Bosco is no longer my baby. He’s my boy. He’s my man child. He’s my three-year old going on thirty-year old. It’s taken me awhile to accept this realization. Of course the logical me knows he is well beyond the infant stage, but when I look at him through my first-time-mommy eyes it’s been hard not to subconsciously see that fresh new creature swaddled up into a beaming ball of baby burrito.
Slowly but surely, though, my mommy eyes have had to adjust to reality. Little things here and there would come at me, like someone was flicking me in the forehead to get me to wake up. And with a newer, fresher baby in the household, it made all these little things even more apparent.
• His breath stinks sometimes. Babies are not capable of morning breath. It’s a breach of contract.
• He tells me to be quiet like I am now a source of frustration for him.
• He asks me to leave so he can play with his friends alone. They have things they want to talk about without a hovering mother present. Guy talk I assume.
• He no longer finds it amusing when I sing along to his favorite songs. Now he just tells me the song is over and to stop singing.
• His cheeks no longer contain twenty-five percent of his body fat.
• He wants to shave his non-existent beard.
• He walks around like he has bulging biceps of steel.
• He can say words like especially, humongous, and ridiculous and use them in the right context.
But it’s not any of these things that really truly made me see my little Bosco as the young boy he is becoming. Someone was basically going to have to slap me across the face, metaphorically, in order for me to get the message. It happened one day when I had made him clean up his toys. He was so mad at me. His little face turned red. His eyes bugged out, and through clenched teeth he yelled at me “YOU ARE A TOY!!!” Now for those of you not familiar with Toy Story this is something Woody (a toy sheriff doll) says to Buzz Lightyear (a toy space ranger) out of jealousy and anger. It was meant to be the ultimate insult to Buzz, who thought he was the real deal, not just some child’s play thing.
Now at first I tried really hard not to laugh because it was almost sweet that this was the angriest thing he could think of to say to me. And generally I’m grateful when people call me a toy instead of a dummy or an idiot or a lunatic. But despite the innocence of it, I still had to come to grips that he fully expected this to upset me. In his ever-maturing mind he knows name calling equals hurt. YOU TOY! He was trying to hurt my feelings. To make me sad. To make me feel bad. YOU TOY! Isn’t that the just the pits? Since when did my baby want to do that? Oh, that’s right. He’s not a baby anymore. Lightning just struck my brain (or maybe my heart).
And now I wonder what it will feel like when he starts to get his material from someplace other than a children’s movie. YOU ARE JAR JAR BINKS. YOU ARE GLOBAL WARMING. YOU ARE AN ORC. YOU ARE MARGE SIMPSON'S VOICE. YOU ARE ANNIE WILKES. YOU ARE A KOOK WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE IS DOING.
The possibilities are endless. I better put on my seatbelt, and brace myself.