Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Young and the Restless




We just spent three days with someone who wants everything and knows nothing.

Of course he is not yet sixteen months old, but does this give him the right to be exactly like the rest of us?

He is obsessed with buttons, switches, knobs, handles, and all the myriad variations on this theme but suffers the constant indignity of being kneecap-high to those who are (quite unfairly) able to reach them. Thus his imperious demand to be carried about the house for hours on end, pointing at his intended targets and then knobulating (as my husband puts it) to his heart's content.

I have no idea what this means. My daughter (his mother) had zero interest in such fetish objects, preferring nipples and eyes -- sucking the one, looking into the other -- but various former boys of our acquaintance, including his father, are said to have shared the compulsion. I would like to hear about any girl babies who also share it but (rather frighteningly) am so far striking out on this score.

The first recognizable thing he ever said to anyone was "uh-oh," and it is now repeated often with a tone of genuine regret. This seems fitting if a bit darkly foreshadowing: apparently it's what scientists frequently remark in their labs, rather than the much-too-sunny "Eureka!"

On the road to the junior museum, hoping to give him a broader range of things to take apart and knobulate, one is treated to a steady line of patter from the backseat (where the carseat must be buckled), the tone changing second to second from one of happy sing-song to one of dismissive reproach, with a few little "uh-ohs" tossed in to punctuate the rest.

7 comments:

AM said...

"Knobulating" -- I am now watching my second son discover this obsession. It's the intensity that shocks me -- my older son, sunny and laid-back, evinced sudden mad-scientist-type behaviors when presented with a dashboard or console...

Rachel Loden said...

Ange, yes, the wild intensity! Our guy lives to commandeer the dials on the amplifier, DVD player etc. and when my husband once very quietly and respectfully said that this was not such an excellent idea, the aspiring knobulant burst into heartbroken sobs.

Rachel Loden said...

He just hit the speed dial key on my daughter's cell phone and called me up.

But then there's maybe two seconds of breathing and he moves on to other buttons, communication not being the object of this exercise.

Anybody know of a female knobulant? Please.

Skye said...

I am the mother of said knobulant and feel compelled to write in and say that I haven't come across any female knobulants, despite substantial research. It's quite puzzling. Must run as the subject is knobulating again and demands my full attention.

Father Knobulator said...

He is the cutest knobulator I've ever seen!

Judy said...

My granddaughter's second word was "push." (Her first was "what dat?" which is technically 2 words but she didn't know that.) Yes, she knobulated every chance she could get (and what a fabulous word, thank you). Even now at three and a half she insists on pushing buttons on the remote, on the Bose, on the garage door opener, on the dishwasher... whenever a task needs to be done and there is a button to push to do it.

Rachel Loden said...

Oh hooray --a female knobulator! I knew there had to be one out there. Thanks, Judy.