Lucky.January 10, 2013 at 10:22 am | Posted in Cult of Personality, motherhood, Parenting, Stuck with You (aka: Family) | 2 Comments
I’m going to try and write every day in January; I feel like I had a lot to say back in November when I did NaBloPoMo and I’m hoping that I can get my mojo back, a little bit at a time.
Lucky has always been an introverted kind of kid; ever since he was a baby he never did well in big groups, even when it was people he knew. Thankfully, over the years, he’s come out of his shell a lot. I think it started when he was able to verbalize what he was feeling; gave him a little more control over the situation to be able to say “I don’t like that.”
When we go to Charlie’s family gatherings, though, getting him to acknowledge family members is kind of a battle. For example? We’re a huggy family, whenever we get to a family gathering, everyone turns and gives a big welcome to the people coming in the door, and we give hugs to everyone in the room. Which is really hard, given his temperament. He gets embarrassed when there are too many eyes on him, and he’ll be contradictory and refuse to hug or look at anyone.
We work with it, of course – we prep him about who will be there, we try and arrive early so that there aren’t too many people looking at him, and I’ve often hugged people with Lucky in my arms, his head buried in my shoulder, giving them a welcome from the both of us. And then he’ll get down and run off with his more outgoing cousin D, and we don’t have to worry about it until the end, when we’re trying to get him to give hugs to people on the way out, also a bit of a struggle.
Last weekend, we actually hosted a family potluck at our house: for this part of the family, we’re a central location. And we love hosting.
Apparently? So does Lucky.
When people came in, he was the consumate host: asked to take their coats, told them they could put their food in the kitchen, then took every last one of them up to see my things in my bedroom!
And Charlie’s Aunt M came into the kitchen after the visit to his room, completely shocked and flushed with pleasure. I can count on one hand the number of times he said HELLO to be before, and all of a sudden he’s inviting me to his room! And showing me all sorts of things! And telling me all about his stuffed animals and his favorite books! I can’t believe it!
We’ve had a little trouble with mice lately. This is the first time we’ve had an issue since we moved here; we think it has to do with the cold weather and lack of a cat (not that Puck would have ever KNOWN what to do with a mouse, honestly).
But Charlie bought some traps, and set one on Saturday night, and sure enough, Sunday morning we had caught a mouse. Lucky, of course, was all interested in the traps when Charlie bought them that day, and Charlie explained that it was a way to catch and kill mice so that they didn’t make a mess in our house and eat all our food.
So Sunday morning, Charlie asked me if it was okay that Lucky SEE the dead mouse, since he was asking about it.
I know that stuff like this is in a grey area. But Lucky was never bothered when Puck died; we told him that he had a kind of sickness that the doctors couldn’t fix, that the doctors thought the sick was called cancer, and though there are some times when you have cancer you DON’T die, Puck’s cancer was a kind that the doctors couldn’t fix. So he died.
And he took that explanation, and there wasn’t much questioning or anxiety over it (will I get the sick, too?). He talked about Puck a lot, and how he had a cat that died, but there wasn’t a lot of angst around it.
And my personal parenting belief is that I want to foster Lucky’s curiosity. If he was asking to see the dead mouse, what was the real harm?
So we showed him the dead mouse, and he said, Wow, that’s a big one, Daddy! And that was it.
Until that afternoon, during the party.
Lucky asked me if it was okay for him to read to everyone the “Night Before Christmas,” which he has memorized. And I asked the people in the room if that was okay, and they agreed.
So he started in:
The night before Christmas, all in the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. And without missing a beat, he paused, and said: Guys!!! WE caught a mouse today, in one of Daddy’s TRAPS! It was a big one, too. Mommy made Daddy put it in the garage garbage can.
And then he went on with the poem, right from where he left off: The stockings were hung from the chimney with care…
Charlie’s OTHER Aunt B came into the kitchen shortly thereafter, marveling at the difference in him between our house and hers. It’s kind of amazing to see him when he’s in his own environment. she said. He’s like a whole different person!
That’s my kid: a big contradiction – full of curiosity and shyness and bossy and sharing everything he knows and unwillingness to hug, unless it’s on his own terms.
Just don’t all look at him at once.