Leone has taken to telling most people, if not all people, "no." Actually, more like, "NO!" With maybe a couple more "NO"'s thrown in there for good luck. It's quite something, let me tell you.
A couple weeks ago we were at the local grocery, checking out in the self-checkout lane. Enter random lady, swooping in like she was related to my crew. The way her eyes opened wide during her approach made me think she must have known my son from someone or somewhere else- maybe even last year, when he was staying with a friend during the day? Either way, there was no way to stop her and she came closer and closer and closer until she touched my boy right on his chest. With her pointer finger. He immediately pushed her right back with a strong, "NO!" All the while, I'm trying to quickly finish the bagging and paying and pushing food over the red blinking light, convinced that she knows him and shaking my head at how rude my kid must appear to all folks around us. I peeked again and there she was, shaking her necklace in his face talking about how she's a grandma and how he's so super cute and look at his hair, look at his hair, look at his hair! To which he then said, in his new found monster voice, "NO!" She sort of looked at me, I sort of looked at her, decided she had no idea who my kid was, mumbled something about how he was turning two and was finding himself to be quite disagreeable with most people of late, then rushed out the doors with my wee monster Leone's forehead and eyes set in a ferocious scowl.
A week later, same store, different lane. Enter sort of random lady. We've seen her but she doesn't know us from the other flies on the wall. "Ohhhh!" she says as she speed walks right up to us, "Look at how big you are! And your hair! Can I touch your hair?!" To which she then proceeds to smoosh with her palm while bending her fingers to and fro. Yeah. I bet you can guess how he responded to that one.
So yesterday we're outside, riding bikes, when two older women approach. Their voices get all high and squeaky and there's already some "Awww!" sound coming our way from their mouths. Leone stops his bike riding, scowls at both of them, and starts mumbling, "no, no, no, NO!" It was like I needed to pay this kid to smile sweetly at our town's elders and not run cowering from their outstretched arms and hands.
I get it. He's two. He's over having people pat and smoosh and gently tug his hair. He's not into the high-pitched squeaky voices and the "aww" and "ohh" sounds that come from their lips. I get it, kid. I just need to balls up sometime soon and stand guard for you, 'cus based on that monster growl you've got going on, trouble's ahead....