It started over a month ago, though I can’t be sure exactly when. It started with the usual bedtime rituals and one simple question that deviated from the normal pattern. I was tucking Ben in and, as always, he asked, “Can you wub my back?”
“Count in Fwench.” Demanding, eyebrows furrowed. This is serious business – this back “wubbing”.
“Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.”
And here, the question that started it all, “Did you say cinq?” And this one time, and perhaps the next night even, I do believe he really thought I missed cinq. But from then on, every single night, we went through this same series of questions and statements.
Finally, I decided to mix things up a bit. When he asked if I said cinq I said, “no”. His forehead drew down into a little knot in his eyebrows and he declared, “Yes you did!”
I told Graeme about the story thus far. He suggested skipping cinq, which I tried the next night.
“Un, deux, trois, quatre, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.”
Immediately Ben said, “You didn’t say cinq!”
The next night, as I approached cinq he said, “Can you say cinq?” I did. And again he asked, “Did you say cinq?”
Aaaahhhh. Here we are back at the same question! “I don’t know, did I?”
“Yeeeeesssss!” (As if I was very silly for not knowing.)
Tonight I skipped trois. He didn’t notice. He only has ears for cinq now. But he still asked his usually question. I said, “Did I miss trois?” He said no. “Did I miss neuf? Did I miss sept?” His brow started lowering.
“I din wanna say it any maye [more]. Just go away.” At which point I kissed his knitted brow and said goodnight.
What a funny character that one is.