The weeks leading up to turning two have been heady times for my son. After a cautious and rather lackadaisical entry into the world of verbal communication, in recent weeks, words — or something like them — have flowed from Isaac’s lips like water, with new combinations and permutations emerging on the daily. When it comes to music, he sings sweetly and confidently, like Justin Bieber. On the physical front, the space between attempt and mastery of daring new feats like jumping, peddling a trike and walking the ropes on the jungle gym has shrunk drastically. Once upon a time, it took him months to progress from a few tentative steps before falling to proper walking. These days, he sees, he tries, he conquers. And he’s getting better at mind games, too. He has perfected the pre-bath stall tactic of constantly asking for MORE to eat at dinner. He can fake cry with the best of them. And he knows the power of NO and isn’t afraid to use it.
You could perfectly understand if all these new tricks were going to the little chap’s head. But never in a million years could I have imagined the outward manifestation of Isaac’s growing ego. In the grand tradition of Eminem and Prince, Isaac has rebranded himself GAGA. For the past week, he has been sauntering up to the mirror, a wide smile forming on his lips as he recognizes his likeness. Then he points at the boy in the mirror and says GAGA!
I have tried to figure out if this is just poor pronunciation of ISAAC. I have noticed that he struggles to pronounce words that start with vowels. YOGURT, for example, becomes GOGURK and OPEN becomes EEPEEN. But GAGA is such a far cry from ISAAC that one can only conclude that its narcissism.
He doesn’t watch any TV, much less music videos that might gain him exposure to musical divas who take on stage names. So how has this curious alias developed? As he counts down to his second birthday, is he feeling nostalgic for baby-hood, branding himself with a moniker that only the most nascent of talkers could pronounce? Does he think that he has an identical twin named GAGA? Has he decided that ISAAC has too many letters? Is he trying to get girls?
Dear reader, your guess is as good as mine.
Well, Happy 2nd Birthday, Gaga. Just try to keep your alias on the down-low in case your much more famous namesake sues you for copyright infringement.