Saturday, July 14, 2012

A candle with the number three (and a black-and-blue toe) - Una candela con il numero tre (ed un dito livido)

It is that time of the year again. Time to look at how much Tronk has grown up and what has changed in one year. One year feels like a decade in the life of a toddler. Remember that kid that was scooting on top of the slide before he was able to slide down? That boy now jumps up and down in the street, pushes his little stool around the house to reach for things and wants to claim everything. One year ago, he wanted "grande tutu'" (big car), didn't want anything to do with legos, and his favorite line was "tanti tutu'!". Now, he wants cake with strawberries and candles to blow out, mussels in white wine and prosciutto crudo senza grasso (parma ham with the fat removed). He no longer relies on the soothing properties of the pacifier, he has learned to build forts with legos (and with whatever he finds in our bedroom) and "aspetta!" (wait!) is his favorite line. Nope, we haven't given up the diapers yet (so I still have an excuse to call him a baby). 

He no longer says "Tutui', Tutui'!" to tell me that he wants the penguin story. He now goes to pick a book himself, points at it, resolute, and says "questo!.." (this one!).  If the book happens to be a dictionary, nothing will change the decision. I will have to read that story. I used to skip a word or two, sometimes a page or two, in a book. Now, he spots every word, every comment I make, which is not written in the book, adds missing words and, at times, replaces existing ones with others he finds more appropriate. Tonight, he corrected the title of the book we were about to read. He said: "non il piccolo bruco, il grande bruco!" (not the little caterpillar, the big caterpillar!) He was quite right.

There are things that have not changed though. Tronk still smiles and flirts with strangers - he now does it with a two-minute long speech in his made up English language. And I still see people starring at him. Despite a few tantrums, here and there, he is still himself, my happy, laid back, sweet boy, with his good sense of humor. 

So, I was thinking, another year has flown away and time has come for throwing another party. What are we going to do?

I first imagined a Pimpa party. Pimpa is the white dog with the red spots in the picture below. For long time, it has been Tronk's favorite cartoon character.  

I imagined a table filled with red polka dots. Red polka dots on banners, decorations, dinnerware, cupcakes, balloons and even on our party favors. Simple: I'll put dots on everything! It turned out that the only available set of paper plates with red dots on white could only be shipped from Australia!

Resigned to the idea that Tronk's third birthday party would have been filled with either Francescos (from Cars), Elmos, or Sponge Bob, I gave up the idea of picking a theme. Not that I have anything against these breezy characters, but after seeing them at the children's store, on blankets, on Tronk's snot sucker, on his comb, on toothbrushes and, now even on his dirty diapers, I have started to feel a bit overwhelmed.

Then, blame it on John, who showed him the cartoon, but this is what Tronk has been saying over and over again, in the last week or so: "Miele, miele! Miele, miele!"  (Honey, honey! Honey, honey!) Three days ago, when I told Tronk that I was was about to put Pimpa on, for the first time, he complained, he asked me to remove it and made it clear that he wanted to watch Winnie The Pooh instead. He did the same yesterday.

So, whether I like it or not, Winnie the Pooh will lean on Tronk's third candle, be on Tronk's diaper and there will be other Winnie the Pooh characters hidden in the yard for Tronk and for his friends to find.

Why a black-and-blue toe? Oh, basically, I have just re-injured my foot. I didn't want to make another posting all about my foot but a metal spoon dropped on the toe I damaged before Christmas - remember? - it is hard to believe and to forget. So today, while I was keeping my foot up with ice on top, I was feeling down.

Later, Tronk came to me and said: "Mamma, non ti preoccupare, ci sono qua io. Andra' tutto bene" (Mommy, do not worry, I am here with you. It will all be all right) Just the words I needed to hear to feel better.

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