One of the best parts of momming is watching the personalities of your children unfurl before your eyes – even when you are shocked by things they pick up outside the home.  Recently, I have been particularly taken by how much friends influence them – even at the young ages of 5 and 4. (Not sure what I expected here. To send them to school all day and have them come home as the same sweet, innocent darlings (!) I sent them off as when they started in October? That’s probably more like wishful thinking.)

Lately, Grace has been saying things like ‘b.f.f.’ and ‘Can So Andso sleep over my house?’ and ‘I only want to wear dresses’ and ‘Oh heck no. That outfit is not nearly cute enough for me to wear.’ (OK, that last one was my interpretation of her saying ‘It’s just not too cute!’ – but the implication of her actual words were what I wrote.)

Gavin, on the other hand, is now into sports and sports teams (he keeps going Giants, we reply “Eagles”. So far, he’s not buying it because he’s got new buddies from New York here in Portland.) He’s also big into rhyming non-words with words that he comes up with. For example, the boy does not like to be embarrassed. Or frustrated. And when either of these things happen, he hurls blame-filled insults at Kenny and I like – “Stop it! Don’t make me fall, pacho muchacho (!?)” after he trips and falls over his own two feet. (That little burst of klutziness is proof alone that he is, in fact, mine.) Or – quite possibly my favorite – “You made me drop my bucket of Legos, noosh-doosh!” (Anyone else think it feels like a Summer’s Eve around here… ?!). I like to ask him what the words means – and the replies usually go something like “Pacho muchacho means armpit.” To which I say, “You are quite smart. How do you know that?”…”I just know it, mom.” or “So Andso at school told me.” Nice. Five points for imagination and creativity. Subtract one for already figuring out to blame someone else at school.

Kenny and I haven’t changed our personalities (I mean really, we’re old and tired – no room for growth here, people), so it’s gotta be the friends, right? Either way, it’s slightly terrifying, but mostly hilarious to watch them try to define themselves in their small fry social circles, picking up a few things here and there from those they spend a lot of time with and then having that come out at home. On a more serious note, while it’s funny, I hope we are giving them everything they need so they remain true to themselves. I also wonder if they’d be different back in Philadelphia than they are here? Interesting to think about, right?