But recently, he's been looking at old family photos and commenting that they are missing a very important person -- HIM!
He's also pointed out that in our new family photo, he plans to be the child sitting on Mama's lap. Not Katherine or Julia, but -- you got it, Wenxin.
So I played it up. "Mama wants a family photo with Wenxin on Mama's lap." He began to warm up to the idea.
We decided to take the photo in our back yard to minimize stress. Yes, that broken down old fence is in my backyard. It's my neighbor's fence that was blown down by Hurricane Charley in 2004. All that's left is a panel or two, and I guess it makes a nice backdrop if you want a casual rustic look for your Christmas card picture.
Thirty minutes beforehand, I fed Wenxin one of his favorite meals. I tried to change his clothes. When he put on the shirt I requested, but balked at the pants, I just backed off.
Then I promised him that if he smiled nicely so Mama could have a good photo of our family, he could have a whole pack of bubble gum.
At first things did not look promising. When we all smiled, he scowled.
Then we tried another approach. "Let's all make angry faces." And here's what we got.
He ran behind the fence and peeked through a hole. . .
And hung upside down like a monkey. . .
It was kind of contagious.