All kinds of things change when you’re the fifth grandchild. For one thing, Grandma doesn’t have as many pictures of you to pick from when she needs one. For another, you have to be more assertive than numbers 1 to 4 to get any attention at all. Luckily, this is not a problem for Toddler Bret.
I call him Toddler Bret because he’ll be two in July and I can’t call him Baby Bret anymore. His sister said so. As I believe I mentioned, when his parents chose to make him a Junior, they failed to come up with a nickname, leaving everyone to muck along with two Brets in the family. I’m starting to wonder what Toddler Bret makes of it himself. Conversation at the dinner table, for instance.
“How was your day, Bret?”
“Bret, eat your apples.”
“Would you pass the mashed potatoes, Bret?”
“Bret, do you want more milk?”
“Ursa really needs a bath, Bret.”
“Bret, no feeding Ursa from the table.”
I picture him throwing up his little hands in despair. “What in the name of Fisher-Price does the woman want of me??”
Or maybe not. His days are full. He’s like a little locomotive, legs pumping, running here, running there. He has wants. He has needs. He has a lot to think about: “What’s going on? Wait for me, Cosette! I want to do that. Run, run, run! Where’s Ursa? Get the ball, Ursa! Where’s Mom? It’s time to jump off something! I can dance like the Wiggles. Mom, I need a hug. I want to go outside now. Where’s Cosette? What’s Cosette doing? I can do that!”
And that’s pretty much how it goes, all day long. His sister is commander in chief, i.e., whatever she does, he does. WHATEVER she does. Cosette jumps off the bed, Bret jumps off the bed. Cosette sticks out her tongue, Bret sticks out his tongue. Cosette marches down the driveway carrying a stick, Bret marches down the driveway carrying a stick. Cosette picks a flower and throws it in the bushes, Bret picks a flower and throws it in the bushes. Well, you get the picture.
Cosette likes to call me on the phone and let me know what’s going on at their house. Lately she’s been putting me on the speakerphone, because Toddler Bret has things he wants to say too. Well, yell. “Ball! Dog! Ma! Down!” God knows what he’s saying. It doesn’t matter, he just wants to be acknowledged.
Of course, very soon now he won’t be the youngest grandchild anymore, but number 5 of 6. It’s hard to say how that’s going to go over. As I said, he has wants, he has needs. On the other hand, he could end up commander in chief.
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