Fabio likes to joke that he's only Brazilian every four years for the months of June and July, and in a lot of ways it's true. We love the World Cup at our house! We even signed up for Dish just for the occasion.
Game day Green and Yellow Gaertner Family--
Jonathan has always been a soccer enthusiast--kicking the ball back and forth between the two little goals in our backyard--but that has only been amplified by our latest TV obsession. Now when he "scores a goal" he runs to us with his hands in the air yelling "GOOOOOOOL" (notice: no "A"; this is on purpose, he yells "goal" with a Brazilian accent). When Fabio is outside with him, he swings Jonathan around in the air as they celebrate together. After he runs around, he falls prostrate on the ground and basks in the glory of his triumphant victory. Then he gets up and kicks the ball across our yard into the other goal and does the same thing.
Yeah. He's been watching a LOT of soccer these days.
Of course, anytime Brazil (or any other team for that matter) scored, he yelled an enthusiastic "GOOOOOOL!" with a lap around the family room .
Jon even has a favorite player: none other than Neymar da Santos Silva Junior (if you aren't as consumed by the World Cup as we have been, you may not know he's the star of Brazil's team). J can be found marching around the grocery store in his Brazil uniform (known in our house as his "Neymar clothes") chanting, "I love Neymar! I love Neymar! I love Neymar!" He even yelled, "Go! Go! Go Neymar! Go!" whenever Neymar had the ball.
And so naturally, Neymar's injury also left a big impression. "Neymar's hurt, mommy? He needs a check up? Why is Neymar crying? He can't play any more? His mommy won't let him?" To the point that he told the poor girl cutting his hair all about it the next day. "Neymar played soccer and he was SO GOOD. And he got hurt by the other guy, and he needed a check-up, and the doctor said he can't play soccer today, and he had to go in a helicopter to the hospital. So he can't play anymore."
After 4 minutes of this narrative, she looked at me and mouthed, "Who's Neymar?" Because, you know, we live in Wisconsin, not Rio.
Ben doesn't talk about it as much, but he's obviously a big Brasil fan also.
And did I mention that Vovo was in town to help with B for the last week of the Cup, and so we also enjoyed her glorious rice, lentils, creme de milho, and kibi for the week--further immersing ourselves in all things Brazil?
So even though more than 60 games in less than 30 days might not have ended the way we would have hoped (Brazil was eliminated in awful fashion in the semi-finals), we still had a lot fun--and we can hardly wait for June 2018 when we'll become completely consumed by our Brazilian side once more.
He wakes up, climbs into our bed, and tells us
about their escapades.
"I was outside and the Tomato was so sad,
because he wanted to play in the water with me, but he couldn't and he was sad
and SCARY. And then I said, 'Aww, Tomato don't be sad. I'll make you a snow
cone!' So he wasn't sad any more and the snow cone was blue. And he wasn't
scary. And we went to the store to see the toys. And we saw the BIG. RED.
FIRETRUCKS! And we said, 'Can we pay for it?' But Dap said, "No." So
we didn't get it. Then the Tomato found a train and Dap said, 'Yes!' So he got
us the train. It was pretty cool."
The Tomato comes up other times, too.
Me: "Jonathan, come eat breakfast."
Jon: "Nope. The Tomato and I already ate
Me: "You did?"
Me: "What did you eat?"
Jon: "I don't know. Well... we ate some
cereal. And some toast. And something else. And the Tomato said, 'No! You
please don't eat me, please?' And I just took a little bite. We don't bite our
friends, Mommy? Then we went to see the firetruck."
Me: "Oh. Did the firetruck eat breakfast, too?"
Jon: (incredulously) "No. It's a firetruck."
Sometimes he plays nice.
"The tomato says, 'Can I play with your
bulldozer?' Yes. You can. We can take turns. My socks are wet!"
Sometimes he doesn't.
"NO! TOMATO! You please stop doing
But they always make up.
"The tomato doesn't want me to put on my
diaper. So I won't. Okay.”
Because, you know, some kids have imaginary friends, others have imaginary pets, but not Jon.