In a hotel in Vermont, we were playing at the kiddie swimming pool. A little boy around Little Boy’s size started inching closer to us, making friendly overtures until the two of them were locked in mutual pool frolic. Now that I no longer had to entertain a four-year old, I relaxed in the water.
After about five minutes, Little Boy came splashing over to me, full of smiles. “He’s my best friend!” he shouted before bounding back.
The other little boy’s mother heard this and laughed. I shrugged, as if to say “I don’t know where that came from!” but I wasn’t surprised. This is a new thing with Little Boy, making “best friends” with strangers in playgrounds and pools, and rapidly becoming overly attached to them. The next day, he’ll talk incessantly about his Best Friend. “Maybe we can call him on the phone. Maybe he can come over to our house and play.” And then we’ll go to the playground, and he’ll find another Best Friend. (Today, it was a little boy named Brendan at an indoor playground, where we went to escape the morning thunderstorms.)
I was making sandwiches for a beach outing when Little Boy flounced into the kitchen. He wore a silver star necklace that he received as a party favor around his neck, and there were two tennis balls under his shirt in an, ahem, strategic position on his chest.
“I’m Mommy!” he announced, giggling madly as he sashayed past me.
It took me a second to realize what he was doing with the tennis balls. My shocked laughter was periodically stifled by flashes of semi-disturbing thoughts (Should I make him stop so he never does something like this in school? Is this going to turn into a discussion about breasts? Maybe I should stop letting him see me in various states of undress? Does this have anything to do with his recent interest in princesses?) He looked very proud of himself, with his perky bosom and feminine gait.
“Yes, look at you! You’re Mommy!” I said, furiously applying dijon mustard to a slice of bread.
And before I could probe further into what gave him this idea, he pulled the tennis balls from under his shirt and rolled them into the living room, turning to say “I’m being silly” before skipping away to play with his cars.
This is an oldie but goodie. Last winter we were at the doctor’s office. At a previous exam, the doctor was especially concerned about Little Boy’s weight, which was disproportionately high compared to his height (it was all in his belly). I swore up and down that Little Boy ate cleanly, with lots of veggies and fish and no juice and little sugar and small portions and yogurt-based snacks, and that he was very active. The doctor seemed to believe me, as he knows Mr. P and I are in good shape, but he did caution me that if Little Boy didn’t start to “lean out,” he would refer me to a pediatric nutritionist. [As a side note, Little Boy has indeed leaned out enough to avoid that fate.]
So as the check-up was wrapping up, the doctor asked Little Boy what we would be doing when we got home.
Actually, we were planning to go to the playground, and Little Boy knew this. But for some reason, he looked at the doctor and said brightly “Pancakes!”
Dear lord. The doctor looked at me with arched eyebrows. It was 3pm.
“Pancakes?” I repeated, tittering. “Well, we had pancakes last Sunday, before we spent the entire day skiing. But honey, we’re going to the playground! We’re not going to eat pancakes.” I looked at the doctor, smiling in the face of his suspicion.
“Yes, the playground sounds like a better plan,” the doctor said.
Little Boy has discovered scotch tape. That is all.