Anders is just over twenty-two months old. He embodies the innocence of childhood; His angelic visage, his adorable “chattiness,” the delicate way he holds a pretzel stick…
Dad, 53 images and this is the MOST in focus.

But, alas, under that charming exterior lurks something…darker. “What?” you may ask. Well, to be honest, I think it’s MOB TIES. This may sound ridiculous, but reports of several recent incidents have raised my suspicions. The first sounds fairly innocent.

My Mom is in their favourite local gift store with Janet, Anders and Leif. Anders, sitting in a shopping cart, spies a ball. My Mom hands it to him (which, as a Grandparent, is pretty much a signed-and-sealed contract to purchase the thing, whatever it may be – so good thing it wasn’t a LIVE PONY – NOTE: That dream was dashed last holiday season. Click here and see “Holiday Gift Idea #3). Anders looks adoringly at the ball and says, “I LIKE-A da ball!” Ah. Small blond children often do stereotypical New York Italian pizza joint proprietor impressions, don’t they? “I LIKE-a da ball!” he says again. “I LIKE-A da BALL!” He continues with this mantra even after said ball has been purchased (like I said – Grandparents – they cannot resist when the grandchild “like-a’s” something). True, taken ALONE, this all seems fairly innocuous (cute, but innocuous).

But consider THIS evidence: Janet, Erick, Leif and Anders were eating at the local family-run burger/shake/sandwich/soda-fountain/taco/cookie/deli-fare/ tamales-in-corn-husks/EVERYTHING joint. Erik and Janet were chatting, not noticing everything the boys were doing. Leif suddenly complains, “Hey! Anders is drinking my drink!” Indeed, Anders had stolen Leif’s fruit punch and was going to town with it. By the time Janet looked over, Erik was cracking up. Evidently, Anders had narrowed his eyes, pointed his little index finger right at Leif, and menacingly was whispering, “SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Yes, it’s funny. However, if that’s not the toddler equivalent of “You’d better shut you pie hole* or you’ll be sleeping with the FISHES,” then I don’t know what is.

Granted, since he still drinks from a sippy cup and isn’t potty-trained, I suppose we’re not in real danger of him packing heat or anything. But, if he starts saying things like, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” or “…you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.” – OR, worst of all, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business,” then perhaps we should be concerned. I’m just sayin’…

*Yes, “pie hole.” Very Mafioso, I’m sure.