Peter Rabbit Redux

Owen sits in his high chair this morning, slowly eating scrambled eggs and toast.He mumbles to himself:

“Once upon a time there were four little bunnies, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter. They lived with their mother under the root of a very large fir tree…”

I sip some more coffee. Chat with Duncan. Owen rambles on through what is currently one of his favourite books.

“I am going out!” (this is Peter’s mother and is always spoken imperatively by Owen).

“Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries, but Peter, who was very naughty, went STWAIGHTAWAY to MISTO’ MAGWEGO’s garden, and SQUEEZED under the gate.”

I go back to my coffee; focus on a story on the radio. Owen narrates, “STOP, THIEF!” (his favourite line). Then I hear:

“Peter say, No! Misto’ Magwego’ you NOT eat me. I go home now. NO! You NOT EAT me.”

“Is that what Peter said?”

“Yeah. He say, ‘No pie for you!'”

I kid you not. “No pie for you.” And Seinfeld seems buried in the mists of time.

Peter Rabbit, Pie Nazi.


I got a call from Owen’s daycare this morning. Owen (who never has “des crises”) was breaking down in tears (and I don’t think he understands the election results, but I’m close to tears myself), and apparently nursing his arm. He insisted on bringing The Runaway Bunny (“Nunny Away,” he calls it now) to daycare with him, and was hugging the book as I left him this morning. Of course, this brings all kinds of guilty twinges into my heart – does the boy hope I will become a tree that he will come home to? Does he want me to become a gardener and find him, my little crocus in the hidden garden? Because I will, of course, but today I have a stack of essays to get through (oh, I know, and this blog entry – but I’ve done 12 essays already this morning and this will only take a couple of minutes).

I explained to our daycare provider that Owen has been fragile the past couple of mornings. Yesterday he sat down on the couch and cried for absolutely no reason. He hadn’t hit himself on anything, hadn’t asked for anything we’d refused – nothing. And, through his tears, he kept saying “Mmmah, mmmah” (i.e. he wanted us to kiss it better)… but how do you kiss sadness better? We did, of course, and he eventually calmed down, but this morning there were more moments of sadness, not directly related to going to daycare, I don’t think, but possibly. And the book seemed to be a security blanket.

Anyway, I asked that the daycare phone back if he was still inconsolable, and haven’t heard back in a couple of hours, so I guess he’s OK. Poor little guy. Don’t worry. “If you become a little boy and run into a house, […] I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.” This afternoon. Promise.

O is for Owen

Owen’s been into the alphabet a bit lately. He likes singing his abc’s, though he slurs his letters really badly, and when I say “singing his abc’s” I mean… I know what he’s saying, but I don’t think anyone else would. It sounds vaguely like this: “ay-e-ee-e-dee-e-egee-e-e..” There are a lot of e’s in Owen’s alphabet. When he counts, it sounds like this: “two, two, theee, fo, six, sese, nine, nine, nine, teh!” (OK, probably not that good).

In any case, tonight we were reading Dr Seuss’s ABC’s, in which “O is very useful. You use it when you say: Oscar’s only ostrich oiled an orange owl today.” At the back of the book all the letters are listed. I know Owen knows O, because I make him point to it all the time. But tonight, he pointed to O when prompted, but then he pointed to M and said “Mama,” and then to D and said “Dada.”

I was so very impressed. Well done, little boy.