Top Ten Things I love about my Mario…
10. Your persistence. When you want something, you will engage in any antics to get it. Unfortunately, your father and I and even your sister continue to give in to you every time you engage in these antics, be it crying hysterically; yelling madly; throwing your body down onto the floor in mad rage; or begging mercilessly. I have told you “No more books” at night and then left the room reading five more. You are good.
9. Your compact little body. You hop around like a frog; climb up beds and chairs like a spider monkey; dart in and out of rooms like a harried mouse; and twists and turn like a wild snake. You amaze me with your flexibility; neither your dad, Maria nor I can call flexibility our strong suit.
8. The way your strong, sinewy legs wrap around my left hip when I reach down with one arm to pick you up just like a baby monkey with his mama. You remind me of one of those tiny furry animals with a magnetic clip that you pinch and its arms and legs open up and attached to your shirt. I always wanted one of those….
7. The way you say “thank you mommy” whenever I retrieve your binky for you, get you a glass of milk at bedtime, grab a toy that you cannot find. You state it with such genuineness and kindness, which makes it even more ingratiating.
6. Your unadulterated and pure excitement in being naked! Whether it is running around Maria’s room after a bath, banging your fists in the air and yelling “Arggghhh” and “Naked” with a wicked smile on your face or taking your pants off upstairs while guests are over and slowly coming down the stairs to surprise us with your antic.
5. Your response to me everyday I picked you up from daycare up until two weeks ago. It was one of two: (a) “I cried mommy” to which I would respond by asking “how much, Mario?” and you replied “just a little” while you held up your thumb and forefinger close together or (b) “No cry, mommy!” with a look of pride. Two weeks ago, you stopped crying at drop-off. It is such an amazing and heart-calming change. Now, as long as I give you lots of kisses, sit with you for a few minutes while you get your breakfast, and make a big ordeal about leaving “Bye, Mario, I will see you in a while, I love you so much, bye Mario and Mario’s friends, love you Mario, bye teachers, see you later….” then you are fine.
4. How you love animals and nature. You will stare at the trees until you spot a bird nest around town; you search for the kitty in the crafts and flower store every time we pass; you plead to pet every dog that passes us on the street; you consistently question Peepaw and MamaMeg about the blue birds and horses at their farm; you smell the flowers in the neighbor’s yard when we take our walks responding “Mommy, they smell so good”; and you pat and hug on Cy all the time calling him down the steps in the morning and directing him to sit so that you can give him a treat.
3. Your love for Stauf’s coffee shoppe. Not even being sick with a fever and aches can keep you from wanting to walk
up to Stauf’s for a muffin or bagel with cream cheese. You people watch and talk to anyone nearby and smile in sweet content at me as you bite into that big heaping muffin or lick all of the cream cheese out of the container.
2. Your affinity for the outdoors. You want to be outside for as long as possible, often throwing a mad fit if we require you to come indoors. You pick up sticks, dig in the dirt, play basketball, look for Cy’s poop (an activity that both you and your sister enjoy for some strange reason!), find big rocks, ride your bike. You have a career in the Sierra Club, kid.
1. Your energy! You made it longer than Maria on New Year’s Eve, still dancing around when the ball dropped! Sometimes I check your back to make sure there is no wind-up mechanism keeping you going. You don’t sit still for more than a few minutes even when a good show is on the television. You have to adjust in your seat, stand up and walk around, run in the kitchen to scare me. Sorry, buddy, you undoubtedly have my ADD, and there is no doubt you are my son.
I do have to add one more thing and that is your morning greetings. When dad brings you into me while I lay in bad, you greet me with such enthusiasm and joy singing “Mommy!” and wrapping your arms around my torso. What a perfect way to start the day. I love you, little man.