pronouncing Spiderman like it was a Germanic last name – Friedman, Bachman, Spiderman.

Along with your dad, you contracted both strains of flu (Type A and Type B) in a one-month span, causing you to miss several days of preschool, and when Mom asked who you missed more – Camden, Avery or Ella – you responded, “Ella, Ella – ay, ay, ay” (being the chorus of the Rihanna song, “Umbrella”).

You discovered the telephone. If the answering machine picked up before Dad did and you heard Mom’s voice, you would retrieve a handset of your own and join the conversation. Mom and Dad would be talking, and suddenly there you were: “Hi, Mom! Guess what I’m doing?” Unlike Connor, who was only good for five or six words per conversation, you wanted to talk and talk and talk. You made Mom and Dad laugh when you asked her (as she was driving on the freeway) if she could do you a favor, stop what she was doing and put your Rescue Hero back in its basket . . . in the living room at home.

You decided that everyone’s middle name ought to be James, and you began referring to Connor as “Connor James McGlinchey,” annoying him to no end.

Uncle Zan began teaching you “bad rap of the eighties and nineties.” You were known to sing “Ice, Ice Baby” to yourself while you were playing, and Mom was delighted when you asked her, “Mom, you know what time it is? IT’S TIME TO GET ILL!”

You briefly went through a separation anxiety phase, and when either parent left you for any great length of time you insisted that they provide you with a “kiss and a hug with a back pat.” (The ritual continued long after the separation anxiety phase ended, and it expanded to include an ear honk and a firm handshake, among other things.)

Over the summer, you discovered chocolate milk, which you pronounced to be much tastier than “wipe milk.” You also enjoyed the “possicles that are red, wipe and blue” (referring to the patriotic bomb pops that we had for the Fourth of July). When Dad refused to comply with your request for two “possicles” at once, you said, “Well, what about giving me as many as possicles as I have eyes?”

You often asked, “Mom, are you my best friend?” and “Mom, are you happy?” When asked if you were happy, you would say, “Sure am.” Like I said, “sure” was a big concept with you.

Finally, you had your own version of the “Speed Racer” theme song: “Here comes Speed Racer. He’s a demon DUDE on wheels.” When Mom asked for clarification as to “demon dude,” you replied, “Yeah, I sing it that way.”

Happy sixth birthday, Birthday Dude. I sure do love you.


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