Any parent of a toddler knows that kids tend to get obsessed for a while with each new discovery. Rosey's Simpsons refrigerator magnets, especially Marge, were Kenny's constant companion in February and March. They gave way to a need to always have his favorite crayon, "Big Purple", with him all the time. Nowadays he's rarely without his very own St. Jude Shop $1.29 plastic mini-Mary statue. Also, for every item he points out, we must designate it as big ("be-bay"), medium ("me-may") or little ("leel" or "le-lay") and find comparitive items of the same genre to prove we've made the correct designation. This gets tough on the highways where for every big-rig you must find a medium box truck and a compact pick up or the world as we know it will come to an end!!
All this is a prelude to saying -- Kenny thinks he's had apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.
About a month ago, our dear friend Mary B. was visiting from Los Angeles and came over for dinner. Kenny was so excited to see "Mary". He loved eating that meal even more than usual, playing peek-a-boo with Mary and being very affectionate toward her afterwards.
In the time since Mary B's visit, it's become clear why he was so happy to meet her -- in his head Mary B and the BVM are one and the same. He will now point to the Mary statue at church or his Mary Holy Card and say "Mare, eat!". And I'll ask "Did Jesus's Mom come to eat with us Kenny?" and he nods yes. Or he'll point to the chair where Mary B. sat and say "Bebay-mare" (Big Mary) and then to our Holy Family statue and say "Leel Mare" (Little Mary). (To Mary B.-- Don't worry you're only big when compared to a very small statue!).
So needless to say, since he's met Mary in real life, he's really in to the Hail Mary. At bedtime we try to do an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. Through the Our Father, he usually interrupts with shouts of: "Mare! Geegus Mama!". So we speed through Jesus to get to the Mary prayers.