Wally Ben has started the toddler thing. No, not the tantrum toddler thing (although we’ve seen glimpses of that and this morning, I even volunteered to take a timeout with him to make it easier). I mean the repeat yourself thing. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Except for him, it’s “Mo, mo, mo.” If we read a book, and he likes it for any particular reason (like the Gingerbread Man ends with the fox eating the man, and he says, “Snap, snap, gulp!” WV loves the “Gulp!”)—then we hear “mo, mo, mo!” (Or in the Gingerbread Man case, we hear “Gulp! Mo mo! Gulp! Mo mo!”)

So we read the book. The same book. Again. And again. I wouldn’t mind if it were, say, Harry Potter. But when it’s Pat the Bunny, touching Dad’s scratchy face 10 times in a minute gets old!

But it isn’t just books. Wally Ben intensely and passionately loves a lot of things—his Cozy Coupe car, his kitchen, the dogs’ tails, the zero depth pool at swimming lessons. Oh that pool. It has been the source of embarrassment a few times. The first day of swim lessons, we made the mistake of letting him swim before class. Then class started and everyone had to get out of the pool to find out where their lessons would be. And WV swiftly had a meltdown, becoming that kid. That kid. That screaming kid that every family looks at, is embarrassed for, and tries to hear over. He screamed in that echoey room, his shrieks and bloody murder wails bouncing off the walls, high ceilings, and water for a good 5 minutes while kids names were called. Wally IV held him, helpless, embarrassed, away from the bunch, while I tried to hear his name called over the tantrum That Kid was throwing. Our name was called, the crowd collectively sighed, and WV was able to go into the water to join his group.

He enjoyed the lesson with the intensity that he had hated being out of the water. When the lesson was over, I took him to the locker room to get him dressed and asked, “Did you like the swimming lesson?” His reply: “Mo mo mo.”

One day after riding in his Cozy Coupe for 20 minutes, I was carrying him back inside kicking and screaming. “Caaaaaar. Mo Caaaar!” A twenty minute tantrum later, Wally IV said, “We’ve got to take that car away. It’s not worth it.”

He also loves going for runs with his daddy in the running stroller. While Wally IV sweats, huffs and puffs at red lights, Wally Ben turns to him and screams, “Mo mo!” Wally IV finally taught him how to say, “Go Daddy!”, which motivates him to go when the light turns green.

Then, last weekend, we hosted friends over at my parents’ pool. Wally played with two pretty girls, and got to hang out with two babies, which he loves. That night, when I was putting him to bed, I asked, “Did you like swimming and playing with the girls today?” His reply: “Mo fun. Mo. Mo fun.”

We’ve decided not to take away his car. One of my favorite quotes is Henry David Thoreau: “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…” And I believe that is what Wally Ben means when he says “Mo mo mo.” He wants to live. He wants “Mo fun.” And what could ever be wrong with that? From now on, when someone asks me if I like something, if I really like it, my response won’t be my usual: “I love it.” My answer will be, “More more more.”

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