Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don't Feed the Animal

All but one of my children have been tall or extra tall and skinny, skinny, skinny from the time they are around 18 months.  People were asking Phoenix what grade he was in when he was only 3 years old.  That tall.  And skinny.  Able to count not just their ribs, but every single bone in their bodies skinny. 

And then Cuckoo came along.  At his two-year check-up, he measured in at 10% for height,  40% for weight.   For those who haven't been inside a pediatrician's office in the last couple of decades, Phoenix was 95% for height and 50% for weight.  40% doesn't seem like much, but when it is put on the frame of a 10 percenter, it is.  The doctor had him go off of whole milk at a little over one year old instead of the usual 2 years.

Everyone we know asks how it happened that we got such a differntly built child.  It is usually as that person is handing him a cookie. 

Cuckoo has some skills.  Besides being adorable, he has been able to talk really well since he was 18 months.  He has used these things to his full advantage.  He could get a four-course meal out of a homeless man if he tried.

It started at soccer games.  He would go up and down the sideline, scoping out the offerings,  then get up nice and close to the person who has the best snack.  He'd look up with the big, blue eyes, and just stare.  If they didn't cough up the good stuff, he would innocently ask, "What do you have?"  Within seconds, he had a handful of whatever it was and come running back to me yelling, "Look what I have!"  He has learned to work his magic everywhere we go.

It is to the point that he doesn't even have to approach people.  I'll be kicking a ball around with him, waiting for a game to start, and a grown adult will come up with a bag of kettle corn (it's a soccer thing) and say, "Cuckoo, look what I have," and lure him away to play/eat. 

Two nights ago, we were at a short team meeting.  He went off to play with Buttercup, and within minutes he was back on my lap eating a bag of fruit snacks.  I then had to track down whoever it was that gave them to him, just to make sure that it wasn't some random stranger trying to buddy up with him.

It's exhausting.

And it's getting worse.

He now knows that I am onto him.  He's figured out that I watch a little closer as to nip the excess in the bud.  People don't just stop at one cookie.  They will continue to bribe him with food all the live-long day, just so he will stay and chat.  I'm telling you, he really is just that cute and funny.  (That, and the fact that he is the only toddler around.  A mom who's youngest child is hitting his pre-teens will do anything to get the chance to play with a toddler.)

So, he has gone into stealth mode.  Luckily for me, his stealth mode isn't very good yet.

Yesterday, he came into the kitchen and asked for some M&Ms.  I told him he couldn't have any, as he didn't eat his fruit at lunch.  He didn't cry or fuss, just left the room quite calmly, where he then ran into Star. 

"Can I have some M&Ms?" he asked Star.  And then he added, "Don't talk to Mom."

Surely he didn't say what I think he said. 

Star, good brother that he is, wasn't listening, so Cuckoo repeated his request.  "Can I have some M&Ms?  Don't talk to Mom."

Yes, he did say it, and don't call me Shirley.   (Anyone?  Think ridiculously silly yet surprisingly hilarious movie of the early '80s.)

We'll gloss over the fact that he is very prematurely calling me "mom" instead of the much preferred until you are at least six, "mommy".

What we have here is a situation. 

I'm not exactly sure what the situation is, but I know we have one.

I'll let you know when/if I figure it out.


  1. Goodness he's just the cutest thing ever I'd give him a snack from my bag if he came up and gave me one of his smiles! Had a mom give my littles a GIANT bag of M&M's tonight at basketball game... I know where you are coming from...

  2. Jen, I always said my youngest would not be spoiled just because he's the baby. I guess I never got the memo out to the rest of the world! Oh, M&Ms. What is it about those little bits of yumminess? Did you manage to sneak any?

  3. That is hilarious! I'll admit, I wouldn't be able to not give him treats, he's so cute. And yes, I know the movie - Airplane! My little guy is also only in the 10% for height and 25% for weight. Yeah for little dudes!

  4. Suzie, You knew the movie! I just watched it the other day, but that is a line my family quotes all the time. Yes, I do love a short, squat toddler. I'd be giving your little guy plenty of treats, too.


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