Noah and Joey, like their mom, have quite a love for storytelling. Both boys can be found, on any given day, bent over a pile of papers with a pen gripped in one hand, completely lost in a world that they have created in the deep mystical clouds of their minds.
Joey prefers typing, and Noah, who cannot yet spell very well, prefers pictures. Once his pictures are complete and in the order that makes sense to him, he calls me over to write his words. It's always a big deal to include on the cover: by Noah Bielecki, the author (who has a girlfriend).
Tonight the boys teamed up to brainstorm some pretty terrific stories about Halloween and monsters. Joey abandoned it to begin writing a story right away, while Noah wanted to continue coming up with ideas. This is where he enlisted my help, climbing into my lap with his wrinkled paper and bleeding pen.
"I'll give you CLUES about my ideas," he said. "And you try and guess. They will all be monsters." When he says "monsters," it sounds like, "MAWNsters."
"Okay," I said. "You start."
"Okay," he agreed. "This one has a large head shaped like a rectangle."
"What?!" asked Joey, looking up from his paper. Noah was annoyed. Since Joey had excused himself from the activity, Noah did not want his input.
"A head," Noah said again, glaring at Joey, "shaped like a rectangle."
"Frankenstein?" I guessed.
"YES!" Noah said excitedly. "Now you help me read it." He poised his pen to the paper, which creased slightly under his awkward lefty grip.
"You mean spell it," I said.
"Yes," he said. "That's what I said."
It took ten minutes for us to get "Frankenstein" on the paper.
"Next," Noah said, "is something made from toilet paper."
"Very good!" he exclaimed. Together, we wrote, "Mummy."
"What's next?" I asked.
"This one is like toothpaste."
I blanked. "Toothpaste?" I repeated.
He didn't hesitate. "Yes," he insisted. "It's like toothpaste. Buh, buh."
I swallowed a laugh.
"Buh, buh," he repeated. "That's the starting sound. I don't want to say the whole thing. You guess it."
"But I really don't have a guess on this one," I told him, wishing I could keep from smiling because it was clearly offending him. I tried again, "What color toothpaste?"
He made a face. "Pink," he said, shrugging and waving a hand.
"Pink toothpaste?" I wasn't teasing; I really didn't have any idea.
"Pink! Like a blob!" He snapped his hand in the air and slapped it down on the table. He shouted, "And now I said it! I didn't want to say it." He scowled at me over his shoulder. "The word is 'blob,' okay? Now...now...just spell it for me, will you?!"
I'm not really sure when I became so stupid, but as far as Noah's concerned, I'm beyond help.