Wednesday, March 15, 2006

His Regal Orange Outrageousness

Since we moved the boy to England - he has developed some interesting personality traits.

The first I’m calling small person phobia. Unless a child has been to his house at least twice, he will not socialise with them. (So, we focus on friends who come around and are consistent.)

The second I’m calling the invisibility syndrome. He does not like “to be seen” when we are out in public. He does everything in his power to not “be seen.” He gazes lovingly, all grins and smiles into my face. Or he says, “Let’s sing.” And we have to sing as we walk. He becomes distraught if I don’t make direct eye-contact with him when people are near us. Needless to say, it is hard to walk down a busy street.

The third is he that loves to wear his best (and pretty much only) friend’s clothing. Okay this is most commonly known as cross-dressing. He lives for the days that Amazon visits. He is very co-operative about dressing on the days when she is coming. After all, what he is wearing has to be good enough to swap for that lovely dress in which she will invariably arrive.

The last is what I call the flash factor. He has a very distinct image of what he should look like. His clothes are orange. Many of them have stripes. If they don't have stripe, they have animals. A perfect outfit is red trousers with a striped orange shirt. Once I put him in a blue shirt. He said, “this is not my shirt. My shirt is orange.”

None of this bothers me. He is only 2 and 3/4 years old. He’ll outgrow it. Maybe not.

But - he can sure tell you the difference between a mammal and insect and a reptile! And patterns - he can out puzzle the best of them. He can associate a value with a number - up to five. He recognises all of his letters. He knows that when they all stand together like very good friends - they make words. And what of all of the lovely poetry and prose he has been dictating. A real Renaissance man - that’s what we’ve got here. (Did I mention he toilet trained himself a month ago? He woke up one morning. Decided it was the end of diapers. He’s been dry day and night without a single accident. )

We’re doing okay. He has a coping mechanism for the invisibility syndrome. As long as he wears his Monarch Butterfly wings and carries his magic wand out in public, he can smile, nod, giggle and say hello to any old lady (or man) that wants to ruffle his hair; pinch his cheeks; or ask him if he is a good boy.

But tonight, after he went to bed, we were listening to His Purple Royal Badness Prince. I suddenly had an insight into the cross dressing issue. Earlier, we waved good-bye to Amazon (and the lovely sparkly blue princess dress in which he spent the day.) The parting was more sorrow than sweet for Amazon. (She had broken a rule. The consequences were leaving.)

As she lay weeping on the floor being stuffed into her snowsuit, Winston got her his favourite stuffed giraffe. He wanted her to have “something soft to cuddle on the way home.” She was touched by his generosity.

Then, when she stood, he hugged and kissed and cuddled her. “Another kiss,” he said, “another kiss, here, another kiss.” And he stroked and kissed and cuddled her until she’d had enough and was ready to leave. He, then, waved her cheerfully out of the door blowing kisses and saying, “See you soon. I love you!”

It was cute. Endearing even. But, then tonight, I realised. He’s a lot like Prince.

“If I was your girlfriend
Would u let me dress u
I mean, help u pick out your clothes
Before we go out?
Not that you’re helpless
But sometimes, sometimes
those are things that bein' in love’s about.

And I’m worried. Not. Worried. Not worried.
Here’s to His Regal Orange Outrageousness!

(1) Prince, Sign O The Times, 1987, Warner Bros
Lyrics found at:

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