Sunday, August 14, 2011

From the Mouth of Elijah

The other day at dinner, I had a very interesting conversation with Elijah.

"Mommy, I remember when I was a baby. Chastity wasn't a baby yet, but I was, and I was eating...with my fingers, like this." He motioned his hand going back and forth from the table to his mouth. "And I was putting my hands in my mouth, and I was sitting there." He pointed to the high chair.

"Really?" I asked. A thought occurred to me as I remembered an article I once read about how children sometimes can remember small details as far back as birth if you ask them early enough in life, and they can verbalize it. "Elijah, do you remember being born?" I asked, not even certain he would know what I was asking.

"Yes," he answered rather assertively. "It kinda hurt."

He didn't say that last part very clearly, so I wasn't sure of what I heard. "It didn't hurt?"

He looked at me with his sideways, serious face, "No, it DID hurt."

"Well, what did it feel like?"

"It felt kinda like shots."

"Like shots?"

He went on, this time dropping his fork to show me by moving his hand all over his face. "Yeah, the mans came over and shot me like this, and I cried and cried." He imitated a baby crying.

"All over your face?" I asked him, still hung up on his description and still skeptical.

"Yes." He showed me again, and this time I realized that he was doing the motion of the syringe bulb they would have used to suction out his nose and mouth. "And then the girls took me and gave me shots here and here." He motioned to his arms and legs." He must have been talking about the nurses who gave him his shots and poked him multiple times to check his blood sugar.

I was no longer skeptical. I was now convinced that my son does, in fact, remember the day he was born.

"Oh, and I don't want to be Elijah," he added. "I want to be Eli."

"You want us to call you Eli?"

"Yes." Serious face again.

"Why do you want to be called Eli?" I asked him. I began to wonder if he even remembered that...that I had called him Eli when he was a baby, and I was about to be even more impressed.

He thought for moment, "Because E.J. calls me Eli."

And that was the end of that.

He later went on to describe the two different ways Jelani used to hold him to get him to fall asleep when he was just a newbie, once Jelani got home that evening, but I couldn't get Eli to repeat what he'd told me at dinner.

Jelani was disappointed on both fronts, not only has he been asking Elijah if he remembered being born for the past two years with no results, but he hates Eli Manning.

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