Confirm and Deny

Comedian Eddie Izzard has this bit about what to do if you lose your place while signing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Now that I think about it, I can’t imagine why a British man would have occasion to sing that song in such a public venue that his participation would matter, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that his method is to dramatically open and close his mouth, while gesturing confirmation and denial with his hands. I was thinking about that this week because 1) it’s funny and 2) Jacob seems to have the same theory about life.

Although he’s still not using too many “words” (“da” now translates to dog, dance, truck, microwave, bird, squirrel, cat, and sometimes, Dad), he’s taken to nodding to say “yes.” Thank goodness! For such a long time it seemed like he could only shake his head for “no” and smile with an otherwise blank expression, which I was to understand as either “yes” or “I have no idea what you’re saying.”

So this nodding thing got really fun this week. Sometimes he’d answer questions honestly, and sometimes I could just ask him silly questions that I knew he’d say yes to, in order to entertain myself. (I admit it, Mom, the pacifier trick you did when I was a baby really wasn’t a big deal. I totally get why you did it.)

One conversation we’ve had often this week, as a check:

Me: “Jacob, are you hungry?”
Jacob: nods
Me: “Are you always hungry?”
Jacob: nods again

Which, of course, led me to start saying things like this:

Me: “Jacob, does Mommy love you?”
Jacob: nods
Me: “Do you love Mommy?”
Jacob: nods

Aww. So cute, right? Until Wednesday, when all nods were inexplicably exchanged for head-shakes.

Me: “Jacob, does Mommy love you?”
Jacob: shakes his head
Me: “Do you love Mommy?”
Jacob: shakes his head

Again, the check:

Me: “Jacob, are you hungry?”
Jacob: nods, with an exuberant smile

I think for a minute, and then, on the way to the kitchen:

Me: “Okay, I’ll get you some lunch. Now, do you love Mommy?”
Jacob: shakes his head

Confirm and deny. Confirm and deny. Anything to keep ’em on their toes.

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