Rosehill Academy

Monday, August 02, 2004

Have You Got Brian?

We have a new interjection. Instead of "Hmmm" or "I see" or "How funny", it saves time to just cut right to the chase: "Have you got Brian?"

Chase is the right term. From a distance of 15 feet or more, Brian thinks an adult voice saying "Brian!" is adult speak for "Ready, set, go!" He complies with his translation. Of course, an adult voice saying "Brian!" from a distance of 2 feet is adult speak for "Come rub your icy pop in my hair." He just as readily complies with that translation.

Yesterday Jo took DC, Kate, and a friend to Wal-Mart to get birthday presents for a 5 yo friend's birthday party. Brian stayed home with Mamaw and Papaw. After a 30 second meltdown, he was delighted with the arrangement. I was delighted when Papaw said he had plans for the boy-chik. I took full advantage by sitting down at the computer to order some things for other upcoming birthdays, so my direct knowledge is limited to hearing a knock on the closed door between down and up stairs.

I answered that knock to find Brian grinning a me, holding a carton of cherries. He couldn't open the door one handed and wouldn't put down the cherries. I got him out some cherries in a bowl, went down to close the fridge (he usually tries to close it, but has variable success), then went back outside with him to Papaw.

Papaw was installing the Army Mom license plate on the Saturn. Brian had been enchanted by starting the Galant to let it run a few minutes, by checking the donut on the Galant to see if it was compatible with the Saturn, and by getting Papaw's tool box out. He got bored though and left when Papaw started unscrewing the plate holder. Left as far as the lower patio before Papaw realized Brian hadn't responded to the last question. Engaging a 2 in a conversation is usually as good as a leash for keeping tabs on where they are. The problem is that Brian only needs about 10 seconds to teleport to danger.

Papaw spotted Brian, who was heading down the driveway past the chicken house; Papaw quite reasonably yelled "Brian!" Brian, capably translating the adult speak with due regard for the distance, took off running. Papaw repeated the mistake, before he saw Percy. He called Percy, who understands that an adult voice calling her name from more than 15 feet away, if and only if she is within 10 feet of Brian, should be translated "Can you get Brian?" Percy herded Brian back up to the top of the hill to everyone's delight.

Installation of the license plate continued for some moments, until Brian decided that the socket wrench Papaw had been using and had placed on the ground next to him was (1) cool, (2) probably forbidden to 2 yo's, and (3) best explored in its possibilities by taking it away to somewhere he wouldn't be interrupted. He was correct in every point and pretty much successful. Papaw heard the back door open. He got up off the ground and went to see what Brian was up to. Papaw moves like and adult, at least when starting from the supine position on the ground; Brian moves like only Brian can. By the time Papaw crossed the patio to the den, Brian was indeed exploring the joys of the socket wrench, in disturbing proximity to the TV.

Papaw retrieved the socket wrench, assured Brian that the incipient temper tantrum would be a waste of energy and went back out to the car. He left Brian in the den, which I didn't realize. He figured Brian would be right behind him; usually Brian would have been. However, Brian remembered buying cherries last week. He went into stealth mode, left the den, came through the dining room, opened the stair door (right next to the computer room where I was placing orders), closed it silently to prevent detection, and got himself the cherries from the downstairs fridge.

Then I heard the knock and opened the door for Brian and his prize. After tending to the cherries, I herded him back out towards Papaw, intending to mention that being reponsible for a 2 meant knowing where he was until you passed him off (a gentle, loving mention but firm, given that Kate is still mourning a few things that have been Brianized). Papaw was headed back inside, having waited for Brian a minute or two and deciding that he wasn't coming back outside.

Now Einstein's clearest explanation of relativity was a comparison of a minute sitting on a hot stove as opposed to a minute of kissing a beautiful girl. Therefore, I will not make any guesses as to whether Brian was inside without my knowing it for less than a minute or for more. However, I know Papaw well enough to know Brian wasn't inside long enough to commit the cherry caper without warping the time/space continuum.

I haven't heard Brian's chatter in about 15 seconds (he was talking to the ants on The Magic Schoolbus episode). Have you got Brian?


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