Thursday afternoon finds Anders and I sitting cross-legged on the floor coloring. While some kids like to fill the black and white spaces with their favorite colors, Anders prefers to add to the picture that’s already in front of him. Lately he’s a big proponent of adding “laser beams” to everything.
This afternoon he’s taken on more of a directing role and he’s instructing me to add new characters in the empty margins around the dinosaur printed on the page. He asks me to draw Batman and Catwoman. I smile and begin scrawling abstract shapes and when I’m finished only the four appendages sticking out from the oddly caped bodies would lead one to guess they are human.
He looks up from the paper and smiles at me approvingly. Next he asks me to draw the Robin and then Batgirl and then to give Catwoman a rope and to draw Batman climbing up the rope. I oblige, but at the request for a rope-climbing Batman I tell him that we may be approaching the limits of my artistic ability.
He looks up at me, cocks his head to the side and says “All right, mommy. Just give Batman a crown then.” I sigh, relieved. Finally, a simple request. I pick up the yellow crayon and set to drawing a crown atop Batman’s head. When I’m done I look to Anders for his nod of approval. His eyes scan my handy work perplexed.
“No, mommy. I said give Batman a crown.”
I look back at the page where a very prominent three-pronged crown sits atop an Anders approved blue lump recognizable to only he and I as Batman. I pick up the red crayon and draw some jewels in the crown.
“There. Is that better?”
“No, mom! Give Batman a crown” he says and holds a crayon up for me to see.
Finally, I understand. “Ohhhh! You mean a cray-on?” I say.
“No, mom. A crown.”
I take the blue crayon from him and draw a small line on Batman’s hand. “There. Is that better.”
“Yes, mommy. Now Batman has a crown. He can color, too.”
Those southern roots run deep in this one. Before long he’ll be pronouncing words like light with sixteen extra syllables. He’ll need a full half hour to tell you about the bright white ones.
Has your dialect or accent rubbed off on your children?