Dante is so affectionate right now. He must have hugged me 25 times tonight, and every time I felt so, so happy. It is one of the best feelings in the world. He’s got all kinds of kooky ones he’s doing now, like he’ll wrap his arms around my neck and lift up one leg. Laura aptly named this the “arabesque hug.” He does variations on this, using the other leg or even both legs (at which point it’s a very good thing he’s holding on to my neck!) He does the tiptoe hug, the “just regular” hug as he calls it, the running-from-the-other-side-of-the-house hug. He and Laura are into reading license plates, and they saw one in a parking lot yesterday reading BIGHUG. She pointed at it and said, “Dante, look!” and he immediately wrapped his arms around her.
He is also totally on the classic 3-year-old “why?” jag, though in his case it’s more of an “I don’t know why” jag. I think this drives Laura crazy, but I think it’s kind of fun. It’s like a game to figure out how many reasonable answers I can give to a succession of causal inquiries. Sometimes it combines with another habit he’s big on right now, asking me the names of everybody in the world, including many total strangers.
DANTE: I don’t know who she is.
PAUL: Who, her? [Random person at the grocery store.] I don’t either. She’s a stranger.
DANTE: I mean, I don’t know her name.
PAUL: That’s what I mean too. Stranger means somebody you don’t know.
DANTE: I don’t know why she is a stranger.
PAUL: Because we’ve never met her before.
DANTE: I don’t know why we’ve never met her.
PAUL: Because she’s just a random person at the grocery store!
DANTE: I don’t know why she’s a person.
PAUL: [Pauses. Considers.] Um. Because her mommy and daddy were both people. Just like Random is a cat because his mommy and daddy were cats.
DANTE: I don’t know who Random’s mommy and daddy were.
PAUL: Me neither — we knew him after they weren’t in his life anymore.
And then, for some inscrutable reason, he is satisfied. It is generally impossible to tell what will stop the flow of questions. Perhaps it’s just an endurance test.