Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Boy

My son is standing at the base of a machine gun pit, Hubby filling the gun with ammo, son giddyly firing away. I thought I could keep the reality of guns away from him for a few more years, but alas he is growing up. Lucas is three today.

Okay, they're in the "High Ballocity" glorified ball pit at the epic play centre near us and are shooting plastic ball-ets onto foam and mesh. But it's the same idea. A month ago, he would have refused to go up this high, to be near unpredictable shooting machines, or to participate in it. But on day one of his fourth year, we've emphasized his becoming a "big boy" so much that he's owning it.

This morning as I helped him get dressed in his new green hoodie emblazoned with a yellow "3", he asked, "Mommy, what letters "big boy" starts with?"

"Buh, buh, buh..." I sounded out.

"B!" he squealed, pleased with himself.

I raised my eyes upward, said a quiet thank you to his teachers. Spelling already!


At first, the words "big boy" were more of an affront to him.

"Big boys go peepee on the potty!" Mommy would say in frustration.

"Be a big boy and eat your dinner," Daddy would say with veiled impatience.

And despite all we know as educators who would never want to shame our child, we'd still sometimes say, "don't cry like a baby, use your big boy words!"

So, when he started getting fascinated about being a baby again, I should have made the connection.

"I want to go back in your belly!" he told me, inspired by the belly cast I hung in my closet, a paper machier mold of my body with him inside at 38 weeks.

"You're too big, silly," I told him.

As he demanded I show him pictures of his first days in the hospital and told him the story of his birth (edited of course), the psychologist in me wondered for a moment if he wasn't actually crying out for security in a life that had just been turned upside down by a move or school and home.

"I'm little," he would say to me as I urged him out of bed in the morning.

"You're not little anymore, Sweetie, you're big. Which pants do you want to wear?" I would say, holding up two options of track pants, the only acceptable choices these days.

"I'm little. I go to my old school."

"No, you're a big boy, Sweetheart. You have to go to your new school." I would say gently.

"I wear my PJ pants!" he would scream, fight ensuing over "inside pants" vs. "outside pants" that really had nothing to do with pants at all.


But today, on his birthday, there was no fight over pants. There were no tears as I dropped him off. Instead, he ran inside to hug his teachers and made a beeline for the lego, and I was forced to take my shoes off, walk into the classroom, tap him on the shoulder, and ask for a kiss goodbye.

And later, as I buckled him into the car to take him to the playcentre for his birthday, he told me. "Mommy, when I grow up, I gonna be SO big."

"Yes, you are, Sweetie."

"I gonna be SO tall, I not even see you!" he giggled.

"Where am I gonna be?" I asked.

"You gonna be SO little."

I laughed. "I'm gonna be that little! Don't step on me."

He laughed then, that glorious gleeful laugh from his gut. "Don't worry, it's okay, Mommy. I not step on you. I pick you up."

I bit my lip, shook my head. One day this three-year-old boy who once resided inside me will truly tower over me, and it will be me needing his care.

1 comments:

Alpha said...

I am new to the boards and just wanted to say i am very very happy to read this blog.

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