Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Michael is a little OCD. For a long time I’d put the boys in corresponding outfits. Not matching, but similar. Then Wagner became a fashionista (fashionisto?) and I had to make sure that his day outfit was somehow superior to his pajamas and then that night, that his pajamas (new or worn) were somehow superior to what he was already wearing. And then I didn’t care what Michael wore because at least he was already dressed.

But Michael cared. And he knows that when Wagner wears his striped shirt, he wears his striped shirt. And when Wagner wears his dinosaur shirt, he wears his train shirt. And when Wagner wears his other dinosaur shirt, he wears his firetruck shirt. You get the idea. He has decided that some socks are Wagner socks and some socks are Michael socks.

This actually makes me proud because those are Wagner socks.

When he eats, food usually has to be segregated. Unless it’s Gorilla Munch, which has to be cut with Joe’s O’s (Trader Joe’s version of Cheerios). This makes me proud, too. Because Gorilla Munch by itself is too soggy and Joe’s O’s by itself is too plain. And everybody knows (or should know) that you can’t mix peas and carrots. In fact, the pile of peas shouldn’t even touch the pile of carrots—although insisting that they should be served in separate bowls is taking it a little too far.

Michael has a pretty good sense of direction. Even a year ago he knew when the stroller had missed the turn to go to the park. (I think Chiara barely knows how to get to the park.) And when we walk to the market, he gets very distressed if we don’t go back the way we came.

Michael has a sense of order. If we are getting ready to eat, we have to wash hands first. And if we are washing hands, we have to clean up first. He sings the ubiquitous “Clean up! Clean up!” song that is more prevalent in preschools than the Pledge of Allegiance. We also have to clean up before we leave the house or put on pajamas. It’s actually kind of handy that he is so quick to clean up and remind the rest of us to follow his lead. But it’s kind of funny. If you’ve ever been to our house, you know that tidiness is something that skips a generation.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Favorite Child

I have a favorite child. It’s not always the same child of course. It depends on the time of day.

In the morning my favorite child is Chiara because when she wakes up, she crawls into bed with me and cuddles and makes cute snuggly sounds. She tells me what she dreamt and then she slips off to set the table for breakfast.

Getting ready for school my favorite child is Wagner because he is so enthusiastic about his clothes. His face lights up when he gets to wear a digger on his chest or a penguin or a panda. And now that he knows his colors, he even gets excited about wearing stripes.

Getting in the car my favorite child is Michael because he climbs right into his car seat. He is so anxious to get on the road, he even tries to buckle himself in. Yesterday he expressed his desire to be snapped into his seat by calling out: “Mama! I wanna be stuck!”

At naptime my favorite child is the one who isn’t awake yet.

In the car my favorite child is Chiara. If the boys are crying, she’ll tell them a story. Last week she told them about the time when Cookie Monster got a baby sister. His mama had to go into the hospital for many days and his grandma came and stayed with him because his daddy said, “I have to go stay with Mama in the hospital.” And then Cookie Monster’s sister was born and she was really tiny. The time before that she started her story with, “Today I’m going to tell you all about tornadoes and forest fires.”

At random times during the day my favorite child is Wagner, who spontaneously steps into arabesque and will always give me kisses.

At mealtime my favorite child is Michael because he’s really weird with his food and I can totally relate to that. Wagner would eat cardboard if it were served in the right color bowl (blue and not turquoise, in case you’re wondering) but Michael’s the kid who cries if you cut his banana the wrong way. He’s big into fruits and vegetables, especially cucumbers, but not too big on meat. I like the way he sits in front of his food, barely picking at it and yet still insisting that he’s not done.

At night my favorite child is the one who’s asleep. There are actually times when I have three favorite children.