Archive for October 2nd, 2010

bye bye

When Jonah was a baby and toddler, he didn’t wave bye-bye the way other little kids do.  I remember watching these other kids, usually children of Andy’s old friends (a lot of them clustered around Jonah’s age), wondering why Jonah couldn’t do what these kids could.   At one particular birthday party, when a nine-month old waved and said bye-bye to me, I damn near fainted in amazement.  They can do that?

On the other hand, Jonah had his share of unique accomplishments.  He sat wide-eyed with his head up almost immediately after birth and was walking unaided at 8 months old…so it’s not as if, for a short while there, I didn’t have that parental pride of “my kid did something early.”  In fact, Jonah continues to surprise me with new feats every day.  He takes more naturally to water than any kid I’ve ever seen.  He runs like the wind.  And he can hold a tune – pitch and rhythm both very nearly on target.

Still, for the longest time, no bye-bye.  Certainly never spoken, and not gestured either.  It seemed to mean nothing to him.

I don’t recall when he first started with bye bye, but now it’s one of his go-to phrases.  However, instead of embracing its traditional use – to bade someone farewell upon parting – Jonah prefers a less common meaning: please leave now (the please, of course, being optional).

There are many occasions where Jonah will employ the bye bye method of disengaging himself from an annoyance.  The annoyance is usually a person:  me, wanting to five him a bath.  No!  Bye Bye!

His father, asking him if he’s got a poop in his diaper:  Bye Bye!  No!

Children on the playground who, curious about my pebble-hoarding son, stray too close.  Bye Bye!

His teachers undoubtedly hear a lot of bye bye.  And the counter people at McDonald’s.  His babysitters.  The lady who cuts his hair.

Bye-Bye, mama!

I guess he’s making up for all those years he didn’t feel like wrapping his quirky little mind around the concept.

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