Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I Need a Boy Manual

Yesterday at preschool, N whacked his best friend WeeyumWise across the side of the face with a shovel. Both WeeyumWise and the teacher swear it was an accident. But both also pointed out that N pushed WeeyumWise off of his chair twice that same day, not quite so accidentally, although again, he was supposedly playing. And a few days ago, Weeyum's mom arrived at the preschool to find Weeyum and N taking turns shoving each other onto the ground, as part of yet another game.

All of this physicality is new, and I've been noticing it at home, too. And of course, it's been accompanied by a lot of finger-as-pistol pointing, another behavior I haven't really had to deal with in the past. (When Em flirted with the same behavior, I simply told her that I don't like guns, I'm scared of guns, and if she wanted to play gun games she had to do it out of our house, and she was not to ever point one at a friend, even if it is only made out of plastic. Though I did make a grudging exception for water guns. In any case, she grew bored of that kind of play in about five minutes.)

I'm at a loss about how to handle all of this. I know so little about the care and feeding of these young penis-laden, testosterone-swollen creatures, and I fear going too far in one direction or the other--either allowing him to become some kind of pint-sized bully, or disciplining all the natural exuberance right out of him. I don't want to do either. I want to let N be N, but at the same time, I don't want to let N be Jeffrey Dahmer.

In other words, I could use a gentle nudge in the direction of what you parents out there consider to be either The Book on the subject of raising a boy, or your own favorite piece of boy-dealing advice, wherever it comes from.

On a barely related note, is there anything cuter in the whole world than a 4-year-old boy who talks like an exhausted 41-year-old mother-of-two? I was putting dinner on the table Monday night, and both kids were buzzing around me like particularly persistent gnats. I snapped at them more than a couple of times, of that I'm sure. Nothing new there.

Anyway, we finally sit down to eat, all four of us, and Em reaches over N's plate to get the ketchup, rather than asking politely. All of a sudden, from his infinitely tiny body comes this enormous, long-suffering sigh. "Stop it, Emmy!" he says, pushing her arm away. "You just driving me crazy!"

Of course, the fact that all of us--Em included--burst into hysterical laughter did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for that new phrase, which he then delivered with all sorts of appropriate eye-rolling and hand-gesturing, because he is nothing if not his actor-father's son.

When we finally settled down, Baroy looks over at me and says, "Gee. Can't imagine where he picked up something like that, huh?"

Um, yeah. Me neither. [Insert innocent whistling here.]

And on a final, completely unrelated note, after I got home from work last night, I went out to run a few quick errands. This is what I came home with:

frozen pizza
a desk lamp
a plunger

In some ways, that pretty much sums up my life these days: eclectic and just a little bit bizarre.

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