Monday, August 1, 2011

What Does a Cow Say?

All kids like animals, right?  My kids are no exception.  But while I love my dog only so much, my kids take animal love to a new and strange level.

It started with a then baby Cael, who, in addition to his loyal friend Bloose, had quite an affinity for squirrels.  He'd spend hours staring out the window at the fuzzy "puppies" in the trees.  Once he reached Graham's current age (and in reminiscing about this I'm reminded yet again of the fundamental differences between my sons) Cael would scream anytime we went anywhere in the car.  Not because he hated the carseat, and not because he was in pain, but for the same reason Cael does anything-- because he could.  He'd smile and let loose an incredibly shrill shriek; one so loud the tempered glass in the car would threaten to burst.  Our only hope of stopping it was via distraction.  This was most effectively done with food, but once Cael had eaten his body weight in Cheerios, we knew we needed another strategy.  While noisily rolling down the road, we enlisted him to help us patrol for deer, as I must have a "hit me" bumper sticker on my vehicles that is visible only to the most dim-witted of all deer.  (To date, I've hit three with only one being a serious collision.  They just love me-- maybe they've read the blog?)  Cael relished in having a job, and would shout "Deer, Mommy!" at the sight of any rabbit, bush or truck in his field of vision. 

As he grew, Cael sought out animals anywhere he could, and often filled an afternoon by watching a stray cat or chasing a fly around a window until it felt that suicide was a superior option to playtime with Cael.  One day, while watering my hanging baskets on the front of the house, Cael saw that a nest of birds had taken over the flowers I had recently cut back.  Completely enamored with them, we had to check back repeatedly to see how they'd grown.  Until one day when we were peeking at them and they all fluttered out of the nest.


"They all flew away."

"Nooo!  Birdies!"

"I'm sorry, honey.  They got bigger and learned how to fly.  Now they're grown up."


I guess "poop" has the same definition as "shucks" or "darn".  (If "ginormous" can be added to the dictionary, I think it's high time that poop receive an alternative definition.)

At almost four, Cael's interest in animals has matured... somewhat.  He still loves to point out animals as we drive through the farm fields, and he still loves to shout "DEER!" randomly, shaving years off of my life expectancy.  Taking a cue from Papa, who one day honked at some geese to make the boys laugh, Cael now loves to moo at cattle grazing in fields.  The first time he asked me if he could do this, I was caught off guard by what I heard.

"Mommy, can I moo at those cows?"

"I guess so.  But I don't think they can hear you, so you'll have to moo pretty loudly."


"Here you go!" (rolling the window down for him) "Go ahead and moo!"


Papa and I exchanged confused glances.  Why did he say "murr" instead of "moo"?  We decided to investigate.

"Cael, why did you say "murr"?

"That's what cows say, Mommy.  They say "moo".

"That's right, Cael.  But you didn't say "moo".  Can you make the cow sound for me again?"


And that's how "murring" was born.  As a Mommy, sometimes you just have to give up and blame Daddy for your kid's strangeness.  And their behavior.  And your gray hairs. 

Cael's "murring" currently shows no sign of stopping, and our family has now welcomed our newest animal lover.  Graham loves to recite his animal sounds, and so far he's quite reliable and accurate.  As accurate as he can be, that is, when telling us that a frog says "ribbit".  Don't event get me started on "cock-a-doodle-doo". 

Perhaps I should just encourage him to say "poop", after all.

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.