The baby of the house is nearly two and a half years old. He can be counted on for three things: talking like a four year old (‘anymore’ and ‘actually’ peppering most sentences), he purses his lips together like a bombshell-in-training, and he makes an enormous fuss every time he is strapped into his carseat.
Most days we get in and out of the car at least twice. That’s a lot of buckling. And a lot of fussing. And a lot of me vowing not to leave the house ever again.
So, Sunday, quelle surprise, the professor straps the chocolate-eyed lad into his seat, and he immediately starts complaining. ‘There’s a bird in my back,’ he says. And, since there’s obviously not a bird in his back, we start playing the translation game. The ‘what is he actually saying‘ game. Even though it sounds exactly like ‘bird’.
‘Do you guys know what he’s talking about,’ we ask the older two, who can sometimes be counted upon to serve as their baby brother’s voice in times like these. ‘He’s saying bird,’ they both agree, in tones that suggest we parents are perhaps not as smart as we like to think.
‘Yes, but what does he mean?’ we try again. ‘He means bird,’ they insist.
Unable to solve the ‘what does he mean by bird’ dilemma, we try another approach. We start asking if other, equally implausible objects are stuck in his back. A booger? A burger? Because isn’t that the game: announcing something completely ridiculous is stuck in your back?
‘Yeah,’ he agrees to whatever we ask and we conclude the kid is just looking for a new way to complain about his wretched carseat.
After the longest three minute drive ever, we pull into the driveway and the professor releases Percy from his Evenflo jail. In doing so he finds a black Playmobil raven stuck between the boy and his seat.
A bird. In his back.