Thursday, January 03, 2008
About 6 months ago, I began training Andrew to tell me that I was pretty. It worked really well for a while. (Somebody has to, right Brig?) I would solicit, "Is Mommy pretty?" and Andrew would reply, "Yes pretty" or "Mommy pretty." It was great. Then he learned what pretty means, and it has been down hill ever since. Now I wish I had not introduced the concept at all. He no longer feeds me my solicited compliments. Instead, my queries receive a telling silence or "Mommy no pretty." Last night he said I was ugly, but I will conceed that he does not know what that word means. I just asked him if I was ugly since he would not say I was pretty.
Brigham insists that Andrew doesnt know what he is saying. But, as much as I wished I believed that, I am pretty certain he does. For example, he will sometimes pronounce other women we see as "pretty." And they usually are, like the (very pretty) young woman walking down the hallway of our apartment complex. Andrew was watching her, and then pointed, declaring happily, "she pretty!" Models are pretty, too, when I test out his mastery of the word with the use of magazines.
While at a family gathering at my parents' house the other night, Andrew sat with Katie and Jessie watching country music videos (Katie discovered during the summer of 05, when Andrew was 7 months old, that Andrew loved this station). When I returned to the room, my sisters reported that Andrew had suddenly blurted out, "She's pretty," about the woman in the video. No, it wasn't Shania. It was Dolly Parton, and even if I thought Dolly was pretty, this was not her most flattering video. I don't know what the song was, but she was wearing a tiny cocktail sort of dress that made her look very trashy and old, and something about how she looked got Katie insisting in all seriousness that Dolly Parton suffered from dwarfism. Andrew, if you think Dolly is pretty, maybe I don't mind if you think I am ugly.
Beauty Part 2:
Andrew gave his first completely spotaneous and unprompted prayer last night. It went like this, Momo:
"Heavenly Father, Thank you for my cars. Go to sleep. Name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
We always pray that Andrew will go to sleep, partly to reinforce to Andrew that he is about to go to sleep and partly to implore for divine intervention to make him sleep. So that is where the "go to sleep" part came from. We have never thanked Heavenly Father for Andrew's toys, though. That was all him. It was so sweet to hear from his own little heart what he wanted to say to the Lord. I hope that someday soon Andrew will appreciate this kind of beauty more than the kind of beauty he now appreciates in Dolly Parton.
The following are quotes from Dolly's own mouth about her look:
"I describe my look as a blend of mother goose, cinderella, and the local hooker!"
"It takes a lot of money to make a person look this cheap!"
(I mean, Dolly Parton is a really good person, but I am fairly sure Andrew doesn't know about her inner life.) I am looking forward to him learning to appreciate the inner beauty or spiritually beautiful things (and whatever form of beauty is poor mom has to offer!). In the meantime, I will settle for him just developing mildly better taste.