The map obsession is still on. But happily, it has branched out to other interests, too, such as:
1. A growing passion for football - of course it's all because of World Cup and the whole idea that you have to root for a country. Now, this boy plays football in our living room at every chance he gets. If you want to play with him, though, you have to have a country in mind, because he'd definitely ask who you're for. (he does this in the middle of a "game" with his friends in summer camp--picture them running, and him interrupting them one by one, with "What country are you ?" !?!)
2. I noticed, too, that he likes representing "teams" from countries that are virtually unknown or would hardly enter the world cup season: Seychelles, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands. - way to go my boy! Go for the underdogs!
3. He's also into weather reports now because he loves watching the forecaster moving the map up and down. While on the tram in Amsterdam, the little one picked up the free newspaper and started to flip through the pages while loudly asking for the weather report. Some passengers had to turn their heads in shock(?) - and I had to give them the look: he's-just-enthusiastic-about-maps-nothing-grand!
4. And because it's in the news, he also got an interest in other parts of the news (especially when a flag of a country would time and again flash on the screen). Sometimes--you ready for this-- he even chooses Euronews over Nick Jr. or Disney Channel. (Of course I wouldn't let him yet!) One day, Lakay and I were talking about California at the dinner table. Then out of the blue, the little one said, "Mummy,California was once a part of Mexico. But then, the United States 'borrowed' it from Mexico." At first I thought he was just imagining things again, and then after two minutes, Lakay and I realized that he was making sense. I asked, flabbergasted, "Where did you get that?" He answered, "In the news!"
* note to self: be careful now, mummy, because this seemingly naive boy can absorb things like a sponge!
5. I don't think he is aware that he is starting to dip into history, too. It all comes with having an old picture atlas (where USSR was still on the map, Czechoslavakia was still a country) and having a new world map. Since then he learned that things were different in the past (while he was 'still in heaven' as I would lamely explain whenever he asks why he wasn't there yet when, among other things, Germany was divided into East and West). For some reason, this got him excited, running back and forth the living room and his bedroom, comparing the old and the new map. Lakay welcomed this as a good development - because, thank God, it is also a physical activity.
6. I'm not sure though, if this is going way too far, now. Sometimes he looks at the rice on his plate and says that the shape of his rice is like the map of Thailand. The same thing happens when he looks up at the clouds. And when he eats m&ms, he chooses a flag first, and then picks the colors of that flag inside the bag of chocolates. Of course his favorite is Seychelles because many colors =many m&ms. Ismarty ngay!
7. But the best part for me, though, is that I have found a way for distracting him whenever the stubborn little monster begins to prop up. A while ago, he tried to talk his way out of sleeping by saying that he misses dad and that he wants to be with him in the living room. I said that he was being silly missing his dad. "I'm not being silly!" my drama boy replied. I said, "Yes you are! How can you miss dad when he's only in the living room. You can only miss people when they are so far away, in another continent, such as South America, or Asia..." "And Africa?" he joined in. "Yes, " I said. "And North America? And Australia? And Arctic and Antartica?" he went on and on, the "missing daddy" was completely forgotten. Case closed.