“We go – we go – we go for a walk? Down da stweet? To da stop sign?”
“Yes, buddy, we can go for a walk. Do you want to put your shoes on?”
“No, I not want shoes. I fine.”
We started down the street, the summer evening air cool around us. Birds wheeled by in the pinkish sky, taking one last fly-by before going home to their nests. Jedidiah, who’s “almost free,” if you ask him (2 ½ if you ask me), put his chubby little hand in mine. He found a pebble to kick along in front of him using his stubby little bare toes (one big toe is painted a shiny turquoise-blue, thanks to his big sister.)
“I see a dog! A big one! Over dere!” he pointed to a couple walking their Labrador down the other side of the street and then proceeded with his customary twenty questions: “What’s dat?” (a leash) “What dat for?” (walking dogs) “What her doin’?” (walking her dog) “What dat guy doin’?” (walking with her.)
Next, he decided to step up on the curb and walk it balance-beam style. “Me do it,” he informed me, pulling his hand from mine. “Yep, you can do it,” I said, watching him balance on the cement, one foot in front of the other – steady now…steady….
“No, ME do it,” he insisted.
“That’s right,” I said, “you are doing it.”
“No, Mom! ME! Me do it!”
“Yes, Jed, YOU are doing it! All by yourself!”
“ME! DO! IT!”
“That’s what I said, bud. You are doing it!”
He stopped and looked at me, apparently frustrated by my ignorance. He took a deep breath and said, “ME. ME. ME DO IT! ME!”
Suddenly, I realized what my very literal son was trying to tell me. I said, “Oh, you mean ‘I do it. Jed does it.’”
“NO, MOM! Not Jed dooze it! ME DOOOOoooo it!”
I laughed and agreed, “Okay, Me. Keep on doing it.”
He smiled, stopped and threw his pebble down the storm drain to hear it plop into the puddle below. Then “Me” hopped back up on the curb and made his way to the stop sign.