This evening, Edwin and I were sitting at the table over the end of dinner. Kathleen and Sophia, already finished with their black beans and rice, had gone upstairs to find their horse herd and get ready for bed. Apricots have come into season, and I found plums at the grocery store last week, so Edwin and I were enjoying some fruit after our dinner.
In one of those rare moments of parenting, when a quiet spot appears in the middle of chaos, I sat and enjoyed Edwin's company. He's actually a very pleasant companion when his sisters aren't around to quarrel with him, or take his toys, or have their toys taken from him. Until he starts trying to poke your eyes out, or force his fingers into your month and scratch your gums bloody. You know, just for fun.
I smiled at him, and he smiled at me, face liberally smeared in red plum juice from his recent attack on the fruit.
"You're a cute boy," I told him.
He shook his head no.
"A handsome boy?"
"A funny boy?" I continued, trying to guess what he wanted to be called this evening.
Not that either.
"Pron cets," he mumbled through the chipmunk cheeks of half-apricot he had stuffed into his mouth a minute before, not bothering to bite pieces off. If it hadn't contained a pit, he would have probably stuffed the entire apricot in.
"Pron cepts?" I asked.
He shook his head and chewed for a few seconds. "Pron ces," he clarified.
"Process?" I guessed again.
Another head shake. Some more chewing, and finally the apricot half was gone. "Princess," he clarified, "Emman princess. Emman princess boy," and gave me a huge, red-smeared, grin.
Maybe I should be worried, but I'm not. I have great memories of my younger brother, Sam, insisting that he wouldn't dress up without his particular red, patent-leather dress up purse and ballet tights. And he turned out okay.
... right, Sam? Right??