Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Highest Compliment

Last summer I was full of sentimental mourning for the transformation Bub was about to undergo as he entered nursery school. Hitherto, he had been all mine - his experiences were my experiences; his words were adapted from contexts I could recall and share. This was true, somehow, even though he had always been in part-time day-care, mostly in home settings with his sister and maybe one other child. But nursery school would mean peers, curriculum, a learning environment that I would know only through its effects.

A year later, the transformation is complete. Bub is a boy. He plans to grow up one day into a man so that he can transform into the Incredible Hulk. But I no longer feel any nostalgia for his simpler self; I relish it when he uses words I didn't think he knew, displays knowledge I didn't realize he had. Like yesterday.

A friend of mine has just had a baby, so I was ransacking the cupboard for the ingredients to my world famous Delight Squares (I'm serious about the world famous part - I just used Google to track down the post with the recipe, and I'm glad to see that I'm still on the first page of results for "Delight Squares"). As I pulled down the measuring cups, Bub asked in astonishment, "What are you baking?"

(This is a testament to how rarely he sees me doing anything in the kitchen other than reading blogs.)

"Are you baking, just like that time when Ruby" - his nursery school teacher - "baked muffins?"

I confirmed that this was, indeed, the case. Bub mulled that over a bit and then concluded, admiringly, "Mama - you're just like Ratatouille!"


(Now imagine that I'm all clever with the Photoshop like O The Joys, and my head is superimposed on the rat's body.)

17 comments:

the dragonfly said...

Quite the compliment. :)

nomotherearth said...

Darn it! I forgot about the World Famous Delight squares! My friend just had a baby, and I just got the stuff to make her Hello Dolly squares. Sigh. Your Delight squares were a hit at my office Christmas party, though.

the end of motherhood said...

Do you think those Delight Squares would successful manage the cross-country trip required if I include them in a camp care package?

the end of motherhood said...

Drat. Just got to the "serve cold" part.

Sue said...

My children see me bake so rarely that when we made brownies on Sunday they asked me in delighted astonishment what the sweet white stuff was.

"That's SUGAR," I explained.

"Sugar," they said reverently. And then they each scooped up a little and ate it.

I seriously need to bake more, I'm thinking.

Gwen said...

Does being Ratatouille mean you get to live in Paris, too? Because that wouldn't suck ....

Alpha DogMa said...

What a sweet boy you have.

Kia said...

:) Thanks for the giggles!

bren j. said...

Just like Ratatouille, only much less germy, I'd imagine.

Cyndi said...

This made me remember last summer when I was fretting about whether to put my daughter into part-day preschool or not. I am so glad we did.

Beck said...

And then there's me - my husband felt like making something in the kitchen the other night, which caused The Boy to go in and exclaim "OH NO! Is mama SICK AGAIN?". Yeesh.

Karianna said...

Excellent. That is the only time I'd want to be compared to a rat.

Anonymous said...

It has been weird hearing parental regret moving through the stages ("my little boy is growing up"). I am THRILLED as each stage passes and is surpassed by growth and maturity.
Sounds like you will be as well.

Sweet boy.

Julie Pippert said...

How cute. I love when they start connecting thoughts and ideas.

So I am with you on the liking the new phases.

Bea said...

Beck - Hehe. I was preparing supper the other night and Bub asked in confusion, "Isn't Daddy going to help you?" (His father wasn't even home at the time.)

Lady M said...

It is disconcerting when a child first starts talking about things one hasn't experienced with him. I have to stop saying, "Where did you learn *that*?!"

kittenpie said...

I know - mine has come home doing math and holding a pencil in a proper "pinch"! She's not getting that from me...