Friday, April 2, 2010

Precise Age Explanations

            Celia is exactly a year-and-a-half as of today. Eighteen months, as Michelle tells everyone. I wonder if that’s a guy/girl difference. When people ask, I’ve been saying Celia is a year-and-a-half for a couple months now, whereas Michelle will tell them the exact age within a week.
            For example, a few weeks ago I heard her tell some stranger who’d been delighted by Celia’s cute antics and asked her age, “She’ll be eighteen months in three weeks.” I always raise my eyebrows in wonder. Really? Do you really think he cared about that level of detail?
            I noticed the guy’s eyes lose their focus and I quickly said, “A-year-and-a-half.”
            “Oh,” the guy nodded with a smile, and returned to watching Celia.
            I think new parents, getting all swept up in how quickly they grow month to month, have this weird idea that everyone else, especially those who ask the child’s age, is keeping track with such level to detail. But I can think back, long, long ago, before Celia was born, and I had no idea, nor did I care, the difference between a twenty-month child and a twenty-one-month child. “Just tell me they’re almost two,” I used to think. That’s good enough for me.
            And although now that I’m in the middle of it all, I am indeed keeping track of the exact number of months, I’m trying to remember that when someone asks her age. For me, she’ll be “a-year-and-a-half” for a few months, when suddenly she’ll switch to “almost two”, and then, a month or two before she hits the golden age, I’ll just say, “She’s two.” What do they care, anyway?

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