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 I love having a trained monkey.  Pierce is the perfect one—he has brown eyes, sort of walks like a chimpanzee, and mimics everything I teach him.  Today, we were in a store where we had to wait at the check out for something, so we entertained the cashier with the various sounds we can make—by we, I mean I told him what to do and he did it.  In the mood for his audience, he grinned his scary, skeletal grin when I told him to smile.  It didn’t look forced at all…the good part about his fancy smile is the 900 dimples that show up on his mug.  Then he did his kitty-cat “meow”, doggy “woof”, his own monkey call “oooh oooh ahh ahh ahhh!”  Then I asked him what mommy says, to which he responded with his charming smile (not the skeletal leer) “I wub you!”  That got a sweet response from his audience. 

Now, I know nobody thinks your kids are as cute and clever as you do, but she indulged us.  For anyone who likes kids, he’s pretty amusing.  Throughout the store, he would wave and say hi to people who walked by us, and then tell them “bye” as they walked away.  Some of them would respond and laugh, and some acted a little bit like he was a telemarketer—like he might try to sell them something.  Then there were the men that he called “daddy.”  I remember when Mikey was this age; he would do the same thing.  I’d be smiling red-faced at men of various ages as they tried to place my face since they were being accused of being “daddy.”  It’s always a good time these days, when it’s actually possible that I might not know “who my baby daddy.”  Today, Pierce tried it with a man in his 60’s or 70’s, to which I laughingly asked him “Don’t you recognize me?”  We all laughed and he and wife talked with Mr. Pierce the Amiable Fella.

The kid just does some cute and funny things.  He blows kisses at anyone that he’s too lazy to go hug.  The other day he saw a roach dying on the threshold going out the back door.  He pointed trying to get me to see what he was talking about.  Then he would hop the threshold and bend down and talk in a cute little indecipherable voice to this nasty thing as though it were a little bunny rabbit.  He took such a liking to his momentary pet that I heard him blowing kisses at it.  Then it must have finally died, because, like a cat who finds his prey boring when it quits moving, it didn’t interest him anymore.

I also find myself (gratefully) on the receiving end of numerous smooches throughout the course of any given day.  The little guy climbs up next to me, wraps his arms around my arm, hugs and leans over to kiss me—it never gets old—except when he thinks it’s funny to climb all over me and my computer.  Suddenly, his wiry strength becomes super human, as he flips and rolls to stay on me and in my way.  It’s like he’s some crazy squid that grabs on to its prey’s face and won’t let go no matter the struggle.  Finally I pry him loose and toss him like ragdoll to the other end of the sofa, where he giggles and works his way back in my direction.  There’s always a price for all that love and affection….