Can I get a "UH!"

It's funny how what seems totally normal to me in our day-to-day lives can become, once shared with someone else, a little strange. Last weekend when visiting with family we told story after story of life with Addie. Most of these anecdotes were met with chuckles and an, "Oh that's so cute." But a few elicited surprised laughter, wide eyes and a sort of, "I can't believe you said/did that" kind of expression. Those are the best.

One such instance was when I talked about how I deal with Addie if she's attempting a particularly dangerous stunt. Standing up on her rocking chair without holding onto anything, trying to grab sharp silverware out of the dishwasher... If it could potentially lead to injury, then I usually react with the question, "Do you want to go to the ER today?" Usually, she nodds yes. I either reply with, "Well Mommy doesn't want to go, so stop it!" or, "Well if you keep that up, you're on your way." It never occured to me that this exchange might be inappropriate. I just thought it was simply accurate.

My favorite, however, is a little something I came up with one day when I was in the shower. Addie was playing just outside the bathroom door and she hadn't come in to bother (ahem, excuse me), I mean check on me while I washed up. I figured she wasn't crying so she was probably OK. But what if she got ahold of something and was choking and couldn't cry? I then shouted out, "Addie, if you're OK, say 'UH!'" Almost immediately, I heard a tiny little, "uh" come from my bedroom. Sigh of relief. My baby was alive.

Since then, this has become our favorite check-in phrase. If Addie is reading in the other room alone and has made it clear she would prefer to be undisturbed, that's fine. Every few minutes, I yell out my check-in, she gives me an "Uh" and all is well. If she doesn't respond, I'm there in a flash, dripping wet if need be. I will admit, just because she replies and I know she isn't in immediate danger, doesn't mean she's not up to no good. And so far, when she has chosen to remain silent, it seems to be that she just thinks it's funny to see me running towards her with that, "Are you OK?" look on my face. But at least, for the most part, this allows us a little bit of space from one another and gives her the opportunity to stretch her independence.

Although they may be a little strange, I love the blurbs we have developed over Addie's first 20 months. They are what bond us to each other as a family and make us unique. Most often, I don't realize that we've developed a quirk until it comes out in general conversation with someone else. Then, based on their reaciton, I get to feel that slight rise in temperature along with a moment of embarassment--Oh, I thought everyone did that. Maybe someday Addie will tell her friends and children how her crazy mommy said such silly things to her when she was a girl. I sure hope so.


The Alrikabi's said...

Ahhhhh hahahahhaaaa

sara said...

I know, I know. Flash forward 20 years and I can see getting a text message from her to tell me that she got back to her dorm room safely. It will simply read: Uh.