Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miscommunication

Super Boy and I were up in his room late yesterday afternoon playing with his stuffed animals. I was playing the part of the posable T-Rex dinosaur while Super Boy played the part of the giant stuffed shark. Oddly enough, the T-Rex and giant shark were friends who could play together despite the fact that one is a land dweller (not to mention extinct) and the other is a water dweller. At least they're both meat-eaters. But I digress.

After about 20 minutes of playing stuffed animals, my T-Rex suggested that we snuggle and watch a movie. Shark answered that it sounded like a good idea, but then added, "But you need to get your mommy first."

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Now, let me put the brakes on this little story for one second here while I tell you another little story. From the time Super Boy was just a suckling infant of a handful of months old, he has been extremely tactile. And by tactile I mean that he liked to use his teeny-tiny little fingers to PINCH my tender skin. It started out with a 5-month-old Super Boy pinching the delicate skin on my chest while he was nursing, to the point where my chest was perpetually bruised with little black-and-blue marks, and then as he got older (closer to a year old), he'd reach up and pinch my neck while nursing or just cuddling. Once he was weaned (at around 10.5 months), he'd only pinch me while we were snuggling or he was drinking a bottle, or if he wasn't feeling well.

As time went on and he became more of an upright mover and shaker, he stopped pinching my neck and progressed to pinching the soft skin on the inside of my wrists, right at the connection to my hands. However, he's very picky about bending my hands forward (palms toward the inside of my wrists) so that there are wrinkles in that space for him to pinch. Now, at the age of 5-1/2 years old, he no longer pinches, but instead just rubs that skin on the inside my wrist with his thumb. He says I have "smooth skin" on my wrists. :)

I have no idea why he does it, but I think it's a comfort mechanism. And while it's peculiar, I think it has to do with him being a very hands-on kinda person. He is constantly touching things, and he's very big on textures and tactile sensation. Nonetheless, I did ask Super Boy's pediatrician about it at one of his baby appointments. Contrary to what I believe, the doctor thought it was an aggressive behavior and urged me to make him stop. I never took his advice, because it was clear to me that Super Boy wasn't at all conscious of the fact that he was doing it; it truly was one of those things where he'd climb in my lap and just start doing it, whether he was falling asleep, not feeling well and wanting comfort, or just snuggling to watch a movie or read a book together. And the fact that he still does it to this day - albeit more rarely - convinces me that I was right that he wasn't doing it to hurt me or dominate me, but to comfort himself.

OK, back to the other story...
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When Super Boy's shark told my T-Rex to go get his mommy before they snuggled and watched a movie, I couldn't help but ask, "Why does T-Rex need to get his mommy? So you can rub her wrists?"

Unfortunately, Super Boy didn't understand me correctly. He gave me an odd look and said, "Mom, you don't have rubber wrists!"

I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants, couldn't catch my breath and ended up having a 30-second coughing fit.

The kid is too darn cute for words. :)

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