For someone pint-sized, LGO sure is a diva. The sole purpose of my existence as his mother is to meet his every need and, more aptly, demand. And if I fail to miss his not-so-subtle cues -- a grine or a pointed finger -- the boy throws his toys (often literally) and a hissy fit that would make Naomi Campbell blush. The trigger could be anything, or nothing at all. If he's standing, he wants to sit; if he's sitting, he wants to stand. You get the idea... Even when he doesn't know what the hell he wants, he expects me to.
I don't know about you, but my crystal ball reading skills are a little rusty
Recently, after various meltdowns in various settings, I came up with a theory: that my son wasn't just a diva or a dictator of the grandest order (i.e. a toddler); perhaps, just perhaps, he has genuine proximity issues. I came to this conclusion after noticing that most melting incidents occurred when other adults or kids invaded LGO's personal space. I'm not claustrophobic, but I have never liked crowded spaces, either. And London just about killed me. Imagine half the population of Canada squeezed onto one teeny little section of one teeny little island, and such an aversion is not surprising, really.
Could this latest quirk of LGO's be yet another derivative of mommy's personality?
Lucky kid. Here's how it goes down. My son could be at the slide, happily going up and down, up and down, until some other kid decides he too wants to slide. How dare he? Even if the kid isn't in my son's face and keeps a respectful distance, all hell breaks loose. Or: some kid will accidentally 'brush' against mine (as in, colliding with a feather) and LGO will absolutely lose it, making out like the kid's given him a lip fatter than Angelina Jolie's.
And the Oscar goes to...
Needless to say, life with a drama queen can be embarrassing, especially when he's not yet two years old. When this happens, and the kid's guardian (and sometime the kid, too) fixes us with the most puzzled look, all I want to do is bury my head in the sandbox. The kid's like: What did I do to upset your brat, lady? And the guardian's like: Did I miss something here? No lady/kid, nothing broken; nothing missed. Nothing. Actually. Happened. It's just my kid auditioning for the next reality train wreck. Where did this hypersensitivity come from? Oh, yeah...
As for the slide...
When he's on it, as far as LGO's concerned, it's HIS slide. He may have just about got used to the idea of possessions. Mommy's cereal. Mommy's cup. Mommy's coffee, even. Yet in all other respects, public ownership is all but lost on him as a concept. If he wants it, then it's HIS. There's no such thing as ours in his brain. A toddler's world reveals capitalism at its ugliest. (You didn't, by any chance, have a toddler when you wrote the commie manifesto, Karl? Just curious.) And yet there is no shortage of play dates here. No shortage of exposure to other children to teach him the fine art of taking turns.
Share is a four-letter word
And for now, for my little one at least, it's a word that isn't gaining favour in this household. For all of you vets out there, how do I socialize LGO before there's no stadium on either coast big enough to contain his ego? Is the selfish gene something he'll naturally outgrow? Or are we doomed to raise an only child ogre to old age?