Duncan’s Butt

by jkatejohnston

6 December 2013

Home again. I love home. Even work is comforting because it’s what I’m used to. And right now I’m having the feeling that most sensible people have all the time, which is, why would anyone ever write anything? Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to go on Craigslist and look at used mattresses? And then make another cappuccino? And then make Enzo’s breakfast. And then it would be time to go to work.

But for this diary of record I can’t omit the fact that Enzo gave an impromptu presentation at school on the Life Cycle of the Salmon. He talked, and Tristan drew on the board. We only know this because Teresa was at school hanging around after crafts and before knitting (two things she volunteers for), and Mr. Larson came to the classroom door and motioned to her to come in. It wasn’t planned or part of show and tell (which they don’t do anyway). Afterward, Mr. Larson told Teresa that Enzo asked to do it, and Tristan was listening, and he wanted to do it too. So they did. And it was great.

We’re going to Tristan’s birthday on Sunday, and the invitation says no gifts, but if your kid really wants to bring a gift, a gently used toy or book would be great. So Teresa suggested that Enzo give Tristan his stuffed salmon (since salmon is their bond) and we would just get Enzo a new one. It’s a Kokanee, and I guess I should add that I’m talking about a plush stuffed animal, not something from a taxidermist. (Enzo would kill for a real stuffed salmon if he knew they existed.)

We looked on Amazon and didn’t find the same one, but we found an even better one, a spawning male Chinook—you can tell from the hooked jaw and bright color. And still he hesitated. I’m pretty sure he was trying to think of a way to have both. But he finally agreed to get the Chinook and give Tristan the Kokanee. He definitely gets the concept of trading up.

I’m just going to boast about my son in this paragraph—feel free to skip. (And what, one might ask, are all those other paragraphs about if not boasting about my son?) Anyway, I think it’s pretty great that both kids had no problem sharing the idea and the spotlight. It’s one thing to share toys and games, but when you have an image of yourself burning in your head and then you have to change it, that’s harder to do. But he had no problem. And a good thing too, because if Enzo had been the one to draw the pictures, it would have been very strange. He’s not good at that. But he does have all the facts at his fingertips.

Enzo’s great love of facts is not very Waldorf. He’s expected to be more into make-believe at this age, and he is, but he likes his make-believe to be realistic, or, as he would put it, science-y. Like we looked at a puzzle on Amazon, and he pointed out that the dinosaurs in the picture weren’t even alive at the same time. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want the puzzle. But he wants the facts to be known. Teresa has asked me what I’ll do if someday Enzo likes science fiction or elves and shit. And the answer is I’ll keep my mouth shut. But it seems just as important to keep my mouth shut about things I approve of. So I’m concealing from him my deep, happy approval of his mostly-realistic play.

Enzo just woke up. I showed him a number chart (1-1000) on the computer because last night he wouldn’t get out of the bath until he had counted from one to a thousand by tens, but when he counts by tens he goes, zero, five, ten, twenty, thirty etc. It’s like he’s getting a running start by putting that five in there at the beginning. He also includes 105, 205 etc. He’s consistent with it. Anyway he wasn’t interested in the number chart, but he did ask to see his Amazon wish list. Afterward he said, “We have so much fish stuff on my wish list, it should be a fish list!”

This is almost too cute to be written down, but we are loyal to fact. Still, it brings up the whole vexed subject of how to choose without distorting. For the record, he’s only cute like that about .0001 percent of the time. Most of the things he says are just inscrutable. Like, out of nowhere he’ll announce, “Duncan’s Butt.” Okay, honey, whatever.