I am not big on routines. Every single book on parenting tells us that routines are good for kids, for parents, for peace in the family, and ultimately for all humankind and planet earth. No use, I still don’t do well with routines. But when you do something every day of the week, every week of the month, some routines are accidentally developed whether one realizes it or not. Since my husband started night classes about two months ago, putting the kids to sleep shifted to the realm of my responsibilities. Before long, I routinely sang “My daughter is a cutie pie, cutie, cutie pie” song of my own creation while putting PJ's on her. And she would routinely say that she is not a cutie pie, she is a girl! And I would concede that yes, indeed she is a girl, very cute girl, and she would reply, “No, I am not cute.” We would go back and forth for a while; you get the picture.
Yesterday instead of her name, I sang, “Baby, baby is a cutie pie” when putting his PJ's on, to which she immediately responded,” “He is a not a cutie pie, I am.” You don’t appreciate things until you are about to lose them. I decided to explore the topic and asked her, “Isn’t your brother cute? You know, I could have two cutie-pies.” But she kept on insisting that her brother wasn’t a cutie, she was. Then I finally asked her, “If he is not a cutie pie, then what is he?” Without losing a beat she said, “Eggplant. (Maklazhan, yes, with an “M”)” I almost fell on the floor. When my giggles somewhat subsided, I asked her, “Why eggplant?” “Because he is a boy.” Aha, now it makes sense.
The funny thing is that we barely use this word. I rarely cook eggplants and they are never served in the playgroup. The only time she hears this word is when we read with her “My first dictionary book.” I think that there’s some connection in her head – pie is food, so is eggplant … and eggplant happens to be masculine in Russian, hence good for a boy. (I think I developed a severe case of toddler logic.) Otherwise, I am at a complete loss as to why she named him that way. Hope the name won’t stick though because Mom is still Guillermo.