My sister has made some requests:
1. That I write something. Someday. About something.
2. More specifically, that I write something about Jack, my 1.25-year-old nephew who I have met approximately three times if you count that picture I saw of Julie while she was pregnant.
Alright. Here goes:
"My son knows all his body parts."
I'm on the other end of a long-distance call with my sister, who gave birth more than a year ago to a boy named Jack. "All of them," she says adamantly. "He's a prodigy."
Her story certainly sounds believable. As far as I'm concerned, she's provided irrefutable evidence as to the genius of my nephew. But I'm a reporter, and I've got to stick to facts.
"Just stick to the facts, ma'am," I say. "Can you provide facts to substantiate his indisputable brilliance?"
"Sure," she responds. "He has a vocabulary of, like, twelve words. Most two-year-olds only know two-word sentences and he already knows one-word sentences."
"Interesting," I say.
"And did I mention he knows all his body parts?"
"You may have."
"He knows his head. And his toes. And he knows how to resuscitate himself using paddles."
I have to admit this sounds pretty advanced for someone who's not actually a paramedic. "How old did you say he is again?" I ask.
"One. Two. One-and-a-half. Almost. But he could go to middle school tomorrow. He's short, but he's smart. He can almost feed himself stuff like yogurt."
"Most impressive," I offer.
"He likes yogurt. What he doesn't like is every other type of food."
"Can we go back to the paddles?" I ask.
"Oh, right. He puts them on his chest and makes a noise. It's cute. And it seems to keep his heart beating. So, you know, two birds with one stone..."
"His daddy's a doctor," I suddenly remember.
"Well, yeah. I don't know crap about paddles. He's learning about xanthan gum from me. He can almost say it, too. To most people it sounds like he's saying "BAWW!" but actually he's saying 'xanthan gum'. Mama's little genius. He's gonna be a scientist. He's practically a scientist already."
"I've heard a rumor," I say hesitantly, "that he likes his grandparents more than his parents."
"That's a lie!" Julie shrieks. "A lie! I'll claw your eyes out!"
"It might not be true," I say quickly. "Can you comment on this horrendous rumor?"
She calms slightly. "Well, tonight his grandparents babysat while his dad and I went out for my birthday dinner...can we talk about the sublime bacon-flavored foam that was on top of my scandalously expensive scallop...?"
"Well, okay then. Apparently Jack ate a cookie for dinner. After his Advent calendar chocolate. If there's any reason someone might insinuate that Jack prefers the company of his grandparents over that of his parents...!"
"It's because of that," I insert.
"Well. Yes. The point is, while I was amusing my bouche, my poor son was eating waxy chocolate and fortune cookies. I'm thinking about suing,frankly. This cannot stand."
"What was his fortune?"
"'You are the center of every group's attention.'"
"That's pretty funny."
"I don't follow you."
"Because it's true."
"What...? Oh my god, can you hear him?!? He's totally BREATHING! He's sleeping AND breathing! See? A genius!"