The other day at dinner, N (our three year old) was refusing to eat his dinner again. This time, thank goodness, his momma was dealing with it. She was taking the relaxed this-is-why-you-have-to-eat approach. Explaining how important food is, how it gives us energy… you know the drill. In fact, I’m willing to bet that if you haven’t given that lecture, you’ve probably heard it.
She ended one of her explanations with “so eat your asparagus. Okay?”
The little guy smiled. “Okay, Ox”
Whoops. He’s been experimenting with calling names over the past few months. He’s not being mean, just playful. Sometimes, however, he hits on one that’s not allowed. “Ox” was pretty close – and it certainly wasn’t respectful. His momma fixed him with one of her stern glares.
He faded into his chair and said very quietly, “Sorry, Momma.”
She relented. “That’s okay. But you have to be respectful. Remember what you called me this afternoon?”
I was sitting between them at this point, trying to match my wife’s sternness without going over the top. Since I wasn’t sure where she was going with this question, I looked down at my food and loaded up a forkful.
The little guy smiled again. He raised his fork triumphantly and shouted “Chico!”
Chico? Chico!? I burst out laughing. Where the heck did he come up with Chico?
He laughed with me, along with his brother. His momma tried to hold out, but couldn’t withstand the onslaught. Soon she was laughing with us.
It’s nice when someone accepts their new nickname.