“Hi Grandma E. Come in my room I have something to show you,” says three-year-old Bronson. I’m thrilled that my husband and I are past the point of having to reintroduce ourselves to him every time we visit. Unlike my older two grandsons who live just 10 minutes away, Bronson and his parents live as far away from Milwaukee as you can get and still be in the Continental U.S.—San Diego, California. So, while San Diego is a beautiful place to visit, we don’t get there as often as we’d like.
It’s been interesting to watch him grow in three and four month increments. One visit he’s crawling, the next he’s walking, and the next he’s talking. His vocabulary has come a long way. He knows all of the names of dinosaurs. And he can give detailed instructions about how to skate board. But like many little guys Bronson’s age, he says “yike” instead of “like” as in “I yike dinosaurs;” and his favorite affirmative expression is “ohtay”.
When my husband and I made the trip to San Diego in January, we noticed a little trouble with “p’s”. He doesn’t make the p sound when it’s at the beginning of a word. He substitutes it with an “f.” For example, he asked my husband to “fush” him on the swing. He asked me to play “fuzzles” with him. And when he has to go to the bathroom, it’s time to “foop.” Adorable right?
A few days into our visit, we were finishing dinner at a nice restaurant. I always sit next to Bronson so we can talk. I said, “I see that you ate all of your rice and beans. I’m glad you like them.”
“Oh, yes,” he said. “I yike rice and beans.”
To keep the conversation going I asked “What other kinds of food do you like? Do you like cheese burgers?”
“No, I don’t yike cheese burgers.”
“What about brats, do you like them?” I asked, hoping that our Wisconsin roots have taken hold.
“Yes, I yike brats.”
“I bet you like cake, too.”
“Oh yes, I yike strawberry cake. Will you make one for me?”
“Yes, I will make you one when you come to visit me in Milwaukee,” I said.
“Ohtay, let’s go,” said Bronson.
Then I asked if he likes pie.
“No, I don’t yike fie.”
“Really, don’t you like apple pie or blueberry pie?’
“No I don’t yike fie,” he says with increased vehemence.
“Didn’t you have any pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving?”
He responds at ear drum piercing three-year-old volume, “No I don’t yike fuckin fie. Fuckins are for hawoween. Fuckins have yights in them in all of the houses. I don’t yike fuckin fie!”
The whole restaurant went silent. “Check please,” said my husband.