Colt, my 2-year old, is a talker. As a radio personality, talking is my business, so he comes by it honestly. He's at the “short sentence” stage—he gets enough of the words to communicate his point, with blatant disregard for subject-verb agreement. “Mama! Turn! Cows!” he proclaims as we head home. This, of course, means that he wants me to take the back road past the dairy on our way home so that he can look at the Holsteins. “Daddy! Work! Home!” Yes sweetheart, your dad is home from work. Since July, a common phrase is “Baby, night-night,” which is a request for me to put our daughter to bed so that he can have us to himself.
The other night we were on our way home, talking about the usual things on Colt's mind lately: cars, chickens, cows, horses and “Sasha” the fat cat at day care. As I lifted him from his car seat, he said, “Mama! Moo! Back!” This was a new one for me. I figured he was telling be about the cows in the back pasture. We headed in for dinner. At dinnertime, the usual requests are pretty easy to understand. “Milk please!” and “More Applesauce!” During dinner, he repeated the phrase, “Mama! Moo! Back!” Later in the bath, as I washed his hair, he said it again, “Mama! Moo! Back!” He must've been thinking again about the cows.
Later that night, as I held him in the rocking chair and we prepared to read a story, he grabbed one of his favorite books, Guess How Much I Love You and opened it to the back page. Then, again as he'd done several times earlier in the evening, he said “Mama! Moo! Back!” and pointed to the picture. And I finally figured out what my little man was telling me. My heart swelled and I wrapped him up in my arms and said, “And I love you right up to the moon…and back.”