Posted by: Jamie Stamm | October 21, 2008

Words without meaning

Anthony has reached a point in his language development where he repeats anything and everything he hears, even if he has no idea what it means.

An example: The other day I was changing his diaper when he told me, “You’re making me nervous.”

That one is straight out of my own mouth. Several times a day, I say things like, “Anthony, don’t climb on the back of the sofa. You’re making me nervous.” Or, “Ant man, don’t try to cross the monkey bars by yourself. You’re making me nervous.”

But last night, he pulled out a phrase that Jerry and I rarely utter.

First, let me set the scene by noting that Anthony has a thing about sleeping “naked.” Even if he’s only lying down for a short nap, he has to strip off his shirt and his pants, even his socks (thank goodness he leaves on his diaper).

And that was fine during the summer. But now the temperatures are starting to drop, especially overnight.

The other night when I went to check on Ant before I went to bed, his skin was cold to the touch. I decided it was time to start wearing winter pajamas.

So after his bath last night, I dressed Anthony in a nice, warm pair of football PJs. He protested a bit at first, but then got distracted and wore them – without further complaint – all the way through to lights out. Once the bedroom was dark, however, Ant wanted nothing to do with clothing.

“You have to wear pajamas, buddy,” I told him. “They’ll help to keep you warm.”

“But,” he said, pausing as he searched for the right words, “it’s so embarrassing.”

“Embarrassing?” I asked.

“Yes, Mama. It’s so embarrassing to wear pajamas,” he said.

I can only guess that he picked this one up from his sister. I can picture the two of them in the back of the minivan, Cera rolling her eyes as Jerry and I sing and dance along to an ’80s song in the front seat.

“Mom and Dad are so embarrassing,” Cera says, and Anthony – storing away her words for another occasion, like when his mom tortures him by making him wear pajamas – nods in agreement.


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