Rockstar’s on a good day. I think. When Sam, 19 months, was upset she’d taken a bad fall, Rockstar presented her with a toy fish to distract her from crying. Sam’s mum was satisfyingly impressed – “Oh, he’s nice. He’s a really nice kid.” One would have thought bullies are natural products of such a driven personality. (If he decides he wants something woe betide any parent who tells him differently – when trying to breastfeed I could not distract him (not even with quite a few nurses’ help at the Sanatorium) from a bottle long enough for my milk to come in after my hurriedly scheduled C-section so I had to use a big old hospital pump we rented for the entire almost-year I breastfed. I continue to be peeved at the loss of bonding time while I was hooked up to the pump but at least he got my milk.) But one would be wrong. Then at music and singing time, Rockstar gets his musical instrument stolen by an older toddler (infuriatingly, her mother does NOTHING. She sits on the outskirts of the group, not even near her toy-stealing child, a smile frozen on her face.) When he offers to exchange another one to get his own back (he wants the blue), he gets the new toy taken from him as well. Rockstar looks at me with a shrug as I attempt to get one of the two toys back but the other child refuses. Then he whispers “Starbucks?” We leave the music ring mid-song. I praise him for sharing and tell him he can order anything he wants (his worse vice is the occasional orange juice which he goes to town on this morning.)
Rockstar gives things away. All the time. I try to rationalize it but truth is he’s forever sharing until I wish he would stop because at this age other kids almost never, ever share back. When another child actually shows appreciation (Rockstar on the other hand, says thank you and no thank you almost automatically like a robot), I feel like waving pom-poms or doing cartwheels. Immediately I want to hook up playdates, except I worry about coming on too strong – “not sure you should play with Rockstar darling. Nice kid, he shares, but his Mummy is a Fruitcake.” I constantly wonder if I should be doing/saying something to prepare him for Real Life:
“Rockstar, in Real Life, there is Give and there is Take.”
“Rockstar Real Life isn’t fair – in some restaurants you can get two balloons.”
At some point in the journey between baby and toddler-hood, Rockstar has morphed into this magnanimous, I-can-give-anything-away-because-my-own-needs-don’t-matter Sharing…. Monster. He’s still got the tough personality in him, we fight passionately and constantly about mealtimes, bedtimes, tooth-brushings, dog-head-butt-ings, so I’m baffled – how is it possible he can be both Sharing Monster and Diva Rockstar?