My youngest son has hair that is completely different than mine. It is entirely straight; it does not sprout from his head, it simply falls. Hair such as his does not seem to naturally part, and I find myself continually, almost absently, pushing his hair away from his eyes and to one side. It is as if my fingers have become wiper blades on an intermittent setting.
It struck me one day that his hair is not really in his eyes as much as I think. He rarely brushes it aside, and goes about unbothered by the way it hangs. I realized that my brushing away hair that really isn’t in his way is in some respects me filling a need of my own — the need to touch him, to shape him, both literally and figuratively.
It may be good parenting, or good nannying, or some higher power better left unquestioned, but Q’ool has turned two without becoming a raving, tantrum throwing kid. His birthday was last week, and if you didn’t get the invitation, here’s your chance to at least see the birthday-flyer. Q’ool was quite pleased with his bounty, which arrived in waves over a span of 4 days or so:
- A wooden train set (the Yukon express)
- Three books (The Birthday Party, Choo-Choo, and a homemade photo album)
- Two t-shirts (“E=MC2” and “Chicks Dig Me”)
- A yellow truck-wagon
- Mr. Potato Head
More importantly, I think he’s learning to share with Little Fabulus.
One of the better ideas I had was to try and teach my not quite 2-year-old concepts rather than words. Symbols and metaphors rather than realist descriptors. A good example came a few months ago, when I put on my pair of circa 1999 silver snowboarder sunglasses and said to him, “superstar.” He repeated the word, but I wondered if he really got it. Recently he rummaged through a drawer and brought the sunglasses to me to put on.
‘Superstar, daddy?’ he instructed.
‘Yes,’ I said, putting them over my eyes for a moment. ‘Now you try.’
He put on the glasses silently, his chin pointing up at my face. Then he turned and walked away.
‘I look great,’ he said.