Chocolate Covered Caviar

Linus seemed like an ordinary baby. He was sweet, and either looked chronically worried or extremely smiley. The first few months of his life not much seemed to set him apart from any other baby, except perhaps for the solitary blonde, wiry curl that stood up in the middle of his head like Charlie Brown. His first word was “quack quack” and after that he just sort of exploded. He started walking Christmas Day in 2005 at 10 months of age and that was it. He stopped being a baby. Language came next. It seemed he immediately started speaking in complete sentences with very little baby preliminary. If you asked him a question before he was a year old he’d answer “key-cars” which I eventually realized meant “because” (and by realized I mean "Jill told me”). It wasn’t long before he was saying please and thank you. By 18 months he could say “I’m a studmuffin!” and “Look at me, mommy! I’m swimming...in a boat!” while he floated in a life preserver. At 22 months I scolded him for screaming while I tried to change his diaper and he angrily protested “Don’t be rude Mommy, don’t be selfish! I was not screaming, I was talking!”

From 18 months on his uniform was a backwards baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses. He could not be persuaded to wear a cap forwards. We thought perhaps he found the brim annoying, but no. If he put on a fireman’s helmet, it went on backwards too with the neck protector over his eyes. We finally determined he must have a backwards head. He was very pleased with himself and would announce “It’s like a costume! I’m a cool dude!”

A passion for putting pieces together came next. Mr. Potato Head Theater commenced every morning on top of the 2-shelf bookcase outside his bedroom. Linus was the director, author and costume designer. Architecture is also a forte of his, particularly building Frank Lloyd Wright style homes out of Duplo blocks. By the age of two and a half he was working 25 piece puzzles in less than 5 minutes, 100 pieces in less than an hour.

I have previously mentioned his brother’s flair for the dramatic and mimicry ability. Linus has developed a secret identity of his own, but unlike his brother’s characters like Scooby Doo and Donald Duck, his have sprung from his own mind fully formed. I believe it all started when a lovely little blonde at his pre-school sat next to him on the staircase, put her arm around him and coquettishly suggested that they might get married. He balked. “No, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do...I’m going to marry my mommy.”

The rest is likely my fault, because I protested our upcoming nuptials. While Jarvis and Linus fought over my hand I repeatedly reminded them that I was their mother and already married to their daddy, and if I married one of them what would Daddy do? Linus suggested that Daddy could stay home.

So now, my little son is married. He is a grown up. A daddy. He doesn’t have parents, because he’s a big man. His name is Chocolate-Covered, and he has a wife named Strawberry. Strawberry wore a white dress when they got married, and CC wore a blue tuxedo. They have five children. Banana, Telephone, Candy, Video and Computer, though I have recently been informed that Video and Computer met their demise from eating yucky old spaghetti off the floor. My son is nothing if not morbid. Oh, I forgot. Strawberry has one more baby. Alice is no longer my daughter, but is Strawberry’s baby girl. A baby girl Named Lukey Skywalker.

That Telephone is a handful! Chocolate Covered frequently has to put him in time out for hitting Banana and Candy while Strawberry goes the store. Chocolate Covered is an attentive and involved father, driving his kids to school and reading them books on the staircase.

Occasionally Linus makes an appearance, but it’s not often. He generally refuses to answer to it. But since his family and identity are a secret that can put a kink in things. I took him to visit a kindergarten class and he refused to reveal his name. “It’s a secret!” The teacher put the name I called him on a cup with a pea seed in it, but she misspelled it. “That’s not right...it’s L-I-N-U-S but that’s not my name!” he declared, further confusing things. I frequently call him by the wrong name at home, and he is forever correcting me. Of course Jarvis did the same thing, only answering to Pluto or Donald Duck for years, but he refuses to believe me.

We received a new piece of information at my Aunt Dawn’s birthday party. Chocolate Covered declared his middle name is...Caviar. “Caviar is fish eggs!” announced my three year old epicurean son. To be fair, he learned this from Spiderman 2. But I defy you to find another three year old who knows this, or one who is such a good father.