Monkeys & Unlimited Minutes

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” -Albert Einstein

via Stephen Surlin
via Stephen Surlin

I’ve peeled 13 bananas in 13 minutes, and I am rounding the couch for a fourteenth round when I hear more toddler mumblings.

“Poppy, I’s gets you presents, okay? Bows on dem and wit safety zizzors.”

My son spots me and tucks the fruit loot under his arm. He guards.

“Peel and eat. EAT,” I say to him slow and furious.

Over the past week I’ve watched his little claw pawing at the bowl of fruit on the table. Just one banana at first. Then he takes two or eight. Then I take trips to a grocery store where the cashier has silently accepted that I’ve got a serious potassium disorder. The boy takes his treasured “bo-nanas” to the sofa, shields them fiercely, whispers sweet words over them before tossing them, unopened and perfectly wasted, into the trash.

Figuring the problem was the peeling process, I’d crack the stem’s neck and bloom one. He’d stare at its open ripeness, inexplicably mortified, and grab another.

Figuring the problem, also,  must be that he really loves bananas, I’d take much care to slice the soft fruit, splay in across his plate for breakfast, lunch, and supper. He’d push his plastic dinner tray away in disgust, shoot me a disdainful glance as if I’d fed him the poison stuff (also known as brocoli).

On and on this cycle’s swirled. Little monkey hoards bananas. Mama monkey too curious for answers swings stealthily behind lampshades and countertops, couch backs and bookshelves to solve the mystery. I spied and spied on him, overcome with a need to know why. He spotted and spotted me, shot wide eyes to my hiding spot beneath the coffee table. He’d shove the pristine yellow arch into cushions or pockets. He’d wait for me to leave.

“Oh. Ok. Thas great. And bew-oon-as [balloons]. Yeah. Ok. Ha! Woo-Woo cars! Yeah. Ok. Ess nappin’ time, ok?,” I eavesdropped from a newer perch beside the dishwasher. The boy slurred whole conversations to his secret bananas.

Figuring I wasn’t going to figure this one out, I settled with this: He poops himself and thinks chocolate milk is better because white milk is “too hot”. He likes bubble bath only from a tacky Spider Man container because the same soap from a boring package burns his face and person. He is a kid. He’s not about the sense.

I had just accepted that the boy’s mantra prayers to the peeling gods was a fluke, an oddity, a nonsensical pre-snack ritual when I heard, clearer somehow:

“Hey. Hows are you, Mimi? Oh. Thas great. I’s on da pone. Yeah. I’s see-in you for Chrickmas times. Ok? Got to go. Ok. Talkins with you later, Mimi. Ok. Bye.”

For all my fear of obsessive compulsive eating habits, of strange kid fetishes, of general dysfunction, I found only this:

Free Data Plan, suckers.
Free Data Plan, suckers.

Chatty Kathy. Talkin’ Thomas. The boy just likes to take his calls in private.

What make-believe have you made?



43 thoughts on “Monkeys & Unlimited Minutes

    1. Trying too hard is my go-to thing. I’m kind of talented at it. I can turn just about any old simple thing into a crazy complicated event. I literally spent weeks trying to map and track and spy and figure out what was going on with all those bananas. I googled “Toddler Banana Hoarding”. I NEEDED TO KNOW! Turns out reality was so much easier than I made it out to be 🙂

  1. I have one occasionally commenter on my blog who makes sure to call me “Dark Moon” each time she comments. It’s a small thing, to call me by my childhood superhero name, but it’s a huge one. For minutes after I read those two words, I smile and remember what it was like to be Dark Moon. What a feeling! The feeling from reading this ain’t so bad, either. What a sweet kiddo. And post. And mama. ♥

    1. Dark Moon sounds pretty kick ass, missy. I’d like to hear more about her adventures! It’s funny how analytical I was getting trying to understand where his little brain was going. He just saw a banana and made a banana call. His creativity is too simple and too complicated all at once for my head to understand sometimes.

  2. As soon as I saw this one, I laughed. I knew exactly where Thomas was going.

    I still make-believe, every dang day. I knew I had a problem a couple of days ago when I met MTM for coffee at Starbucks. After listening to us argue for ten minutes about the fates of fake people, the woman at the table next to us got up and left. We remained, still passionately discussing fake people, for twenty more minutes.

    1. You’d think I’d have more of an imagination, but no. I’m pretty bland in that department. Case in point, I tried to make up characters for a book and named them all variations of Tori. Oddly enough they were all tall, foul-mouthed, and had a thing for Milk Duds.

    1. I always get the SAME cashier when I’m making suspicious purchases. Shovel and duct tape? She’s there thinking I’m a serial killer. 25 packets of chocolate flavored face masks (the niece had a spa party)? Who knows what kind of freaky mess she thought that was for!

  3. Well, as is usual with me, this one’s a bit … involved. My folks got into a kick of refinishing wooden end tables with tile tops. 1″ square various coloured tiles, laid with grout, just like on a floor. They did the coffee table with two rectangle lines of dark tile against a general background of “dalmatian” (white with black spots) tiles. It worked GREAT as an airport for my little plastic airplanes! (Yeah, I’ve been this way all my life.)
    Nowadays? Well, I’d say something about making bad jokes via our stuffed animal collections, but not right now. Chauncy the Reindeer is looking over my shoulder, and he’s a TERRIBLE snitch! 😉

    1. Hahaha. I am pretty good with my imagination when it comes to creative cussing. It’s keeping up with the boy’s PG creativity that’s tough. In one afternoon he can play doctor, house, house on fire, grocery store, dinosaur land, and doctor going home to his house from a job at dinosaur land. It’s hard to keep up with his imaginary world. Most of the time I just accept that I have no clue what’s going on and growl. Whatever game we’re playing it’s a safe bet there’s a monster. So I just growl.

    1. Eating a dozen bananas I can understand. I feel the same way about Milk Duds and cake. (Also? Now that I wrote that out I’m realizing I should probably be on a diet). The NOT eating of all the bananas was freaking me out. I’m still worried I’ll find secret rotten banana phones hidden around the house!

  4. Lol, so want to know how you managed to get that picture! 😉

    But that is seriously cute–I love that he got offended when you would try to spy on his phone conversations. He’s adorable!

    1. DR. H in the house!!!! She’s a doctor with a doctorate gettin’ all doctor-y up in here!!!!!
      Sorry. I’m still pretty pumped for you. To get the picture I had to go all out with the ninja moves (which were surprisingly less silent and agile than I thought they’d be). It involved using the curtains as cover and Army crawling until my legs and half my torso were shoved underneath the couch. Really glad I snapped that pic… just wish I hadn’t thrown my back out in the process 🙂

    1. On the banana phone or the phone phone? Or the apple phone? Or the iPod or remote phone? Take comfort that he thinks he’s talking to you on the phone about three hours a day 🙂

  5. Hah! That was great. I can just imagine him thinking how annoying his mom was being because she kept wanting to check his multiple phones. 😉 I have no love for bananas myself, due to having consumed one too many my first year of college, but you’ve got a smart boy there. You don’t EAT the bananas, you use them to communicate. Duh.

    1. Hahaha. Duh, mom. I felt kind of awful for peeling and slicing all the bananas before I figured out what he was using them for. I’d be pretty pissed if somebody kept stomping and smashing my new cell phone 🙂

    1. Definitely. From weeks of spying I picked up on a few calls to Santa, his friends at school (they spoke at length about a pizza party), and his grandparents (in which he basically just asked for lots of toys).

    1. Girllll, I’m going to stick with this banana thing as long as I can. They’re $0.50 a pound! I hear it’s the new American way to let six-year-olds have smart phones so I’m praying we can keep him cheaply and plenty entertained with some fruit!

  6. It’s way cheaper than a cell phone. I wish my son would still be happy with a bunch of banana phone calls. Besides, I bet you have the best potassium levels in town.

    BTW, I may need to take you up on that offer of soap. 😉

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