The biggest barrier to communication between me and Ethan these days is specificity. For a good while there the obstacle I battled against daily was his stubborn unwillingness to learn how to look for things instead of descending into panic-induced blindness (this is still an issue, but I've gotten used to it).
He's a great little talker and his vocabulary is quite impressive, if troublesome (I'm thinking of the day he started saying "flinkin' stinks" out of the blue [?!]), he's still learning the intricacies of opposites, for instance. He's got big and little down pat, but he still confuses front and back sometimes (particularly referring to the yard), and we're delving into the advanced territory of *amount* as opposed to size. Additionally, he often leaves out key information that isn't necessary to the success of a conversation, but is more than necessary for the person listening to respond appropriately.
This morning, during one of his 4,000 daily peepees, he shouted out that there was still some toilet paper in the potty.
"Just flush it down!" I called back.
"It's a lotta toilet paper!" he said.
"That's okay!" I replied.
"Mommy, it's still in there!"
Crap, I thought, I'm going to have to plunge the toilet. Dealing with toilets is the stuff of nightmares for me. I pulled the neck of my shirt up over my nose and mouth (cootie shield) and walked into the bathroom ready to confront the plunger, my absolute least-favorite household tool.
As soon as I walked in, the enormity of the problem hit me. There wasn't "a lot" of toilet paper in the bowl. There was an entire, brand-new roll of toilet paper half submerged in the pot.
"It got knocked down by Bunny," Ethan explained.
Fortunately a small portion of the roll was still above water, so I was able to pluck it out of the danger zone without experiencing the dampness (gag).
"Ethan, I need you to go in the kitchen and get be a bag from the cabinet with the doggie food."
"What's it?" he asked with a quizzical tone.
"It's the one right by the fridge."
"Oh, okay." He started out the bathroom door then paused and turned back. "What's it for, Mommy?"
"ETHAN. It's to put this toilet paper in."
At this point I'm feeling faint. "BECAUSE IT'S ALL WET AND WE NEED TO PUT IT IN A BAG."
"Oh, okay," he said, then dashed off to the kitchen. The angels must have been looking out for me, because moments later he returned with a grocery bag. I was able to resolve the situation before losing consciousness.
From here on out, of course, I'm going to respond to every call for help wearing a hazmat suit.