The Darndest Things

Billy loves to look at books. For as long as I can remember, it was like that. From birth, Shu Mei would read children’s books to him. Now, at the age of two, he has a great desire to look at the books both with us and alone. I hope his enjoyment of reading continues with him throughout his life. It would serve him well.

This evening, he got out one of his favorite books, a children’s Church book. The book contains several gospel stories for children, complete with simplified text and a lot of pictures. He took it to Shu Mei, who read one of the stories to him. Pointing at a barefooted Jesus Christ, Billy said, “I want to buy him some shoes.” If that wasn’t funny enough, he pointed to Our Heavenly Father, adding, “And his daddy, too!”

A few weeks ago, I was taking Billy upstairs to give him a bath before his bedtime, as I do each night. This particular night he was somewhat boisterous. Because Billy was louder than normal, I feared that he might wake up is brother Tyley, who had gone to bed about an hour earlier. Pausing on the stairs I said to Billy, “If you wake up your brother, I will be very angry. Do you understand?” He replied, “Understand.” And we continued to the bathroom.

Once in the bathtub, Billy forgot about being quiet, being distracted by his toy boat and “duckies”. He was louder than usual that night. Subsequently, Tyley woke up in his crib and started to cry. When I heard this, I gave Billy a stern look and said, “Billy, did you wake up Tyley?” “No,” He replied, “He’s just sleeping very loudly.”

Billy heard a Chinese celebration going on in our neighborhood one night as I put him in his bed. “What’s that noise?” He asked me. I told him that the banging sounds were from firecrackers. Not knowing what they were, but having a sweet tooth as most two-year-olds do, Billy said, “I don’t like ‘firecrackers’. I like firecookies!”

Then there was the night that we found a cockroach upstairs. I quickly disposed of it. The next day, Billy said it was back upstairs and had gotten really big. He wanted to show me this imaginary cockroach, but I thought it better to try and teach him a lesson in honesty. I told him that if we went upstairs and it wasn’t there, I would punish him. Then I asked him if he still wanted to show it to me. He shook his head. I asked why not. He responded, “Because it will eat us and we will be dead.”

Growing up, I would sometimes make my parents wait for me to do something. It was during those times that my father would often ask, “What are you waiting for, Christmas?”. I have found myself saying the same thing to Billy on more than one occasion. Then, the other day I told Billy to put his shoes on so we could go to Church. He was playing with a toy and wasn’t quick to heed my instructions. “Well,” I asked him, “What are you waiting for?” He looked up at me, smiled, and answered, “Christmas!”

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