Segundo has a clothes problem at preschool. This manifests itself in a number of ways from getting his regular clothes wet or dirty, to struggling with his pants during emergencies. Lately he has managed to keep most of the clothes on that he shows up to school in. Most but not all. When I show up at 3 to pick him up he is usually missing his shirt and socks. “I get hot daddy, and I need to get some freeze on me!” His teachers have been keeping track of when his shirt comes off and the nicer the day the earlier it happens. Here is one of the many reasons I love Trillium Preschool, their willingness to let Segundo be himself. They make sure he is safe but allow tons of space for him to navigate safety and danger on his own terms.
Yesterday when I rounded the corner into the school grounds I could see in the window of the preschool where the kids were getting one last story before heading home. there was Segundo in his bright yellow pants, no shirt, no socks, and covered in dirt. His pants were rolled up just below his knee and he looked like some hipster hillbilly wild man. A modern-day lord of the flies in skinny jeans. I just smiled as I walked past to pick Primo up first. I knew that this was a great day, that there was a story written in all that dirt on his chest and back. I knew I would get versions from each of the teachers and some impromptu reenactment from Segundo and his friends. He is the Oscar to Primo’s Felix and I am so thankful that he has the space to himself.
Yesterday when I went to pick Segundo up from preschool his teacher pulled me aside to tell me a story. They had a fire drill that day but when it started Segundo was busy on the toilette. Since he likes his freedom while sitting on the throne he as sans pants and chonies. Just a t-shirt and socks and singing songs while the bell went off. Fast forward to the kids lined up outside and Segundo’s teacher came up because it looked like he needed a little help. He was holding his pants up as she came over to help him button up but she noticed he needed to pull up his chonies. Problem was he didn’t have them, he got right out of the building like he was taught to and didn’t have time to load the boys back up. He just grabbed his pants and hopped out of the classroom. When they got back in she went to help him get dressed but ran into another problem, he hadn’t wiped. She was fighting back laughter as she told him to wipe, wash his hands, put on his underwear, put his pants back on, and come out so she could help button up. The great take away here is that he knows what to do in an emergency situation, but we may need to work on his bathroom routine a little more.
The other morning while we were all getting ready for our days Segundo came into our room and asked Beautiful “Mommy are you going to put on your boobie trap?” Of course he was talking about her bra and I will only call it a boobie trap from here on out. it was brilliant. He had heard the term before and had no idea what it meant so he worked out a meaning from the information he had. Brilliant I tell you!
Long road trips were a family tradition while I was growing up and our family would play “My Grandfather’s Store” whenever we were out on the open road. The game is a variation of 20 questions where someone while start by saying “there’s something in my grandfather’s store that starts with an S” and then everyone else in the car starts asking yes or no questions until someone correctly guess the mystery S word. We have started playing the game with our boys on longer drives and they are quickly learning the questions to ask. You can almost guarantee that if Segundo is them one coming up with the mystery word then it’s a superhero. Primo will go back and forth between superheros and fruit so you have to think a little more. Most of the time My Grandfather’s store is a grocery store so the first question is always “Is it Edible?” Primo knows what edible means but apparently Segundo does not. Last week while my brother was here he started the game on a drive to pick up Primo from school and Segundo excitedly joined in:
M: “There’s something in my grandfather’s store that starts with an s”
S: “Is it Edible?”
S: “It’s a snake isn’t it?”
M:(laughing) “No it’s not a snake, I don’t think a snake is edible.”
S: “Is it a slug?”
M:(laughing harder) “You don’t eat a slug Segundo, do you know what edible means?”
S: “Is it Super Man!”
The game went on with me narrowing it down to a fruit, that was red, that was a berry, that started with straw. Segundo still didn’t know what it was and had my brother and I cracking up as he went through the clues out loud.
S: “It’s a fruit, that’s a berry, and it starts with straw”
Dad: “Say that again but switch the words”
S: “It’s a straw that starts with berry?”
D: “ok now just say the two words”
S: “straw …….berry, STRAWBERRY! I did it!”
It took Segundo about 10 minutes to finally get strawberry, but it was 10 minutes of pure comedy for Mark and I. We told him what that edible means you can eat it but the next time we played the game that information didn’t seem to stick.
This picture above shows the faint scratch that Segundo had under his right eye. The filter from Instagram lightened bright red line that I first noticed some 30 minutes after he had hurt himself. If Primo had done this the whole neighborhood would have known instantly as he screamed and writhed on the ground as if he had been harpooned from a Japanese whaling ship. It takes a lot more to get Segundo to even cry, let alone scream in pain. I’ve seen him walk into a table, fall off our tall bed, flip over the steamer trunk in our living room, and take a header while running on the sidewalk outside. He pauses, asses the situation, and then usually says “I’m ok, it’s ok, I’m ok.” There are plenty of times where he gets hurt enough to cry but his threshold for pain is much higher than his older brother. It might be because Segundo falls, runs into, trips, and crashes far more than his brother does. He seems to have a wider stream of data to draw from when it comes to gauging pain. Primo, on the other hand, has a smaller sample and therefore no measurable difference between a bump and having his leg severed above the knee. While I try not to let their difference threshold affect me I have used the phrase “Sack up” a time or two for Primo. once in a while I get in a better response of “take a second to figure out how hurt you are, and what the reaction should be …..” so that I don’t come running every time I hear an anguished scream. One of these days he will be eaten by a wolf because I didn’t respond, or at least I think that’s how the story goes.
I wrote about the creative ailments that Segundo has suffered through and his story telling prowess but in the last couple of days he has come up with a whole new schtick that raises the bar of three-year old comedy. He no longer wants to be called his given name and would instead like to be called Frank. “Daddy my name is Frank now so that’s what you should call me!” He informed us of the name change on Sunday and since then he has really been fleshing out this new character. When we dropped Primo off at school on Monday morning he was still Segundo but once we got home he informed me that he was now Frank and needed to go change. He put on a t-shirt and shorts and came running out of his room to pose in an action shot stance and tell me that “Frank loves to exercise!” He then started running laps around the house and asked me to keep track of them. We got up to twenty before he took a break and told me that Frank needs some water in order to exercise more. Then he went around the house picking up the things he could and lifting them up over his head chanting “Ex-er-cise, ex-er-cise, ex-er-cise”
I was nearly wetting my pants from laughter watching him transform into this crazy character apparently channeling the ghost Jack Lalane. His whole face changes into this new person and the glint in his eye is hilarious. He has put on a show for Beautiful and my Dad when they both got home for work and had them cracking up too. We learned that Frank has the same parents but is not the same person as Segundo, the way you can tell them apart is that “Frank just loves to exercise, and Segundo just likes to play.” I don’t know how we continue to encourage this creative expression but I want to make sure that I do everything I can. Right now he good for a post a week on this blog and I can always use the content.