Maria and her cousin Alana hit the farm together for a few days this week. I was left with Mr. Mario all to myself. I decided mid-week that it was a perfect time for me to have Giovanni, Alana’s little brother, over for a play date. I had never had Mario and Giovanni together for two reasons: (1) Maria and Alana are at an age where I can take them to a movie or a school play and they can play up in Maria’s room for hours and (2) Mario and Gio are at ages (3 and 4) where they don’t quite play together well yet and they are, how to say this nicely, hyper, manic, spastic creatures.
Giovanni’s mom dropped him off to me at 4 pm. We decided to go to the pool first. I had told Mario that Gio may be a little scared of the pool since he does not swim as much as Mario. The entire trip down to the pool, Mario kept telling Gio not to be scared of the deep end because it is easy to swim in deep water with water wings. Gio responded that he did not have wings like Mario. Mario shrugged his shoulders and sighed “oh, that’s too bad.” Nothing like the empathy that his big sis would have had – she would have demanded that we head to Target to get wings for him. Mario, he is still learning this trait.
The two boys had a great time at the poolbut they barely spoke. Gio held on to the ladder at the side of the pool while Mario jumped into the water like a skydiver out of a plane. After a while, Gio caught sight of how awesome the water wings were, and asked Mario to use them. After a little bit of cajoling, he agreed. Gio loved them. He walked all over the pool confidently. Meanwhile, Mario ate a piece of pizza on his towel. His new thing is to spread out his beach towel so that all sides are completely flat and then lay on it with his hands under his head like a little superstar. During adult swim, the boys jumped in the baby pool together but went there separate ways. Such different behaviors than Maria and Alana when they are together. They typically stick side-by-side unless there is a fight happening (which can be rather often). But the boys were fine heading their separate ways and not engaging until it was time to leave.
We left the pool and stopped off at the playground. Mario climbed up the ladder and slid down the slide while Gio watched. Mario prodded him to go down the slide but Gio declared “no, way, I am a scaredy cat!” Mario responded that he is “not scared of anything” as he slid down the slide. Mr. Macho he is. Giovanni climbed up the steps and went down the small slide and played on the swings. Mario stuck with the fireman pole and the big slide. When we got home, I had to clean up Cy’s hair in the kitchen so I left them to their own devices. I wondered how they would play. Within about three minutes I heard a loud bang and lots of laughter. Thirty seconds later another bang and laughter and screams. Giovanni held a plastic golf bag and Mario smashed a golf club against it. They thought it was hilarious. Next, they moved onto musical instruments with Giovanni playing the piano (“playing” is a loose term) and Mario rockin’ the guitar. After ten minutes, they moved onto throwing pillows and random little objects around the living room floor and bellowing manly roars. And there you have it. Take me back to the cave men days. This is what two testosterone little Italian boys gets ya. But they were happy and that is all that mattered. If I could manage the destruction, these two enjoyed each others’ company.
In the end, Maria and Alana are probably easier to watch over but there is a lot less bickering with the boys. I just have to watch that the boys don’t destroy every breakable object in the house.
As they buckled their car seats, Giovanni asked if they could watch Tom & Jerry. Before I could answer, Mario said “Mom, I will watch Tom & Jerry because Giovanni is our guest and I should let him pick.” I think there was some self-interest in his statement but it was at least a step towards sharing. As I got the movie out, Giovanni looked at Mario and declared “You are my best friend, Mario.” Mario smiled and replied “You are my best friend, Giovanni.”
When Mario woke up the next morning, he begged to have Giovanni over again for a play date. I told him it was a school day. He proceeded to revert to his cave man behavior seen the day before – yelling and stomping around the house. He even declared that he wished I had never been born. I told him that would mean that he would never have been born. “Fine!” was his response. He went on to tell me that he was going to take away all my pretty dresses (fine with me – I don’t wear them!) and he was going to live somewhere else. It was a good prep session for the teenage years. Of course, because Mario has the ability to go from angel to devil in two seconds flat, he walked up to me three minutes after this tirade and held his arms up for me to hold him. “I love you, Mom.”
Ahh, the joy of boys, or rather, kids.