In excelsis deo

Caleb likes to read signs. He can’t actually read them yet, but he does some creative deciphering. He told me that the sign on the Minneapolis airport’s moving walkway, for example, says “go to the airport.” That doesn’t quite capture it, because he emphasizes each word when he is sign-reading. So it came out like this: “Go. To. Da. Airport.”

Last night we went to Target, and he explained that the big red sign overhead says, “Let’s. Buy. A. Toy.” So we did, a sweet new Matchbox forklift (he likes the heavy machinery).

Caleb likes belly flurgles. What’s that, you don’t know what a flurgle is? It’s when you bury your face into someone’s neck or belly and blow so that you make a big noise that would embarrass grandma if it came out of grandpa in church. So every night when I put on his pajamas, Caleb asks for a belly flurgle. This is a dangerous enterprise, because he holds his arms up, but he is ready to bring them crashing down, elbows first, as soon as my face gets near his belly. It’s like Thai fighting, only I’m without a mouthguard. My latest angle of attack is to wait until he tries to take off his shirt. Ever try to take off your t-shirt without raising your elbows above your shoulders? Pretty difficult.

Apparently we make quite a sight, Caleb with his shirt halfway off his head so that he looks like a nun, cackling and screaming as tries to push my face away, and me going “ffffff” in pre-flurgle blowing while I try to avoid a black eye. Eli sometimes tries to get in on the action. He pulls himself standing by my arm and waits for me to pick him up, deposit him on his back, and tickle him. This causes him to giggle and throw both his legs in the air. It is always a funny sight because his legs are only eight inches long.

Last night Caleb asked me to sing “Angels We Have Heard on High” as his bedtime song. Quick, sing it. Not that easy to recall, is it? I got the first verse right, but the second went something like:

“Shepherds why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong
Something something dooby-dee
Something can’t remember the song

Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ria, in excelsis deo…”

Caleb lay with his head on his pillow, listening with a mixture of confusion and disgust. When the song petered out he contemptuously turned his back to me and went to sleep. Sometimes children are so hard to please. Mental note: one night when I’m ninety and Caleb tucks me in, demand that he sing “Come On Eileen” and get all the words right.


  1. greg walllace

    Mental note: one night when I’m ninety and Caleb tucks me in, demand that he sing “Come On Eileen” and get all the words right.

    Duly noted.

  2. Jimnice

    2nd verse:

    Shepherds, why this jubilee?
    Why your joyous strains prolong?
    What the gladsome tidings be
    Which inspire your heavenly song?

    Good luck next time he asks…

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