Monday, June 11, 2007

Don't you wish your boyfriend was two like me?

It's a marvel, this unconditional love. I would have (and probably have, in fact) dumped men from my life for far less than I tolerate with my current constant companion. And yet, aside from the occasional parenthetical complaint (like this one), my son gets away with some of the worst habits I've ever encountered from a member of the opposite sex.

To wit:
*He orders me around with no manners whatsoever. I can weasel a please out of him when I remember to try, and he'll offer the occasional ill-timed "thank you" (after he's hoisted himself into his car seat on his own, while I'm busy doing something in the front seat, for example), but more often I get "take away" or "don't like; move" and I quietly comply.
*He doesn't know the meaning of personal hygiene. He loves tissues, but mainly sees them as an activity - as in "how many can you take out of the box in 30 seconds flat?" - rather than a tool. Instead, he prefers to offer his boogers to me. And I take them. Gladly.
*I generally put all of the effort into this relationship. I'm constantly coming up with things for us to do that involve... Fantasy! (Let's pretend we're elephants!) Travel! (Hey, let's go to that new playground!) Adventure! (Let's make a fort!) And 87 times out of a hundred, I'm met with a flat "No." The other 13 times the "No" is accompanied by a high pitched whine. Hey, kid, let's see you make some effort!
*His sense of humor is questionable. His favorite joke is decidedly unfunny, and yet he unapologetically acts it out over and over again, completely oblivious to the sensibilities of his audience. And how could you fault him for that? Even when your strongest wish in the world is that he would please stop taking off his shoes every time I put the car into park!
*He has no qualms about groping me in the most public of places. Breastfed until he was 20 months old, I guess he still finds comfort in the old gals. And did I mention he seeks comfort mainly in public places?
*He has no sense of physical space. Every time I rack up a new bump or bruise from an accidental encounter with my son's hard, hard head I am reminded of that age-old question, "If a tree falls in a deserted forest..." Because really, if a mom gets a black eye but is more concerned with calming her crying boy than icing a swelling, purple cheek, does it really even count?

This morning when I realized that if had ever dated someone with my son's habits he'd've been gone in a second I also realized something else. When it comes to Eli, none of this matters one lick. I am henpecked and boogered-up. I am unamused and beat-up. And I am completely and madly in love and I wouldn't trade any of it.

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