“Really, mom? Really?”

Maria first said it a few weeks ago to Jon as we were eating dinner.  Jon called her a name of a friend of hers that can act spoiled at times.  Maria stopped eating, clocked her head sideways at him, and said “Really, dad? Really?”  Jon and I about spit out our food.  Since that time, I have been the recipient of the “really” question when I try to be goofy around Maria and her friends (yeah, it is already starting) or I tell Maria something that makes no sense (which is more frequent than I would like – what happens to the mind with kids!). 

Maria continues to come into her personality.  She has such a great mixture of Jon and I.  She is quick-witted and observant like her dad and empathetic and thoughtful like her mom.  She can notice things an adult would typically notice and comment on (“Did you buy new pillows for the couch?”) and put up a fit like an adult (i.e., her mother).  The other day, Mama Meg had to wake her up to go to the stables (note to all: Maria is not pleasant to wake from a nap).  She threw a fit, stomping around, pouting.  Finally, after fifteen minutes she bellowed “I can’t handle this anymore!”  I am sure she picked up that line from me during one of my tirades.  She is a doll baby with the little kids on the street.  She watches over them like a mother hen and explains what everything is to them in slow, baby language.  And the kids adore her.  She can also sit with a bunch of adults and keep up with the conversation adding her two cents in or her dig in with the best of ’em.  She also dresses to her own style completely.  We used to laugh about my little sis, Sarah, and her attire because my dad would drape her in long plaid skits and multi-colored shirts and beat-up shoes.  Maria dresses that way naturally.  My old soul girl.

Then there is Mario who learns so much from his sis.  He has resorted to the “Really, mom, really?” question lately.  Of course when I asked him where he learned it, he smiled that sly smile and stated “Ria.”  He also learned how to talk smack to Jon when they are play fighting.  Maria started this a while back when her and Jon were play fighting in her room.  She busted out “You wanna piece of me?” Since that time, it has ranged from “come on, boy, I will take you down” to “you think you can handle me?”  Yesterday, Mario gave the two finger warning to Jon when he took his index and middle fingers and pointed them at his eyes and then at Jon’s eyes declaring “I will take you down.”  It was hysterical. 

Mario continues to deepen his love for super heroes.  He wants to watch them all the time, and he plays with them in the tub, in his room, and with Jon and me.  When I took him to the pool today, he slashed away at the fountains acting like he was a good superhero and they were bad guys.  He begged me to be Venom while he was Spiderman so that he could fight me and throw me underwater (I spent 15 minutes getting thrown underwater – I really deserve a mom of the year medal).  Mario is also really into his muscles.  They are not that big because he is so small but I have to admit, he is one cut three-year old.  He is always taking his shirt off and looking at them, and he constantly notices other men with big muscles.  Runners without shirts intrigue him (“Look at that boy’s muscles, mom!”).  He thinks his dad can pick up anything because of his big muscles.  He has taken to taking off his shirt in front of the mirror and flexing his muscles and puffing out his chest and yelling “Look at these muscles!”  I guess it all ties into the super hero theme but boy I hope he doesn’t have some massive ego when he gets older.  I can see him strutting his stuff down Grandview Avenue loving the thought of all the girls ogling over him.  Then again, what am I thinking?  Maria will so put him in his place.