I’m a Sweet, Beautiful Pig

We’ve been fairly deeply immersed in the land of multiple identities here at the homestead. W. is turning out to be the Daniel Day-Lewis of toddlers, selecting a role and then not breaking character (or allowing anyone else to do so) for weeks on end. Why, for a full month, we were the stars of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: I was Maggie, W. was her pig friend Hamilton, and R. was, of course, The Ferocious Beast.

Some dialogue:

“Come here and let Mommy put your shoes on.”
“You’re Maggie!”

“Hey, whatcha doin’, cute boy?”
“I’m a cute PIG.”

All. Day. Long. (Perhaps needless to say, the entry title also comes from this part of the story.) (Less needless to say, I had not called him a sweet, beautiful boy. He may have been saving up adjectives.)

But it really got special when you took into consideration that (a) he was referring to his father as The Beast, and (b) we have to live in the world, which has other people in it. For instance, the helpful lady who worked at the pharmacy and tried to do her part to stomp out toddler lollygagging by telling W. “Sounds like your daddy’s calling you!” He looked up at her, flashed his sweetest smile, and corrected her: “He’s a beast!”

Also, if you happened to be at Santa Monica Beach a few weeks back and saw a frazzled-looking redhead chasing a small blond urchin and hollering, “No, honey! We can’t keep walking! We have to go see the beast!”? There was totally nothing weird going on there.

For a while, he became a wrecking-beam clown. You don’t know what that is, do you? Neither did I, so I asked. A wrecking-beam clown is “a monster you want to stay out of the way of.” His father was also a wrecking-beam clown. Me? I’m “Puppet.”

There’s nothing quite so validating as putting a bottle of dip on the dinner table and having your 2-year-old exclaim, “Salad dressing! Good puppet!”

I intentionally steered him toward Jack’s Big Music Show then (“you can be Jack, and I’ll be Mary, and your dad can be Mel, and Grandma L. can be Laurie Berkner!” How could a kid pass that up?) because it involved less explaining – like, why we would name an innocent child Hamilton and how my husband is not actually a beast. It didn’t take care of the problem of having people think I let my toddler call me by my first name (no! he calls me by OTHER people’s first names!), but I think I’m still ahead.

The fun part is, every time he calls me Mommy is as exciting as the very first time was.

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