My daughter is in the school spelling bee on Friday. As we go over words I look at her face and remember when she insisted at two or three years old that she was six, and her hair color was green. I would ask her if she was gorgeous and she would shout back at me, “NO, I am not gor-g-us, I’m Aiden!”
Then, I got to one of the words and I am reminded of this:
When she was born, her brother was 2 ½ years old. He was full of energy, smart, could be a smart-ass if you could get away with calling a two year old that and had been the highlight of our days and nights. Our world had revolved around him and we had no idea how much we rocked his world by bringing home a baby sister. She on the other hand, adored that boy. She had stars in her eyes on day one at the very sound of his voice and sight of him.
He wasn’t too into her.
The first six weeks of her life he hated me. No, he really did. He told me so the day I came home from the hospital, and left my sweet baby girl with the hubby to take him to the movies. He told me so a week later when I left my sweet baby girl home with the hubby and took him to a Blue Clue’s Live show. He acted like it when he cast spells at me to the point that I actually talked to a priest thinking he was possessed by the devil. It passed. I never thought it would though. Those were dark times.
A year or so passed and we were back to happy family. Our little girl was starting to say words. She still lit up at every single thing her brother did. He tolerated her and loved to show off. He still wanted to be the center of attention. She began to refer to him in her little baby voice as “Noying”. His name is Austin. Naturally we assumed this was her way of saying his name. As months passed her name for him became more and more clear. “Noying, Noying” could be heard all day long. My hubby, our sitter, and I thought that was the cutest darn way of saying Austin.
One day, clear as can be, she said “Annoying, where are you?”. It kind of caught me off guard, but then I got distracted with our newest addition, probably changing a blowout or changing my shirt for the fourth time in four hours.
Pretty soon we all heard it and understood it. She was calling him Annoying. The thing is, we never called him that. We certainly didn’t think she understood the meaning of the word.
One day my Mom came to visit. She had already knew our intimate details of baby talk and like us, thought it was cute how our daughter said her big brother’s name.
Until the end of my Mom’s stay. She said to me, “Honey, I know why she says his name is Annoying.”
She said, “All day long this is what you say - that is so annoying, or stop that it’s annoying, or you are being annoying, Austin.”
All of a sudden, I looked over at my daughter, who was fondly watching her brother jumping around in front of the camera while the hubby was trying to film the baby, saying “Get me Dad, can you see me Dad, am I in the camera?”
My husband said, “Stop it, that’s annoying”, and tried to brush him away.
She thought his name was Annoying.
She called him that until she was about 4 years old after many promised awards for saying his name right. He never did complain. Of course it was better than what she was calling her new baby sister. “THAT BABY is crying”.
She just correctly spelled Annoying, without a blink of an eye and I just said to her younger sister who is twirling next us, "Don't be annoying."