If you're a parent, you're probably used to narrating life in third person. We do it to teach a baby his or her name, and also to get the kid going on the whole "Mommy" and "Daddy" thing. So, for example, you might say, "And how is wee little Ermintrude doing this morning? Mommy thinks Baby Ermie is the cutest baby in the whole wide world!" You know, if you were the kind of person to name your child Ermintrude (and who isn't?).
The trouble is, long after wee little Jackie knew his name and was well aware of who these "Mommy" and "Daddy" characters were, we continued to talk about ourselves in the third person. As in, Mommy still does it sometimes. Mommy even thinks about herself in third person occasionally. It's a sickness. So I probably shouldn't be surprised that Jack still refers to himself as Jack. A lot.
To be honest, I didn't even pay much attention to it until our friend Dave arrived at post last April. Dave doesn't have kids, so he immediately noticed Jack's interesting way of talking about himself. And then, once I became aware of the fact that it wasn't exactly normal, I couldn't stop focusing on it. But no matter how many times I correct Jack, he still gets it wrong about a third of the time. Okay, that's being generous. Half the time. Or more.
It turns out there's a term for this: illeism. And apparently it worked out quite well for Salvador Dali and The Rock. But what if your child isn't a world famous painter or a wrestler-turned-B-list actor? How long can Jack get away with this nonsense?
|Jack, when he saw this picture: "What's wrong with Jack? Why is Jack yelling?"|
To make matters worse, Jack also speaks reeeeeaaally sloooooowly. I didn't notice that either, until we were in Miami in November and John's aunts started referring to Jack as Eeyore. My worst fears were confirmed when we visited our friends Ron and Jaime recently, and Jaime mentioned casually that my kid talks like Ben Stein.
Aside from all that, Jack actually speaks quite well (which is kind of like saying, "My kid's a genius, aside from that low IQ score," isn't it?). But it's a little disconcerting that no matter how many times I try to drill this into Jack's head, he can't quite seem to figure it out. Should I be worried, or is this a passing phase, a la potty training? Because, you know, that wasn't a big deal AT ALL.
On that note, Mommy needs a nap.