Mostly I call him pal and buddy, following his mother's lead, but also of course the more embarrassing little man and golden boy and angelpuss and whatever enters my head. One thing I do not call him anymore is Flip, which somehow doesn't fit him, and this is awkward, as it's how I have always referred to him here. And his real name, Milkteeth, is so formal. I am tempted to call him Anubis, because of his lifelong fascination with the ankh I wear around my neck:
However, something about him seems to reject the connection with the jackal-headed god of the underworld. Perhaps it is that he is made of sunlight. From now on I think I will call him Aglet, as this is a word we both enjoy.
Aglet spends his weekdays at daycare, which is where I played Run Around and Fall Over with him and his friend Alex, and also where I met the neighbor cat, Jack, who suffers from some kind of cancer that has eaten away his nose. It is a gruesome sight, a cat with no nose. After I had rolled around on the lawn with the boys, Jack stationed himself on my lap and began kneading and purring and drooling, as some cats do when they knead, and leaking freely from what remained of his nostrils all over the porch and my pants. It was possibly the most charming repulsive thing that has ever happened to me, though my sister was more repulsed than charmed and later encouraged me to change into a pair of pants not soaked with cancer-juice. Aglet, like me, was more charmed than repulsed. He and Alex petted Jack as carefully as two-year-olds can do anything.
My nephew is full of questions, like "What's that?", which is to be expected, but also some less usual ones like "Where's your boots?" when they are in fact on my feet and my favorite, "I can touch your eye?" (No, pal, sorry.)
Mi sobrino likes words and animals, especially animals with gruesome cancers. He also likes talking all the time, and in all these things he is like me. It's no wonder I'm so crazy about him.