Behold, the Ninja Goat Monkey Monster!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you look at your child and see, not the toddler, but the Big Kid he will one day be? The man?

I had this moment with Pieces the other day. He has always been the jolly child. He is just so laid back and happy about everything. He has this giant belly laugh that comes out at the slightest provocation. His terrible twos lasted for all of two weeks and this child actually cleared the space around him before carefully applying himself to the floor for what  can only be described as a laughable fit. (With Chi to contend with, this child had no chance of beating me down with a war of attrition.)  His favorite word, and quite possibly his first, was “Yeah.” As in, yes. In fact, before he started talking he would nod his head emphatically, which involved an elaborate wagging of his whole body; open his mouth in the widest grin possible showing all of his most gigantic tonsils; and say, “Uh-huh.”

**RELATED NOTE **His Uncle Doodle, who currently resides in our house, has taught him to say “I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.” a’la Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, and tickles this poor child mercilessly while asking him, “What’s this?” All the while jabbing his blunt fingers into Pieces’ armpits while Pieces is laughing so hard he can’t breathe and answering, “Iz NUSSSING!” (Pynni will stand aside and say, “It’s arm-pents.”) Regardless, Pieces is almost ALWAYS in a good mood. He is almost ALWAYS smiling. He is almost ALWAYS game for whatever anyone around him wants to do.

BACK ON TOPIC** So the other day, Pieces is walking through the dining room and into the living room, singing some made up song, and I am in what has become my station on the couch downstairs. I was either writing or reading, but I don’t really recall which, when I look up at him. AND HE IS NO LONGER A TODDLER. Boom! Just like that, he became a preschooler. He used to have the most adorable extra chins. He used to have the chubbiest cheekies that just required all kinds of lovin’. He used to have this little ponchie tummy that his pants hung below like an 80 year old man. NOW. Now, he is arms and legs. His tummy has slimmed and is downright defined. His chin is no longer plural and seems lonely, if you ask me. His cheekies, are still precious, but look less edible.

I am astounded in this change that seemed to happen between rooms in my house. I don’t want to let go of the baby, of the toddler. I want to hold on to my littlest jolly boy forever, but he is growing up. He can do all the things by himself (get dressed, put on his shoes, potty, brush his teeth). He suddenly has independence requirements that I thought the babies of a family weren’t supposed to have.

He is moving toward an identity of his own that does not start with “Mommy.” I wonder how I’m going to survive losing this bond that I have with him.

“Mommy, I’nna sit in your wap.” Then, I see that I have gained something that may have been lost in the busy day to day hullaballoo.

I am thoroughly enjoying this new phase of Pieces.

**History Lesson**

Pieces is also known as the Ninja Goat Monkey Monster. He was capable of quick stealthy movement around the house much like, I suspect, a baby Ninja would be. One moment he would be playing quietly on the floor at my feet and the next he would be scaling the dining room chairs and dangling from the dining room light fixture much like I figure Rhesus Monkeys do (and this was before he could walk). This child will eat ANYTHING, and that is no lie. He will eat broccoli, salad, chicken, fish sticks, oatmeal, any fruit you could name, yogurt, markers, crayons, play dough, books, rubber tires, leaves, sand, grass, cat hair, thread, gamecube controllers, DS styluses, pencils, paint. Yup, you name it, he will eat it, and I don’t mean mouth it. I mean chew it and swallow. I mean digest. ANYTHING. Frigging goat. Then, he seems to contain Tasmanian devil DNA. A space can be perfectly clean and almost faster than you can process, it will be a certifiable disaster area. I really think that I should be allowed to qualify for federal funding for disaster areas for my house. Really.