For reasons best known to himself, Max has taken to referring to Maggie as "The Little Squeaker Toy". When Maggie is upset or peevish or angry or sad, Max will sidle up to her, nuzzle her cheek with his nose, and say in his high-pitched patronizing-the-baby voice, "Hey, you Little Squeaker Toy! Don't cry! It's okay, I'm here, my little squeaker toy! Who's a little squeaker toy?" and etc.
I am not quite sure what to think about this new development. On the one hand, it's really cute. On the other hand, it's kind of weird, no? Maggie is not, by my observation, particularly squeaky, and she certainly does not condescend to be anybody's toy. On the other hand, it's REALLY cute, and Maggie LOVES it. It is frequently the only thing that can make her forget that her will has been thwarted by an unforgiving universe yet again. On the other hand, I strongly suspect that the whole routine, especially the high-pitched voice, is Max's sincere imitation of me when I am in full-on Mom mode, and I -- I guess I just wasn't aware that I came off quite so high-pitched and saccharine. On the other hand, it is really, really, very cute. And I reckon it is the most benign of the many names we can expect Max and Maggie to call each other as the years go by.