i own you red


"Oh, Jean-Valjean is in that stage where he's putting everything in his mouth."
"I'm going insane - Halloweena is in the WHY stage."
"Sorry I'm late. Confedericco's in the hating his car seat stage."

There are certain stages you can anticipate as a parent. You hear other people say things like this and you think, ok, noted, there will come a time when my spooky little ghoul asks me why nonstop. There are teething phases and I-hate-cheese phases, nuts for baseball phases and nut and ball phases (for little boys, at least.)

But there are so many more phases you guys.

For example, here are three phases currently happening with my sons. RIGHT NOW.

#1
The "I Know Just Enough About Gender Norms To Be Dangerous At The Park" Phase.

Chicken: Who's that guy?

Me: That's a woman, baby.

Chicken: But where are her boobs?

Me: SPOONS? WHERE ARE HER SPOONS? HER SPOONS, DID YOU SAY? HER SPOONS ARE PROBABLY AT HOME IN HER KITCHEN OH LOOK THE SLIDE IS OPEN LET'S GO RIGHT NOW WE BETTER RUN! RUN CHICKEN.

and then. THEN.

Chicken: Who's that lady?

Me: Um, that's a man, baby.

Chicken: But why's he got boobs then?

Me: TUBES? TUBES? DOES HE HAVE TUBES? DO YOU MEAN HIS SOCKS, HIS TUBE SOCKS? WOW LOOK YOUR FAVORITE SWING! SOMEONE IS SWINGING IN IT! WE SHOULD GO WATCH! NOW!

OK but that one's definitely a guy. Look at that moustache!
Mommy?
Why are we running?

#2
The "Any Time I Have Access To My Ass I WILL Be Scratching It" Phase.

When Buster gets a diaper change, it's like he just rode the Chinatown bus nonstop from Pensacola to Portland Maine, wearing pants made of 100% wool that someone just got a haircut in.

#3
The "Day The Crayons Met Terry Richardson" Phase.

(Chicken sits in the corner with a plastic bucket of crayons. He floats his fingers over the pile, selects the red crayon, holds up its waxy form to the light, and nods.)

"Hello, red crayon. I'm gonna color wif you. Let's see... I'm going to color... hmmm... strawberries. A yummy strawberry cake. But first..."

(he begins to peel the paper wrapping from the crayon.)

"Don't be sad, red crayon. It's ok. I'm gonna color wif you. But (sigh) you gotta be naked first."

This is gonna be on the cover of French Highlights next month.

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