Jackson's Four Words

"Mama" A classic, Jackson's first word. Normally shouted at me from the back seat while I'm driving.

Possible meanings: Turn on the A/C! Turn off the A/C! Roll down my window! Roll up my window! Where's Big Bird? I'm thirsty! I love you! I'm so happy that we finally got out of that goddamn apartment!


Jackson's second word. Jack used to feel slighted by the fact that Mama came first, but Jackson has made up for this by using Dada far more often. Normally shouted at Jack when he gets home from work, all weekend long, and whenever he sees the phone and thinks he will hear Jack's voice hollering, "What's up, motherfucker?!"

Possible meanings: Look, Daddy's home! Isn't Daddy fantastic? I love Daddy! Daddy, look at me! Daddy, give me that razor/toothbrush/cell phone/beer/remote control!


Uttered randomly as an attention-getter.

Possible meanings: Whoops! Can you get that? Orange peel tastes nasty. My water bottle is rolling away.


Jackson is a biter, unfortunately, and he likes to bite my shoulder after I take him out of the bath. This hurts, so I yell, "Ow! Jackson, that hurts! Don't bite me!" Then, with great urgency, he puts his open mouth on my shoulder and very, very gently puts his teeth on my skin, and then he'll pull his head back to look at me and with a sorrowful expression he'll say, "Ow." Also occasionally uttered during quiet playtime, also with sorrowful expression.

Possible meanings: I'm sorry. I love you and I'm sorry. Your pain is my pain. I am imagining what it's like to feel your pain because I am the reincarnation of Laurence Olivier and as soon as you get the wardrobe mistress and teach me to read I will start working on my lines for "Hamlet." Now I need to bite you just one more time so I can study your expression. I'm sorry, but I have to. This hurts me more than it hurts you.