Charlie and/or a Pumpkin

When I was learning Russian a million years ago, I thought it was amusing to learn that they have no verb for "to kneel." They say that a person "stands on his knees." That's what Charlie does these days. He walks on them, too. His hands are completely up in the air, his body upright, and he waddles on his knees across a room. It's adorable, really.

I'm trying to capture it on video before he starts walking for real (he already takes a few steps, when no one is watching)...I just don't know if this laptop will handle the download without having a nervous breakdown. The technical difficulties continue around here until we decide if we want a new pooter or to repair and upgrade...

But that's not what this post is really about...

We went to the park yesterday. My five and a half year old has become truly social and even sometimes socially acceptable. I am not socially adept, and a little bit of my heart comes up into my throat every time I hear him say, "My name's Calvin. What's yours?" I mean, he puts himself out there - and someone could be mean.

Usually they are not - it turns out that most five-year-olds are also interested in sharing their names, telling each other what their brothers'and sisters' names are, and divulging how old their moms are. (I think I'm a young one!) At worst, a new "acquaintance" will just look blankly at Cal or walk away - not rude, just shy. Calvin is nothing if he is not persistent, and the acquaintances usually don't mind.

Yesterday, he pursued the precocious Isabella who, like any self-respecting five and a half year old with big dark eyes and naturally curly hair would do, gave him a run for his money. She answered his questions with only one word and then ran to another part of the play equipment. Another question, another one word, and she was off again. Cal ran by me once and said, "Mom! I just met someone new! Her name is Isabella!"

Only a few minutes later, he came to me, all cloudy, and said, "Isabella left already."

A few minutes after that, the sun came out again: "Isabella just had to go to the bathroom! She's back!"

And then a while later, I was standing by the baby-sized play equipment spotting Charlie when Cal jumped onto the little platform by me and said conspiratorially, "Mom, I have to tell you a secret."

It's been a while since I've trusted secrets from the preschool set. They are usually more steamy breath or sticky licks instead of coherent communication. So I was pleasantly surprised when Cal clearly whispered in my ear: "Isabella is my girlfriend." He backed away from me and raised his eyebrows over his twinkling eyes. And then he said, "You can't tell anyone, OK?"

"OK," I said, then wanting to gain some insight, I asked, "What makes her your" - dropping to a whisper - "girlfriend?"

"I don't know how it happened! It just did!" (Uh oh.)

"Is she cute?"

"Psshhh. No." (Whew.)

Before I could ask further questions and before I had decided whether or not to tell him that we would likely not run into his girlfriend very frequently, he said again, "Do NOT tell anyone, OK?"


"Well, I guess you could tell Charlie, because he probably doesn't know what you're telling him. And he won't tell anyone anyway."

"Yeah, OK."

"And...you could also tell a pumpkin if you want." And he busted up laughing at this thought.

So, I'm pretending the blog is a pumpkin. And thanking my lucky stars that even with his expanding social horizons, for a little while yet I get to be the keeper of his secrets. I'm also glad that for now he appreciates the hilarity of pumpkins over the cuteness of girls.


NOBODY said...

oh maaaaan I loved reading this. Your writing is gold and Calvin is hilarious and adorable. I'm intrigued. Bo has been struck by almost paralyzing shyness/insecurity. Of course I'm sure that it's my fault, but I REALLY hope he grows out of it and in 6 months can get a homely girlfriend like Cal.

Pumpkin is a riot. I would have laughed out loud.

And uh, spotting Charlie made me laugh.

Dying to see his penatent walk.

Michelle said...

Oh no! Did his little heart break when she left the playground??

My 12 yr old only gets a silly grin on his face while denying even liking girls!

S said...

I knew I lived in a pumpkin. Ditto to NOBODY! cute story and can't wait for pic/video's

Susiewearsthepants said...

LOL-that is soooo cute! Thanks for trusting us with this HUGE secret. We won't tell a soul.