I just realized that I have a 34 month old who still uses a binky. In general, I find it absurd to keep counting months at this point, but it helps to point out how far I’ve fallen. All others were de-binkied by 26 months. Well, except for X-Man. He blew that curve during a temper tantrum about 20 months. He ripped holes in each of his binkies during one “nap.” And by “nap” I mean “containment session.” He was still young enough that his Nana thought me mean to refuse to replace them. Of course, life has taught me that X-Man’s tantrums were usually based upon frustrations due to our failure to communicate. So, pretty much X-Man’s Nana was right.
X-Man’s failures to communicate are fewer and farther between. This isn’t always beneficial. The other day Mac was kicking a soccer ball against a wall. It’s actually a way to develop skills, so I don’t tend to object, until the ball hits a window. Of course, X-Man just ended up riding his trike in front of that one wall. Mac was fairly competent at aiming the ball over X-Man’s head. This eliminated any fear from X-Man. He quickly got bored with the whole situation and wandered off. With his trike parked directly in Mac’s path.
Mac, a fairly reasonable soul, moved the abandoned trike. He continued shooting his ball. This was the moment of danger and excitement X-Man had been craving. He screamed “You moved my bike!” “It was in my way” retorted Mac. X-Man emphatically pushed his trike back. Mac objected “Move X-Man!”
And that’s when X-Man, six inches shorter than his brother and about four pounds heavier, planted himself and bellowed “FIGHT ME!!!!!”
Mac, interested in surviving both his brother and his mother, declined said challenge and continued to boot the ball over X-Man’s head. The result was X-Man yelling even louder “FIGHT ME FIGHT ME FIGHT ME!!!!!!!” He still hasn’t mastered the concept that Mac’s ignoring him was Mac’s form of fighting him.
The screaming drew my attention. There was no way I could pretend I didn’t hear it. So I stuck my head out the door and asked “Why’s X-Man screaming?” It’s a routine question in our lives. They explained the situation, Mac moved X-Man’s trike, and X-Man was dissatisfied.
X-Man was also dissatisfied with my handling of the situation. Apparently me telling him to ride his trike somewhere else was not the option he was looking for. So he followed me into the house, protesting loudly.
And that’s how I came to be sitting on the living room floor cradling a wailing X-Man in my arms. A child who was despondent because his older brother wouldn’t actually fight him. I kept trying to clarify the situation, but no, there was no confusion. X-Man wanted to fight Mac. Mac wouldn’t fight X-Man. And I was experiencing yet another new in parenthood.