Mario moolah

I went to teacher conferences for the kiddos last week. Maria got rave reviews from her teachers: “she is so sweet and generous with her classmates; she always helps out; she always participates in class…”. I think she’s hit a good stride this year and feels more confident around her classmates and teachers. 

Mario’s teacher has been a neighbor of ours the past few years. I see her and her husband walk their dog around the block and often stop to chat “dog” with them when I’m walking Rocco. She’s a down-to-earth, pleasant person who has taught for at least 20 years. 

We sat down and her first words were “Mario is a bit mature for his age, heh?” She gave an immediate example (paraphrased below):

“I asked the students to draw an object based on a shape I gave them. For example, a ball may be turned into a basketball. Mario got a square. He turned it into a house. 

I asked each kid to come to the front of the room and describe the object they made. When Mario came to the front of the room, he described his house like this: ‘my house is pretty big but the sellers are asking way too much for it. They want $600,000 and it’s barely worth $300,000 so I don’t think they are going to get as much as they want.’

All of the kids sat there looking confused but smiling at Mario.”

Gotta love that kid. She advised that if I want to give him any extra math work, I make sure to use real scenarios with him. “He understands math and money – and likes real world problems.”

Hmmmm. I immediately thought of my dad telling me the story of him and Mario building a birdhouse together. They had been working on finishing touches to the wooden birdhouse when Mario asked “how much longer do we have on this one?” My dad asked what the hurry. Mario responded “we need to get this one done so we can make a bunch more and sell them for $50 each.” 

Yep. My boy has always had a keen sense for numbers and money. And he’s much better at addition than subtraction.


Mario and his pedi

Mario, my son who flipped out when I asked him to wear a polo shirt that had pink trim on it, decided he wanted a pedicure. Jon was out of town and I had promised Maria Grace a mani/pedi prior to her birthday. There was only one day in the entire week that we didn’t have something going on so Mario was stuck coming with us. 

Ri and I situated ourselves in the massage chairs and dipped our feet in the bubbly water. Mario came over with my computer because he couldn’t log on to wi-fi. Maria said “Mario, sit in that chair and turn on the massager. It’s awesome.” He obeyed. His little body waved up and down with the flow of the balls in the seat. He loved it. As I finished logging him in to wi-fi, the manager asked if he was getting a pedicure, also. I laughed. 

“No, he is all good.”

Mario immediately chimed in and protested. He wanted a pedi. So the manager turned on the water for him and he soaked his tired feet. What a life.


Maria warned him that the pumice stone would tickle him but he dismissed her as wimpy. Yea, he learned his lesson.


He could barely control himself but it was all worth it in the end. His feet were smooth and shiny. Yes, he got clear polish on them based on Ri’s suggestion. Actually, he wanted a “cool color” but Ri convinced him to go clear. Thank you, Ri. 

Meanwhile, Ri got a French manicure on her fingernails and polka dots on her toes. She knows how to do it up.


As we left, I told the kids we needed to get Dad to come with us to make it a family affair. Mario remarked: “he may go for a pedi but no polish!” So true.


Nutty Mario

“My Nuts”

These two words are all Mario wants to scream anymore. He, of course, performs antics with his scream, which involve cupping his hands against his privates and making a crazed face.

He thinks it’s hysterical. He tells me he learned it from the movie Ice Age. Lovely. He also loves to talk about farting and creates all sorts of antics around that. Again, lovely. My friends who have boys shake their heads when I describe this recent activity and then laugh hysterically. They’ve been through it with their boys and the only consoling advice is “this too shall pass.”

Here’s to hoping it passes real soon.