A few days ago, Evan suddenly found a new phrase to blurt out at odd times. He’d look at me, smile, and yell, “Toilet train!” and then collapse into a fit of giggles. While this wasn’t the first phrase he’s ever done this with, (“Mushroom on a stick!” and “Elephant!” are recent favorites that come to mind), this one did seem much funnier to him than anything in recent memory. But, this type of thing happens every once in a while here at the House of Autizzy, so –other than a brief moment of wondering if he was expressing pride at his record four years in the toilet training process– I didn’t pay it much attention at all.
And then, on Sunday, we were on a little family expedition. The other kids were campaigning to watch a movie in the car since we were anticipating a longer-than-usual car ride, and I obliged. I turned on the DVD player while Randy drove, and the movie The Incredibles started playing. The Incredibles has been Evan’s favorite movie for the past few months, so he was all smiles as the movie started.
Randy and I were alternately discussing the best route to take and absentmindedly chuckling at some of the movie dialogue (due to the car entertainment system , The Incredibles is one of seemingly thousands of movies that I have whole scenes of dialogue memorized for but have probably only actually seen once).
Suddenly, we were listening to a scene in which Mrs. Incredible and Violet, the daughter, were arguing. Violet yelled, “The only normal one is Jack-Jack, and he’s not even toilet-trained!”
“TOILET TRAIN!” Evan squealed giddily, cracking us all up. All five of us were suddenly laughing. I looked back at Evan, and he was looking–yes, with eye contact and everything– at each of his siblings and grinning, as they looked back at him and laughed. I was struck by this stunningly normal family moment, all of us laughing at the same joke. All of us suddenly getting what Evan has been laughing at for days. Evan suddenly connecting, sharing his joke with us.
In the past few days, Evan has made it clear that the hilarity of the phrase “toilet train” is in a simple misunderstanding of the meaning. He lines up his train cars (of course) and then tells us, “Credibles say toilet train!” and cracks up all over again. He’s picturing a train of toilets…which, in all my life, had never occurred to me when I heard that phrase.
Now, though, it’s all I’ll ever hear.
If only we could get to the bottom of Mushroom on a Stick…