Wednesday, September 14

Woe to those who would use him as a paid informant

This evening I had a headache so I did something crazy: I asked Ethan to go upstairs (we were at my parents' house) and ask Nanny (his great-grandmother) what she wanted from Japanese takeout for dinner. I told him it was a Special Mission, and his job was to ask her, simply, "Egg rolls for dinner?" He agreed.

"Talk loudly, and into her left ear!" I shouted as he whizzed past.

He's still working on the diff between right and left, but I figured we were looking at a 50–50 shot at the proper ear. The message, on the other hand...I mean, I knew what I set up was basically a game of telephone destined to yield no usable results.*
*If this situation were made into a movie, their parts would be played by Sylvester Stallone and Marlee Matlin. (Based on a true story, seeing as the ages don't jive.)
Less than a minute later he came bounding in and explained, "Gigi said egg rolls is fine!"

I was elated, similar to the first time I asked him to close the front door (he was just shy of two years old) and he did it. His abilities are impressive, sure, but the possibilities for me and what I can make him do? Totally exciting. Think of all the messages I can now make him relay for me! As with the whole doing-things-I-ask scenario, I know that this is a race against the clock. I have a short window of time in which these new tasks I assign him will remain exciting, gold-star-worthy, if you will. Before I know it, we'll be at "No, you do it!" all over again.

A few minutes later, Nanny came down the stairs (backwards, one at a time—she says it's easier that way [?] )—and asked, bewildered, "Is the dinner not ready?"

Apparently Ethan hadn't actually inquired whether she wanted egg rolls for dinner. He instead told her dinner was ready, then came back down and reported to me.

At this point I'm unable to discern if in his enthusiasm to complete his mission Ethan cut some corners, or if he purposefully bungled the communique to get out of future assignments. Finding out is probably impossible, since Ethan has proven himself a highly unreliable witness. (The other day, after a brief car trip with Noah, Ethan announced they had seen a giant pumpkin on the side of the road, "the big Daddy's life!" Noah debunked this rumor immediately. No pumpkin, nevermind the biggest one he'd ever seen in his life.)

Regardless, it seems I have less time than I thought.

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