Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Loves Ya, Baby?

Over the last couple of days, The Boy has been exploring the limits of words describing big concepts, like love and family. His comments to me and to my wife, at separate times, were, “I don’t love Mom. Mom loves Little Bear. I love Daddy. Daddy has me!”

From a ritualistic standpoint, he’s right. Little Bear’s bedtime and naptime rituals (stories, songs, conversation) are with Mom. The Boy’s bedtime and naptime rituals (potty and teeth, a puzzle or two, some stories, snuggling) are with me. It is rare that someone else handles those particular rituals for us, and it’s always an awkward thing. Little Bear and I get along wonderfully; he knows how much I love him, and we have a great time over breakfast every morning and playing games at night after work. But, he chooses Mom over me for bedtime. The Boy chooses me over Mom. It’s just how it is.

From another standpoint, it was a real, hurtful comment for The Wife to hear. I don’t think that he means that he really doesn’t love her; even though she’s the disciplinarian of the family, he loves her and loves playing with her. He also said that he doesn’t love Little Bear or The Baby, and that’s clearly not the case. Little Bear is his best friend and first choice of playmate, and the two of them handle school better when they are together.

I think he’s trying to put a rank on everybody. He’s trying to arrange, in his head, some kind of order to the world and to his relationships. I can understand that. He’s probably going to have the same analytical, ordered mind that his engineering ancestry had, and that means that everything needs to have its place and order in the world. It certainly fits with his general bossiness, although I’m not sure if the bossiness isn’t directly related to his position as oldest child. They’re all bossy (and yes, oldest brother, I’m looking right at you when I type this).

However, having this general concept suddenly occur to him does have some advantages. Last night, I needed to run to Whole Foods to get some supplement stuff, and The Boy came with me willingly and enthusiastically. This is not normal behavior for him; usually, he’s kicking and screaming and fussing until we arrive somewhere, and then he’s fine, until we leave, when he throws another fit. Instead, he was wonderful and pleasant company all the way through, although I’m not certain that the rest of Whole Foods appreciated the impromptu version of tag that we played until we found the donut case.

(Side note #1: he’s not a big fan of toffee. I warned him that it wasn’t exactly chocolate, but I let him pick it regardless.)

On an entirely unrelated subject, The Baby has started pushing himself around a little bit. Yesterday, on the hardwood floor part of the living room, he pushed himself backwards about a foot or so. Looks like the countdown to crawling has begun!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 comment:

Sarah said...

My boy, as you know, is 5 days older than your oldest. He is ALL about mama. So is my daughter (almost 2), but she is definitely more of a daddy's girl and has been since she was younger. The baby is ALL about me. I think sometimes they say things just how they think them, but their feelings at that age are so innocent. I am betting his illness had something to do with it. Just the situation you guys were in, and having to move, and being in the hospital all the time -- really had to affect him. I can envision a day where he is suddenly all about Mom. They go in phases.