Everyone laughed. Then everyone looked at him in expectation. So he went on. "I remember Kid 2's first word." Everyone, even the ones who weren't alive when Kid 2 spoke first, said, "WOW!" and then there were comments about how it was at the circus, no, the Indiana state fair, and how it was on her first birthday, and how she didn't say another thing until six months later, when she started singing songs and speaking in full sentences. But what about when she was three? "I'm not the grumpiest fairy!"**
Kid 3 wanted her turn. "Dad, what did I say when I was three?" He winked at her. "Have you ever X-rayed a chicken?"***
"What about me? What about me?" Kid 4, actually working a bite of baked potato, wouldn't be left out. Since he was most recently three years old, everyone had cute things to remind him of: "Do llamas Moo? Daddy, baby Jesus is naked! You smell like a cookie - a yucky cookie. A little bit or a lotta bit?"
Lest you think we have some sort of super-memory in our house, I have to tell you that we cheat a little - we write these kinds of things on the calendar in the kitchen.**** And then Husband, in his Good Daddy way, reminds all those people how important they are by telling them what he "remembers" about them. *****
I love that he gives them little gifts like that - a story from their "cute phase" beats out any number of cheesy little trinkets. (Now if I could only convince Kid 3 that's true...)
*This is a new favorite game: If he eats slowly enough, all after-dinner jobs will magically get finished around him and he won't have to do any. Good thing he's so cute...
** There is a long, sordid story here, but let's get the basics: She loved her dress-up fairy wings, and one day, in a fit of the crankies, while wearing her wings, her big sister said something about her being the grumpiest fairy ever. In the angriest toddler-voice, head steaming, breath huffing, she exhibited her ability to crescendo with the best of them, starting fairly softly, "I" pause "am" pause, and get louder "NOT" big old pause, and louder "the GRUMPiest" pause for breath, and holler "FAIRY!!!"
***Maybe you had to be there.
****In fact, the #1 requirement for a kitchen calendar is "white space."
***** I was not safe. "Once, your Mom was tired of listening to you tease each other, so she said, We're a happy family, whether you like it or not!"