Monday, August 25, 2014

Cicada, Bacada, Pitata...

Curtis is not good with names. We've known this for a really long time. It's been a running joke. His pick up line is, "Hey, what's your name?" But now, I believe he is setting the stage for the future. He knows he won't remember names, so if he always asks, maybe people won't know he's actually dead serious. Oh Curtis!! You know my name. Silly. He comes from a long bloodline of Smith men, who, don't remember names. As children, my grandfather would exclaim, "Well hey there Leroy!" everytime we walked through his front door. He does it to my kids. We all loved it, laughed, thought of it as an endearing nickname. Knowing what I know now, I'm pretty sure it's because he had no idea which child we were, maybe didn't even know which son of his we belonged to even. Kind of makes me love my grandfather even more...very clever. I went to grade school with a Kuechler, in fact, she and I were inseparable for a while (and maybe still now), yet my father never once pronounced the name right (Keeth-ler).

Therefore, I don't blame Curtis for calling Dakota, Bakota. Or a cicada a bacada...though it has somehow morphed into pitata. Our puppy, the one we named Berry? He called her "Grape" for  a while. Still slips up every now and then. Pronouns evade him, everything is a "he" for the most part. He has already begun his great grandfather's habit and makes up nick names. Mitch has become Mitchy-boo-boo. He carries his name ineptitude proudly. He confidently calls people, pets, insects, things by the incorrect name. I hope he does this for the rest of his life. It makes it seem more of an adorable characteristic, rather than making him seem ingenuine or, even worse, ignorant.

Perhaps, it was his trouble with names. Perhaps it was his young age. Perhaps it was his lack of encountering anything like it before, but Curtis' confident, yet incorrect name calling provided one of my more entertaining moments in parenting. We were walking around the Loose Park pond. I had seen her coming from afar, and mostly took note because it was 90 degrees that day, and she was wearing the full nun garb, habit and all. As this elderly nun walked past us, Curtis loudly and proudly says, "Mom, is that a witch!?" Oh Curtis.
You know Curtis really likes you, not if he remembers your name, but if he offers you a "princess kiss". It happened one night that Matt was home alone with the boys. Curtis offered him a kiss, which Matt gladly accepted. Curtis proceeded to climb up and kiss Matt directly on the mouth, then began turning his head side to side for a prolonged amount of time. Matt, a bit surprised by the interaction, asked, "What was that, Curtis!?"

"It's a princess kiss, dad." Look out lucky ladies (or gents), you have a pretty intense kiss coming your way.

Curtis is an extrovert. He will likely become a salesman or politician. He is a breed very different from Matt or I, as he does not mind attention or meeting new people, in fact, he thrives on it. On more than one occassion, his infectious smile, his out-going ways, and his love of the ladies, has eased a potentially awkward situation. Such as one of his uncles bringing his "little friend" to Sunday dinner for the first time. 

One afternoon, Curtis came into the front yard, very distraught about the shirt choices I had provided him. He was crying. Contemplating hitting me. Red faced. Angry. Frustrated. Three. You know the type. Then, our neighbors appeared from around the corner, on a leisurely stroll. He spotted them and the transformation was instant. He turned to fave them, huge grin, waving, complete happy composure, "Hi guys!! Whatcha doin?" Unbelievable.

He enjoys music, takes my phone to listen ALL THE TIME. Specifically, the song "Come With Me Now" which he repeats in his incredibly accurate Batman voice. His dance moves are impressive. The boy has muscles, and great control of them. His pirouette is damn near flawless. Sometimes, it feels like he is in constant training for his future. Like he's already adapting skills to cover his poor name recollection. He's perfecting dance moves to attract the ladies. He is putting on that game face to make a sale, or induce confidence from people. I may have underestimated our 2nd child. Perhaps his intelligence does not match that of his brother(s), but his people skills are pretty much perfect.

Admit it, you too, love Curtis. He might even be your favorite.

No comments: