if there is anything i want seb to be when he grows up, it’s respectful. respectful to brian and me. respectful to old people (i.e., grandma and grandpas). respectful to women. and i guess respectful to men too. just respectful. to everyone. i am realizing lately that this training should probably start. but at the same time, i’m confused. friends of ours who have several children insist that they call all adults by proper title (mr. or mrs. or ms. or miss) and surname. at first i thought, how cool. how nice and respectful these children are. and then i heard, “hey, mrs. janaszek, mrs. janaszek, look at this,” and realized that the kid was talking to ME! i mean, really, can’t he just call me jen? aside from the fact that janaszek isn’t truly my name (i can hear my mother’s voice in my head right now, “well, you wouldn’t have that problem if you would just change your name.”), it just makes me feel old. you might as well call me “ma’am.”

seb has begun speech therapy, and his therapist’s name is renee, or “miss” renee, which is weird too because she’s married. i asked her during the first session, “what should i have him call you” (seb isn’t really calling anyone anything, so i don’t know what the urgency is)? she said that renee is just fine. but then she calls herself, and a woman who organizes all these visits calls her “miss renee.” so again, i’m confused. maybe times were easier when people actually followed emily post’s etiquette books (i am squelching my mother’s voice in my head, so nothing can be heard). it sure would clear things up a bit.

anyway, miss renee comes over to our house and spends an hour playing with seb on our living room floor. she pulls out mr. potato head from her bag. she empties mr. potato head’s head of all his … head-features, i guess you would call them. she tries to hide them in her lap. has anyone ever tried hiding things from a two year old and it worked? miss renee then pulls one feature out at a time. she dodges seb’s fairly quick and deft hands to defy him ripping the item out of hers. “look, seb. here’s mister potato head’s ear. eeeeeeeeeeear. eeeeeeeeeeear. can you say eeeeeeeeeeeeear?” half the time i’m like, “hey seb. hey. quit grabbing. hey. you need to ask. hey.” the other half i just have to laugh. seb is so intent on getting the ear though that yesterday, he finally said it. “eeeoow.” the fans went crazy. he received his first standing ovation. then he ran around the room pointing out every ear within it, and even some things that weren’t necessarily ears. “eeeoow.” it’s amazing to see results like that. right in front of your very eyes.

or eeeoows.