Jake learned to talk early. By 6 months old, he had 5 words, and by 1 year, he was making full on sentences. I used to love taking him to the store and as soon as he'd open his mouth, people would do a complete double take. Nobody ever believed that he could talk so well at so young.
But like all things, it had it's drawbacks. Sort of like kids who learn to walk early and haven't quite figured out the dangers of various places, so was Jake and his amazing verbal abilities.
"That lady is FAAAAT..." he loudly announced one day in a grocery store line, while staring pointedly at the cashier. It seemed as though at that moment, the entire store went dead silent and everyone was looking at me. Jake didn't notice; he continued to stare. I must have turned every shade of red as I tried to distract him with a toy-muttering an apology to the woman as she rang in my groceries. As we left the store, I explained to him that while yes, the lady was large, it wasn't polite and could hurt her feelings to point that out to her. He looked thoughtful for a minute, his two year old eyes studying my face.
Three years later, out of the blue, he went back to the same cashier and apologized.
"I was just a little kid then, I didn't know what I was doing was mean," he announced matter of factly. She laughed and gave him a lollipop.
Then there was the time that he watched a small child wander from the adult that they were with and turn the corner. When the parent finally looked up, Jake was standing in front of him tapping his foot.
"Your kid went that way," he pointed down an aisle. "You really should be watching him better. He could get taken, you know."
By then Jake was four. Old enough to know better, but old enough to make his opinions known.
"It's okay to have an opinion, as long as you say it calmly and respectfully," we always told him. He really took that to heart.
Like the time when he was six and let the video store manager know that a poster for 13 Ghosts was FAR too scary to have at the front check out, and he really should move it to the horror section so little kids weren't traumatized while they rented their Disney movies.
The next day the poster was moved.
But I have to say that the statement that I'll never forget, the one that makes me laugh every time I think about it, happened when he was just shy of 3 years old. We were in the produce department of our grocer, looking over apples. Across from me was a young, buff, good looking, likely single man that was eying me with a bit of interest, although I pretended not to notice.
That is, until Jake piped up. His blue eyes fixated on Mr. Hottie's muscles rippling under that t-shirt, he leaned over in his space in the cart, and he grinned with all the sweetness a 2 year old can.
"Are you my DADDY?"
I don't think I've ever seen a man run so fast.