Wednesday, September 16, 2015
He's happiest when we are all together. Somehow he knows that's how it's supposed to be.
Every morning, we drop off the kids at school and Gil at the training center. As soon as Johnny and I come in through our front door, he buries his face in his arms, shouts, "I'm sad!" and wails crocodile tears. For the next six hours, he asks, "We go in car?" or "Daddy is where?" about 17,253 times until it's time to go pick them all up again.
No one else exists besides his family. When in public, he summarily ignores everyone he meets. No eye contact. No smiling. No greeting. But when he sees his big sister across the playground yard, he runs to her at top speed. "GRACE!" We'll work on politeness with strangers later. For now, he needs to just establish dibs on his family.
Periodically throughout the day, he holds his arms up to me and says, "I want to cuddle." He gives me kisses and says, "I love you, Mommy." He loves to dance. He loves to do puzzles, over and over and over. He sings to himself while making puzzles.
For the last few nights, he has been told that he would get a Matchbox car if he sleeps in his own bed. This is apparently the most exciting thing that has happened to him; his entire body does a happy dance when he gets to pick out his car. (Although, I have to admit I'm doing my own happy dance that he is sleeping in his own bed. Go ahead, kid, you can have a million dollars.)
Last week at the pool, Johnny started an amusing game with Lily and Josiah. One of them would pretend to do something naughty and Johnny would march him or her out of the pool. He would sit them down, put his hands on their shoulders and sternly demand, "Say, 'Yes, Daddy.'"
Um, I wonder where he got that from?
A friend of ours observed, while watching us hold down our flailing child, "It's kind of like you're going through the 1's, 2's, and 3's all at the same time."
Truer words were never spoken. Johnny yells, "Me do it!" just like a two-year-old. When told not to touch something, he looks directly at me with a curious expression on his face, and then.....touches it. Just like an 18-month-old. We're pretty much in time-out central around here.
My arm muscles are getting a workout. Yesterday, after some minor incident, I held him in a straight-jacket pose for about 20 minutes while he kicked and screamed, until he finally relented. Then I held him like a baby and we read a book. It's a hard lesson: Mommy loves you, but Mommy is the boss.
I have no personal space. He needs to be with me or Gil every second of the day, and I think it's because he is afraid we will disappear. After all, that's happened with other people he has loved. Thanks to the Matchbox cars, he's in his own bed, but I still sleep in his room with him. He often wakes multiple times a night, needing to know I am there. I've had to establish boundaries: You are not allowed to lay on Mommy when she is eating or going to the bathroom. Sheesh.
I am so proud of him. He delights us all. He makes us all laugh. Josiah says he sounds Italian: "Help-a me!" "I'm-a going." Sometimes he speaks English with Swahili grammar: "Daddy is where?" Sometimes he speaks English with no grammar: "I'm get it for water me."
I agree with Johnny; when we are all together, that's when I am happiest. We are six. God is good.