Tree Hugger

October 23, 2009 by Rieshy
Greg and I were taking the Littles on an evening stroll.  I mentioned to Jack in a pretend sobbing voice that the tree we were passing was called a weeping willow.  Several evenings later on a stroll in the same direction we came upon the willow.  Jack raced across the sidewalk and onto who-knows-whose front lawn in order to embrace the tree.  

"Jack, come back... what are you doing?"  

"I'm hugging the sad tree," was his answer.

Though I was impressed that he had categorized the word "weeping" correctly as meaning "sad" it is a sickly sweet story.  Vague memories of Psych 101, and the developmental stage coined "pre-operational" by Piaget, popped into my mind.  I have to confess that instead of marveling at Jack's cuteness I started laughing because I realized that Jack is at that stage of magical thinking where I could really mess with his toddler mind.   Have you ever heard the Steve Martin skit about teaching a child to talk incorrectly on purpose?  "My momma dog face in the banana patch?"  

I wonder if Jack expected that a loving hug might encourage the willow tree to lift it's branches.  Greg's comment as he continued pushing Samuel's stroller was merely a pained, "Please just get him out of their front garden."

Later at dinner, Jack looked at me with big sad brown eyes and said, "I don't love you Mommy, but the girls can love you.  Ben and I love Daddy."  I was rather startled and amused but just said, "oh."  Ben had his mouth too full to argue. 

At that point Samuel, the 2 yo, lunged for me and said, "I love you."  Sam then proceeded to cover my face in kisses.  Jack was outraged and a tad confused by Samuel's display.  Evidently Jack is also at the stage where he's building his gender identity.  Was that Freud?  

Poor Jack, it's a lot of work being 3 years old.


Leah said...

That is precious!!! LOL

miranda said...

I'm so glad you came by my blog and that you left me such an encouraging comment. You are also my 100th follower on FB, so I gave you a little shout out as a token of my appreciation!! I hope you'll stop by often, I'm looking forward to reading here at your place too!!

Buckeroomama said...

The little ones sure give us our fill of daily amusement / entertainment, don't they? So cute!

Your posts are lovely. :) Following you from MBC.

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