Nico is such a skinny kid that I can't find pants that stay up on his little waist. And yet, for the past week, his breakfast has consisted of two waffles, oatmeal, cereal, Greek yogurt, fruit and sometimes a half a bagel for the car ride to daycare. Then we get to daycare, and offered the choice of playing or joining others for breakfast, he chooses breakfast.
Witness the glee over a perfect line of orange segments. That's like 5 breakfasts in one. Which, I guess, explains why dinner is always only a few bites of a cheese "sammich" and then he's off playing in trainland.
Today, in the midst of his carbfest, he turned to me and very seriously asked, "Mom, do you know iguanas?" The phrasing cracked me up because it sounded like he was looking for a personal relationship, rather than general knowledge of a species' existence.
I tried to explain to him that there are lots of iguanas in Florida, where Uncle Ken lives. But lately, the subject of Uncle Ken leads to only one line of thought - iguanas be damned. So he responds, "But where is his family? WE are his family! But where is Uncle Ken????" Oh man. The kid is a master guilt-trip-olator and he's not even close to hitting puberty. I am scared to death of the levels of emotional manipulation he will have by then as well as our future food bills!!!
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And then there's Stella-bean. Our little smiling angel. Seriously, this kid NEVER stops smiling. Except lately, she's also discovered that she can stick out her tongue, so we get nonstop smiles with a little tongue, like so:
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The relationship between brother and sister has grown closer and more adoring as Stella gets older and more interactive. Nico doesn't want to go anywhere without her, and will often swoop in for a hug or kiss. Of course, Stella doesn't care much now when Nico also swoops out with the toy she was playing with. We'll see how the relationship progresses once she starts objecting.
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I can tell what kind of mood Nico is in by the way he chooses to address me. Out of nowhere, a couple weeks ago, he started calling me Mom. Can I tell you how dismayed I am by this???? "Mom" is something I didn't expect to hear until he was a teen-ager!!! But no. When he is feeling confident and curious, every question begins with, "Mom?" (As in, "Mom, do you know iguanas?") When he is playful or snuggly, I am still Mommy. And when he's down or not feeling well or isn't ready for bed, I am Mama.
See discussion of emotional manipulation, supra.