March 12, 2014 at 5:31 PM ET
Precocious little kids can be so cute. But this precocious little kid — who can hold his own in a debate with mom on why he should get a cupcake for dinner — takes cute to soaring heights.
Meet 3-year-old Mateo, whose 2 minutes and 36 seconds conversation with mom Linda Beltran has gone viral thanks to the little guy’s plucky response.
Mateo’s convincing case: He doesn’t need to eat dinner because he already ate lunch. Instead, he should get to eat cupcakes, which were hidden in his grandmother’s house.
When Mom said no, Mateo tried to ask Grandma. But Beltran scolded him for circumventing her, and she recorded his reaction, which has had nearly 1.3 million views on YouTube since it first aired in mid-February.
Part of what makes Mateo so convincing is that he calls his mom by her first name and reasons like an adult. He closes his eyes, and gestures, and puts his hand on his hip, saying “Listen, listen, listen, Linda.”
At one point, he tells her “Linda, honey, honey, look at this.” It’s too adorable and such an example of how kids really do mimic what they see and hear from parents.
Beltran, who works as a customer support representative for UberConference.com, told the company’s blog that Mateo learned his parents’ names on a visit to a theme park. They had come across a boy who was lost and could not tell his parents’ names. So the Beltrans taught Mateo and little brother Kevin their names. “This made Mateo feel a little empowered,” Beltran told the blog.
“For the most part we are still Mommy and Daddy, but when he is serious and wants to make sure we are paying attention, we quickly become Linda and Kenneth.”
Beltran describes Mateo as an “old soul” who, when he feels he has a valid argument, is sure to voice his opinion. She acknowledges her son’s spunk but adds that he isn’t disrespectful, he just knows when he can engage in some healthy debate. As she told the blog: “In an effort to raise my kids with a voice, I pick my battles and sometimes let them feel like they’ve won ... or at least give them the chance to try.”
In the meantime, we think Beltran needs to get Mateo to a casting agent, stat. That kid’s got crazy screen appeal.